Arcola Theatre presents

Broken Lad

A new comedy by Robin Hooper

Directed by Richard Speir

“What lies on the bottom of the ocean and twitches?”
“A nervous wreck.”

Above a pub in North London, Phil is fighting off panic about his comeback gig.

Once a regular stand-up on Saturday night television, Phil’s back to square one. As Phil laments his dwindling career, his son arrives believing that his dad harbours a damaging secret. With the gig hour nearing, old flames and past misdemeanours catch up with the family. Tonight, Phil’s career might not be the only thing in tatters.

Comic and moving, Broken Lad is a subtle examination of masculinity and virility in distress.

Robin Hooper‘s previous work at Arcola includes Not the Love I Cry For (2006). His previous plays include The Move (one of the first NT Platforms to tour), Astonish Me (RSC and Almeida Theatre then Home Theatre off-Broadway), and Queer Fish (BAC – Critics Choice, Time Out, Whats On).

Richard Speir‘s previous work at Arcola includes Gentlemen (2020) and Spun (2018).

This show is part of Arcola’s outdoor festival Today I’m Wiser. Explore the full programme → 

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★★★★ “raw and honest depiction of reality — this cast is not one to miss!”Felix

★★★★ “a wonderful look at success and failure”Boyz

“Richard Speir directs with assurance, making great use of the theatre”The Stage

“There was the perfect air of desperation and dirt about the room, and you could just imagine the dust bouncing off the sofa when you sat down, the beer bottle marks on the ‘dressing table’ and the smell of stale air and lost hope that those rooms seem to have.”Last Minute Theatre Tickets

“kept me transfixed throughout”Everything Theatre

“Patrick Brennan pulls off defeated, broken elements of his character skilfully”Chortle

“Carolyn Backhouse as the ex-wife and mother... faultlessly delivered.”London Living Large

“[Yasmin] Paige brings vigour to her portrayal as Ria”London Theatre Reviews

“Adrian McLoughlin makes outspoken Ned very likeable... his innocent excitement at making a geriatric connection on a dating app totally convincing.”British Theatre Guide

“Dave Perry... brightens the stage whenever he appears.”Theatre Weekly