Directed by Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s Associate Director, Tessa Walker, BACK DOWN is an insightful and funny coming-of-age story which will also tour regionally and nationally following its premiere in Birmingham.
This’ll be good. Has to be. Three boys and a mountain.
Luke, Zia and Tommy have known each other for forever. With Luke about to leave for university it’s time for one last adventure together. Armed with Zia’s mix CD and a bag of Brummie pride, they set off to conquer Snowdon. But when their jaunt takes an unexpected turn they are forced to face up to the reality of why they needed the trip in the first place.
Steven Camden aka Polarbear is one of the most respected spoken word artists in the UK. His debut young adult novel Tape was published in January 2014 by HarperCollins to rave reviews and his second novel, It’s About Love, will be published in June 2015. The inspiration for BACK DOWN came about while Steven was writing his second novel and the play continues the story of the characters two years later. As Steven says:
“Back Down came about as part of my process writing my second novel, It’s About Love. The book takes place in Birmingham when the boys are 16 and in the play, Back Down, it is two years later as one of them is preparing to leave home.
“Writing about home is my favourite thing to do and writing three voices from Smethwick on an adventure into the wild was genuinely the most fun I’ve ever had writing anything. I made the trip they made to Snowdon in the story when I was 17 with two other friends and the images from that trip were firmly in my mind when I wrote it.”
As a performer, Steven has presented his work in California, Kuala Lumpur, Glastonbury, Latitude, Camden Crawl and most summer festivals in the UK after coming to prominence in 2006 as part of the Apples & Snakes Exposed tour. He has since written and performed three feature length theatre pieces; If I Cover My Nose You Can’t See Me (Birmingham Repertory Theatre) which will be revived this Spring at Battersea Arts Centre, Return (BAC and mac) and Old Me (Roundhouse) on national and international tours.
Steven’s latest interactive storytelling piece for 8+ yr olds, Mouth Open Story Jump Out (BAC) is currently midway through its second national tour. He founded and led the Roundhouse spoken word collective from 2009-13, has worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company for whom he co-devised and led the Sound & Fury Project, and most recently he was co-writer for Akram Khan Company’s Desh and Turfed for the 2014 Lift Festival. Steven’s first full length radio drama, Sleeping Dogs was commissioned and broadcast in 2013 on BBC Radio 4.