A chilling queer noir in London’s chemsex scene.

When I first read the news
I was shocked
George was an ex-lover
(I’d never had a lover die on me before)
(This wasn’t the ’80s)

When Anthony’s one-night stand turns up dead on the Hampstead Heath tumulus, everyone assumes he’s another casualty of London’s chemsex culture. But after a second body is discovered Anthony suspects foul play and is thrust into a terrifying, drug-fuelled journey to uncover the truth. Like a darker and gay (well, gayer) Murder She Wrote episode, an unlikely detective races to solve the murders before a killer strikes again.

This fast-paced, unflinching Queer Noir by Christopher Adams (The Royal Court, Theatre503, Bruntwood Prize longlist) and directed by Matt Steinberg (Trout Stanley, Kick Ass 2, $<0RP!0) pulses with energy. Starring Ian Hallard (Doctor Who, Sherlock, The Boys in the Band, Park Theatre), Tom Rhys Harries (Chewing Gum, Jekyll & Hyde, Hotel, National Theatre) and Ciarán Owens (Wallander, The Inbetweeners, Candide, RSC) with design by Alison Neighbour (Ross & Rachel) sound by Nick Manning (Lyric Hammersmith) and lighting by Lucy Adams (Camden People’s Theatre), the play will be published in Nick Hern Books’ ‘Plays from VAULT 3’.

“[Christopher Adams] should be taught on creative writing courses as an example of how to explore with integrity views with which the writer disagrees.” – The Guardian

In partnership with 56 Dean Street, Relate, and HIV Voices

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

Following the 27 January 17:00 performance, a panel discussion with David Stuart, chemsex support programme manager for renowned sexual health clinic 56 Dean Street, and Chris Sherwood, CEO of relationship charity Relate, takes place in VAULT’s Punch Up Bar.

1hr 00m
The Vaults
24 — 28 Jan 21:30
Book Now


About the company

Christopher Adams

Christopher Adams (writer) is a British-American playwright. He has received short play commissions from The Royal Court and Theatre503, and his plays Lynchburg (2013) and Haunts (2015) made the top-40 list for the Bruntwood Prize. His Antigone adaptation recently completed a national tour with Actors of Dionysus. He has been a member of The Royal Court Young Writers’ Programme, Studio Writers’ Group, Orange Tree Writers’ Collective, and The Arcola Writers’ Group.

Matt Steinberg (director) works on new writing that speaks with immediacy about the world today. Credits include productions at Etcetera Theatre, New Diorama Theatre, Iford Arts, Theatre503, Southwark Playhouse, East15 and London School of Dramatic Art. He has assistant directed at Lyric Hammersmith’s Secret Theatre, Royal Court, St. James Theatre and Canadian Stage. Awards include John Fernald Award for Emerging Directors (Equity Charitable Trust), New Generation Artist (Iford Arts), Tyrone Guthrie Award (Stratford Festival Canada) and Christopher Plummer Award (Shakespeare’s Globe Centre Canada).

Artistic Team
Christopher Adams
Matt Steinberg
Assistant Director
Hugh Wyld
Joanne L. Williams
Stage Manager
Megan Bly
Sound Designer
Nick Manning
Alison Neighbour
Lighting Designer & Production Manager
Lucy Adams
​Movement Director
Natasha Harrison​
Will Adams
Ciara O’Grady
Ian Hallard, Tom Rhys Harries & Ciarán Owens

Press & Reviews

Praise for Christopher Adams (Writer)

‘Adams' Antigone is given vigorous life in a performance of noisy, visceral integrity.’ - Yorkshire Times

‘This is Antigone as never seen before, presented in a form that resonates with a modern audience….Much praise has to go to the playwright Christopher Adams, in whose hands the characters and their relationships feel as tempestuous but relatable as any family argument.’ - North West End

‘Equally illuminating is A Stronger Arm, a verbatim piece consisting of fragments from an interview that a London-based US writer, Christopher Adams, conducted with his mother on a Christmas trip home. Although Mrs Adams’ religion, politics and gender should have made Trump inimical to her, she came to the conclusion that he would make her and the nation safer. The piece should be taught on creative writing courses as an example of how to explore with integrity views with which the writer disagrees.” - The Guardian

‘My favourite was A Stronger Arm: A Verbatim Play by Chris Adams, an American playwright living in London who, basically, spent Christmas recording his mum who voted for you know who. The actress Sara Stewart, in her I Love Santa jumper, with her swingy honey highlighted hair, perfectly echoed the thoughts of so many middle-brow, middle-aged American women. “She’s very cold,” she says, “very two-faced.” That’s Hillary, of course. A word she associates with Trump is “security”. Is he going to be a good role model?” she muses. “I don’t really know!’ - The Times

‘Family relations were also at the heart of A Stronger Arm, a striking verbatim play by Chris Adams interviewing his own Trump-voting mother…’ -Whatsonstage.com

Praise for Trout Stanley by Claudia Dey, directed by Matt Steinberg, Southwark Playhouse (Nov-Dec 2013)

★★★★ ‘There is never a dull moment… Matt Steinberg directs with style and energy, keeping a necessary rat-a-tat pace. The cast are first-rate, inhabiting this weird world as if they belonged there’ - The Arts Desk

‘The bond between Sugar and Trout is touching and Matthews’ wavering voice is tragicomic. There’s fun to be had with Matt Steinberg’s production’ - Evening Standard

‘Matt Steinberg’s production proceeds at a good lick and is acted with terrific verve’ - The Times

“Benefits from the presence of two fine young actors: the gravel-voiced Sinead Matthews, who lends Sugar a wistful, ragged sorrow, and Vinette Robinson, whose Grace has a rangy, coiled violence and intensity.” - The Guardian