I saw Ella Hickson's Boys at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe, and I loved it. The play follows a group of students coping with the pressures they face through drinking, hard drugs, and in one case, suicide. Hickson’s play spoke directly to experiences and concerns within our student community, and it was a privilege to create a space in which we could address those by staging this production.
We staged the play in a student flat - audience members were given shots on arrival and at interval, and the play was punctuated with live dj sets. This incredibly intimate production had a small capacity, and the proximity of the actors to the audience dictated a very understated performance style. We also did a lot of research into fake drugs, and in the end used snortable inositol in place of cocaine, consumable lactose pills in place of ecstasy, and a careful blend of dried herbs in place of marijuana - the proximity of the audience meant that every detail had to be correct, including the smell of the joints.