Preview: BU21 Trafalgar Studios

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BU21 by Stuart Slade

Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, London SW1A 2DY Wednesday 4th January – Saturday 18th February 2017 Press Night: Wednesday 11th January, 7pm

Every night on the news there’s literally always some sort of massively catastrophic end-of-the-world shit going down… And I always wonder ‘how would I cope, if that happened to me?’

Transferring after a sell-out, award-nominated run at Theatre503, Stuart Slade’s BU21 follows six Londoners in the aftermath of a fictitious terrorist attack. In turn terrifying, inspiring, brutal, heart-breaking and hilarious, this is verbatim theatre from the very near future.

A beautiful sunny morning in London, planes leaving vapour trails across a cloudless sky. Then a sudden flash of light and, for thousands of people across the capital, everything changes forever. Here, six survivors come together in a support group to tell their stories – what they witnessed on the day and how this has affected their lives.

Based on real testimonies gathered from a variety of terrorist incidents including the 7/7 bombings, 9/11, the Paris attacks and the 2013 Westgate shopping mall attack, Slade’s BU21 is terrifyingly credible.

When did you ever see a terror-plot rom-com? BU21 dares you to laugh – because if you can’t laugh, right, the terrorists have won. Haven’t they? … What a daring feat of writing this is – a theatrical joyride that gives formal logic the finger (What’s On Stage).

Writer Stuart Slade says, Terrorism is an inescapable part of the reality of life today, especially if you live in a capital city. In London, in particular, it’s not a question of if there’ll be another attack – but of when, and how bad. BU21 is my attempt to understand how people cope with, and potentially overcome, traumatic events in their lives. Based on exhaustive research from a range of terrorist events, it’s a play that faces the darkest of tragedies square in the face, but also leaves room for optimism and hope.

Stuart is the Creative Director of a film production company specialising in documentary films and digital media about Disaster Response. As such he has produced films in places such as Gaza, South Sudan, Haiti, and Nepal.

With its disquieting honesty, Slade’s play could not be more topical, looking at the shadow of terrorism that overhangs our everyday lives.


BU21 by Stuart Slade

Performance Dates

Wednesday 4th January – Saturday 18th February 2017 Monday – Saturday 7.45pm
Thursday and Saturday matinees 3pm

Running time

90 minutes


@TrafStudios, @stuxslade, #BU21


Stuart Slade


Dan Pick


Alex Doidge-Green

Lighting Designer

Christopher Nairne

Sound Designer

Owen Crouch

Stage Manager

Holly Hooper


Alexander Forsyth Clive Keene
Florence Roberts
Graham O’Mara
Isabella Laughland
Roxana Lupu


Tim Johanson and Mark Cartwright


Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DY

How to get there

Trafalgar Studios is located on Whitehall.

The nearest underground stations are Charing Cross (on the Bakerloo and Northern lines), Embankment (on the Bakerloo, Northern, Circle and District lines), Westminster (on the Jubilee, Circle and District lines) and Leicester Square (on the Northern and Piccadilly lines).

The nearest rail station is Charing Cross.

Box Office Tickets are available for £35, £25, £15 from the Trafalgar Studios Box Office and, 0844 871 7632


Stuart Slade

Stuart was born in 1978 in Bristol and now lives in London. Stuart’s previous plays include (all directed by Dan Pick, and Produced by Kuleshov): Cans, Theatre503, November 2014; Deep Roots, Theatre503, June 2014; Of Mice and Len, Theatre503, December 2013 (short play); Pain is Weakness Leaving the Body, Finborough Theatre, October 2013 (part of the Vibrant Festival); Amsterdamaged, Theatre503, Feb 2013 (short play). Stuart is also the Creative Director of a film production company specializing in documentary films about Disaster Response.

Dan Pick

Dan is co-founder and Artistic Director of Kuleshov and Associate Director at Etch. Theatre as Director includes: PLAY 10 (Sam Freeman, Vault); Jelly Beans (Dan Pick, Etch); Prom (Oliver Emanuel, Etch); Bulldog (Jenny Knotts, Etch); Cans (Stuart Slade, Theatre503); Deep Roots (Stuart Slade, Theatre503); Pain Is Weakness Leaving The Body (Stuart Slade, Vibrant/Finborough); Of Mice and Len (Stuart Slade, Theatre503); Broadband (Dan Pick, Writersbloc); CO (Cordelia Lynn, Invertigo/Hightide); Amsterdamaged (Stuart Slade, Theatre503); Macbeth (Bloomsbury Theatre); God: A Comedy by Woody Allen (Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh). Theatre as Assistant/Associate Director includes: Facts (Arthur Milner, Finborough); Almost Here (Pamela Carter, Finborough); Everyday Maps For Everyday Use (Tom Morton-Smith, Finborough); Khadija Is 18 (Shamser Sinha, Finborough); Hindle Wakes (Stanley Houghton, Finborough). Dan trained on the Birkbeck MFA Theatre Directing course and worked previously as the Filmmaker at the National Theatre.

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