Inis Nua Theatre Company jumps into 2017 with the raucous, fast-paced and heartful Leper + Chip, an American premiere by Lee Coffey at the Louis Bluver Theater at The Drake (203 South Hicks Street). Leper + Chip opens on Friday, February 17 at 8:00 pm, with previews on Wednesday, February 15, and Thursday, February 16, at 7:00 pm. Leper + Chip runs for a total of 16 performances, through March 5, 2017. Tickets are on sale now for $25-35 at www.inisnuatheatre.org/leper-chip/
“Two star crossed lovers who knew each other but a day.” This Romeo and Juliet tale, set in poor urban Dublin, unfolds at breakneck speed over roughly 36 chaotic, violent and funny hours. Boy (Leper) meets Girl (Chip) during a fight at a party. He’s out to get even the next day, but antagonism turns to love.
Her nickname is from a chipped tooth, his from a large burn scar on his leg—they hate those nicknames and just about everything else about their lives. That fight at the party? Chip and her pals are the instigators. Chip holds her own but it’s her friend Pringle (nicknamed for her massive consumption of said snack food) who knocks Leper to the floor and fuels his hunt to find the girls and take revenge. This explosive tale races through madness and mayhem: she walks in on a friend’s murder by machete, while he gets set up to take a beating from the crazed husband of a one-night stand. In their boozy, violent, gang-ridden world, joys are fleeting and hope is even scarcer. These tough and cynical teenagers don’t expect connection (“She tells it like it is. Like me.”), much less love—they certainly don’t expect to want to fight for a future together. Frantic and funny, Leper + Chip is a gritty, inner city Dublin odyssey of two young lovers trying to get out.
Mark O’Rowe called this spectacular writing debut “Hilarious, fast-paced and deeply heartfelt”. Caitlin Hobbs of Broadway Baby writes, “The script itself is a knockout; funny yet heartbreaking and shockingly intelligent, Leper + Chip leaps the hurdle that many productions about young people trip on. It’s genuinely cool. Leper and Chip aren’t half-arsed teen stereotypes with teen problems—they’re all too real and they’re here to be taken seriously.”
Lee Coffey is based in Dublin and is a founding member and the artistic director of Bitter Like a Lemon Productions. Leper + Chip was Coffey’s professional debut, a full length show that opened to critical and popular acclaim in April 2014 at Theatre Upstairs in Dublin. After successfully transferring to the Project Arts Centre, Leper + Chip then made the trip to Edinburgh to become a breakout hit. This American premiere of Leper + Chip is directed by Tom Reing and stars newcomers Liam Mulshine and Katie Stahl. The show’s honorary producer is Louis Bluver.
Inis Nua Artistic Director Tom Reing explains why he was drawn to Leper + Chip: “I like to sample plays from both ends of the spectrum, from The Abbey to the pub plays of Theatre Upstairs. This is an Irish pub play along the lines of Hooked! It’s a two-hander that is storytelling at its simplest and best.”
Leper + Chip opens on Friday, February 17 at 8:00 pm, with previews on Wednesday, February 15, and Thursday, February 16, at 7:00 pm. Leper + Chip runs for a total of 16 performances, through March 5, 2017. All shows are at the Louis Bluver Theater at The Drake, 203 South Hicks Street. South Hicks Street is right next to The Drake apartment building at 1512 Spruce Street.
Tickets are on sale for $25-$35 by calling (215) 454-9776 or visiting inisnuatheatre.org. To join the conversation, please like Inis Nua Theatre Company on Facebook and follow @InisNua Theatre on Twitter.