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Pigeon English

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Directed by Miranda Cromwell
Adapted for the stage by Gbolahan Obisesan from the novel by Stephen Kelman
A Bristol Old Vic Young Company and the National Youth Theatre co-commission

This is a story of our time; of teenage woes, knife crime and Chicken Joe's.


Open your windows and turn it up, summer has arrived and it's about to get hot.

Pigeon English is a groundbreaking co-commission between Bristol Old Vic Young Company and the National Youth Theatre.

Stephen Kelman's 2011 Man Booker prize shortlisted novel, drawn from one of Britain's most harrowing contemporary news stories, has been adapted for the stage by Fringe First winner Gbolahan Obisesan (whose Mad About the Boy played at Bristol Old Vic last autumn).


Spoken word, beatboxing, free running and heart-breaking humour bring this powerful and unforgettable novel to life.

Pigeon English is a mesmerising depiction of a teenage boy walking on a tightrope towards manhood. Eleven-year-old Harri is unable to see the real danger approaching and is drawn into actions that shape his world irrevocably.

Big, bold personalities took to the stage and familiar characters touched everyone in the audience with colloquial wit and moments of heart breaking clarity."


Praise for the novel:


Pigeon English paints a vivid portrait with honesty, sympathy and wit, of a much neglected milieu, and it addresses urgent social questions. It is horrifying, tender and funny... Brilliant."

The Telegraph

Simultaneously accurate and fantastical, this boy's love letter to the world made me laugh and tremble all the way through."

Emma Donoghue, author of Room, on Pigeon English

Post-show Talk

On Wed 7 Aug there will be a post-show talk with author Stephen Kelman, director Miranda Cromwell and members of the cast. 


...but they need your help and support to get it there. Please take a moment to look at their WeFund campaign and donate a little (or a lot) towards what is promising to be a brilliant show.

You can find out more about their Edinburgh run here.

Pigeon English
7-10 Aug
(Thu & Sat matinees)
Groups of 10+/schools:
£2 off top two ticket prices
: 12+ (some scenes of a violent/sexual nature)

Photography by Paul Blakemore
Trailer by Chris Collier

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