Brilliant Jerks

An unauthorised story about the world’s biggest start-up. Uber.

“As I’ve said again and again, no brilliant jerks will be allowed, and no one will be protected because they are top performers.” – Uber board member Arianna Huffington, 2017.

In December 2008, two American entrepreneurs left a tech conference in Paris. As they stood in the street, unable to hail a cab, an idea landed with the falling snow: tap a button, get a ride. Uber was born.

In London in 2018, an Uber trip starts every second. There are 40 million active riders worldwide. The tech giant is valued at $60billion.

But the story of Silicon Valley’s sweetheart is not one of straightforward success. As the company has grown, it has been the subject of multiple scandals, from boardroom sexism, through to workers’ rights and passenger safety.

‘Brilliant Jerks’ is an unauthorised story about Uber. It tells of the company’s past, present, and legacy for workers and users, from three fictionalised perspectives.

Mia, a troubled young mum, drives nights in Manchester. Benji, a drifting graduate, joins the company’s London office. And Travis Kalanick, ex-CEO & former adviser to Trump, tries to figure out where it all went wrong.

Brought to you by multi-award-winning company LIPSINK, written by journalist & playwright Joseph Charlton, and directed by HighTide Associate Artist Rosy Banham.

1hr 00m
The Vaults
14 — 18 Mar
17 Mar
Book Now


Wednesday 14 March Wed 14 Mar 19:30 Included in 2 for 1 Offer Book Now
Thursday 15 March Thu 15 Mar 19:30 Included in 2 for 1 Offer Book Now
Friday 16 March Fri 16 Mar 19:30 Book Now
Saturday 17 March Sat 17 Mar 15:00 Matinee Book Now
Saturday 17 March Sat 17 Mar 19:30 Book Now
Sunday 18 March Sun 18 Mar 19:30 Included in 2 for 1 Offer Book Now

About the company


Joseph Charlton is a writer and journalist from the north east. He has written for the Arcola theatre’s youth company and his last play, Anniversary, was published in Arete magazine alongside new work from Simon Armitage and Germaine Greer. His journalism has seen him write for the Independent, i newspaper, FT, and Economist on business, politics, arts, and Uber.

Rosy Banham is an associate artist at HighTide. Her previous directing credits include Hear Me Raw (Soho, Latitude, Edinburgh), The Pier (Marlowe, Oxford Playhouse), Mush & Me (Bush, JW3, Australia). As an assistant director, she has worked across many buildings and organisations, including the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Court, and Shared Experience.

LIPSINK is Rosy Banham’s and Daniella Isaacs’ creative collaboration & new writing company. They make new work about the mess of modern life. The company has staged shows at Soho, the Bush, Latitude, in Edinburgh & Australia.

Artistic Team
Joseph Charlton
Rosy Banham
Holly White

Press & Reviews

Praise for LIPSINK’s previous work

“Perfectly controlled tone & execution… honest, insightful & uplifting work” (✭✭✭✭ THE SCOTSMAN on Hear Me Raw)

“Completely original and entirely brilliant” (✭✭✭✭✭ A YOUNGER THEATRE on Hear Me Raw)

“One of the most street-smart love stories to define multicultural Britain” (✭✭✭✭ THE HERALD on Mush & Me)

“Delightfully naturalistic… Highly recommended” (✭✭✭✭ THE TELEGRAPH on Mush & Me)