Samuel Bailey's New Play comes to Bristol Old Vic

23 Mar 2022

Paines Plough and Theatre Royal Plymouth present Samuel Bailey's new play Sorry, You're Not A Winner
A coming-of-age tale navigating class, male friendship and new surroundings, Sorry, You're Not A Winner, written by Samuel Bailey and directed by Bristol-born Jesse Jones, opened at Theatre Royal Plymouth before touring around the UK, including 29 Mar – 2 Apr at Bristol Old Vic.  

Liam and Fletch grew up together. Born on the same street. Best mates since primary. Inseparable. The only difference was while Fletch was getting suspended from school, Liam was studying. And now he’s going to Oxford. But with Liam gone, who’s going to keep Fletch out of trouble?  

Sorry, You're Not A Winner is a play about aspiration, social mobility and getting caught between classes. It asks; if ‘making it’ means leaving everything you know and everyone you love behind – what’s the point?  

The cast includes Eddie-Joe Robinson (Coriolanus at Sheffield Crucible) as Liam and co-founder of JAM (Just Add Milk) Kyle Rowe (Beast Of Blue Yonder) as best friend Fletch, with West End star Alice Stokoe (American IdiotMamma Mia!) as Shannon and Peter O’Toole Prizewinner Katja Quist (C-O-N-T-A-C-T) as Georgia.  

Samuel Bailey is a writer born in London and raised in the West Midlands. His play Shook won the Papatango Prize in 2019. After a sold-out run at the Southwark Playhouse, Papatango created a digital version of the play in collaboration with James Bobin. The film was a NY Times Critic's Pick and won Samuel the Times Breakthrough Award at the South Bank Show Sky Arts Awards. Previously, Samuel has been part of Old Vic 12, the Orange Tree Writer's Collective and a recipient of an MGCFutures bursary.  

Jesse Jones is a Theatre Director from Bristol. He is a founding member of award-winning company The Wardrobe Ensemble who are associates of Complicité and Shoreditch Town Hall, they have toured nationally and internationally. Jesse was Resident Director at Royal and Derngate, Northampton having won the Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme award. He is also an alumni of the Old Vic 12, NT directors program and Bristol Old Vic’s ‘Made in Bristol. scheme. In 2011 Jesse founded the Wardrobe Theatre where he was Artistic Director until 2015 and before leaving he helped establish the theatre as the leading fringe theatre in the city. He is now also a trustee of Shoreditch Town Hall.  

Bristol Old Vic is the longest continuously running theatre in the UK, and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2016. The historic playhouse aims to inspire audiences with its own original productions, both at home and on tour, whilst nurturing the next generation of artists, whether that be through their 350-strong Young Company, their many outreach and education projects or their trailblazing artist development programme, Bristol Ferment.

They use their funding to support experiment and innovation, to allow access to their programme for people who would not otherwise encounter it, or be able to afford it, and to keep their extraordinary heritage alive and animated.

On 24 Sep 2018, Bristol Old Vic completed its 2-year multi-million pound redevelopment project, which transformed its front of house space into a warm and welcoming public building for all of Bristol to enjoy, created a new studio theatre and opened up its unique theatrical heritage to the public for the first time.

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