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There's a Bedbug at the SJT


Ivan Varlet is making a class change. As he prepares to marry his bourgeois bride, the former mechanic casts off his socialist acquaintances and re-invents himself as ‘Ivor Violet’.

Before he can embark on his new life, however, a fire at the wedding kills all the guests, and sees Ivan trapped in the ice cellar, frozen into a state of cryogenesis.

Fifty years later, after the creation of a global socialist state following a world war, Ivan is unfrozen into an unrecognisable Russia. What will become of this embarrassing reminder of the country’s past?

A satire on the distrust of authority and the threat of the independent voice to the socialist system, Vladimir Mayakovsky’s 1929 original was written at a time of growing disillusion with the Soviet Union. Bedbug, adapted by Snoo Wilson, was commissioned by the National Theatre as one of six new plays, adaptations or translations for the first BT National Connections in 1995, a collection of contemporary plays for young people.

Bedbug is part of the SJT’s annual ReachOut festival (15 February to 13 March), and is being performed by the 15+ Rounders as part of Connections 500, the NT’s 21st Connections festival.

The cast includes: Vicky Adams, Jessica Butcher, Alex Dixon, Matthew Haddington, Estella Harrowing, Libby Hickson, Alfie Howle, Diana Ionita, Josie Larven, Hannah Laws, Holly Louth, Archie Pheby McGarvey, Eden McKewan, Georgia Mason, Dan Quilter, India Robertson, Isy Watson, Jacob Watson, Jemima Whyte and Alfie Woodhead.

Bedbug is directed by Cheryl Govan and features music and additional lyrics by Gary Kemp and Guy Pratt.

It can be seen in the Round at the SJT on Friday 19 February at 7.30pm, and on Saturday 20 February at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets are £6.50, and the production is recommended for those aged 12 and over.

Run by the theatre’s OutReach department, the ReachOut festival gets features a lively and compelling four-week programme of events for all ages, including the latest from NT Connections, community collaborations, play readings, a talent show, concert and workshops.

The SJT OutReach department works with, in and for the local community, encouraging people to engage with the work of the SJT through projects, courses, classes and work experience. It is committed to offering everyone the chance to get involved and participate in creative projects, develop new skills, make friends and have fun along the way.

For further information on both the ReachOut Festival and Bedbug, please visit:

All ReachOut festival events take place at the Stephen Joseph Theatre; for more information or to book tickets visit or call the Box Office on 01723 375041.

There's a Bedbug at the SJT Reviewed by Editor on 20:47:00 Rating: 5

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