'Everything human beings do finishes up bad in the end. Everything good human beings ever make is built on something monstrous. Nothing lasts. We certainly won't...'
Based on his experience as a teacher, Stephens describes his play as 'The History Boys on crack'. It explores the underlying tensions and potential violence in a group of affluent, articulate seventeen year old students. Contemporary and unnerving, with elements of The Catcher in the Rye, Punk Rock follows the story of seven sixth-formers as they face up to the pressures of teenage life, while preparing for their mock A-level exams and trying to get into Oxbridge. They are a group of educated, intelligent and aspirational young people but step-by-step, the dislocation, disjunction and latent violence simmering under the surface of prosperity is revealed.
About the Author
Simon Stephens has been the recipient of both the Pearson Award for Best New Play 2001-2 for his play Port, and the Olivier Award for Best New Play 2005 for On the Shore of the Wide World. His most recent play, Harper Regan, was produced at the National Theatre in April 2008.
"A stark, bracing and eventually brutal portrait of adolescent relationships."—Daily Express
"Confronts young people as they really are, and builds inexorably towards its tragic and violent climax."—The Guardian
"Evokes the twilight world of the teenager with scary vividness."—Daily Telegraph
"Powerful and compelling."—The Independent
"Riveting new work confirms Simon Stephens as one of the most important and exciting British playwrights working today...Compassion, insight and theatrical panache...The writer's perfectly calibrated setup leads audiences to some of the biggest, most complex questions of our time."—Variety
"Gripping, shocking and ferociously funny as anxieties jitter, hormones fizz and misery festers in the library of a Stockport private school."—Time Out London