‘A nation that devours another will one day devour itself.’
Set when the Great Devouring comes home, England & Son is a kaleidoscopic odyssey, where disaster capitalism, empire, Thatcherite politics, stolen youth and stolen wealth merge into the tale of a working-class boy who just wants his dad to smile at him.
With some deep, dark laughs – and some deep, dark love – England & Son is a one-man play by Ed Edwards, first performed by the celebrated political comedian Mark Thomas.
It was first produced by HOME Manchester and Tin Cat Entertainment, and premiered in Paines Plough’s Roundabout during the 2023 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, directed by Cressida Brown, where it won a Fringe First Award.
This edition also features an illuminating essay by the author, ‘Writing the End of Empire’.
‘A triumph… Ed Edwards’ play has a terrifying force as it charts the story of a homeless man… it unfolds in fragmentary snapshots, kaleidoscopic images that build a picture in shards… The play’s observations are fierce and sharp; its empathy, profound and moving’
‘A funny and ferocious telling of a lost childhood that frames the story of a juvenile offender through the lens of colonialism… powerful and moving’
‘Tremendous energy and real pathos’
— The Stage
‘A powerful cinematic journey through ecstatic highs and bone-crushing lows. Not your average coming-of-age story’
— Edinburgh Reviews
‘Magnificent… a ferocious script’
— The Times
‘A passionate plea for humanity… heartbreakingly powerful, sharp and tragic’
‘A ferociously funny and thrilling drama, full of rage and hurt but also laced with humour, tenderness and empathy… political theatre at its most entertaining, engaging and effective’
— Morning Star
Edinburgh Fringe First Award