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ROOM (2017). My adaptation of my 2010 novel – my fifth full-length play - has songs by Cora Bissett and Kathryn Joseph.

Cast: one boy, three men, three women.

ROOM the play based on the novel by Emma Donoghue ROOM the play based on the novel by Emma Donoghue ROOM the play based on the novel by Emma Donoghue
(c) Scott Rylander, 2017 (c) Scott Rylander, 2017 (c) Scott Rylander, 2017

Room (London: Oberon Books, 2017), https://www.oberonbooks.com/room.html

The world premiere of Room, directed by Cora Bissett, was co-produced by Theatre Royal Stratford East and Abbey Theatre Dublin in May-July 2017.

‘A strangely moving work about the power of imagination and the pain of adjustment to a new reality. … I found the prospect of the play intimidating. In the end, I was deeply touched by its testament to human resourcefulness.’ – The Guardian

‘Thrilling, emotive and theatrically inventive adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s novel. While the 2015 movie version embraced realism, her stage version celebrates the original's inherent theatricality... In a coup de theatre, Little Jack is shadowed by Big Jack who provides that narrative voice. It's a deeply satisfying device that helps drive the drama while remaining true to the spirit of the source work. Ma's inner monologue is expressed in song and Bissett and Kathryn Joseph's musical numbers add a further dimension to Donoghue's gripping story.’ - The Stage

‘A moving play that’s reinforced with somber, sensitive songs… Several things about ROOM lend it to the stage: the extreme sense of space inspired by this harrowing story (first confinement in one room and then release into the ‘normal’ world), the story’s stark two-act structure, the intimacy and tension of the relationship between Ma… and Little Jack; the strangely magical inner voice of the boy commenting on the world as he sees it… vital, imaginative theatre. - Time Out

‘ROOM, first a novel, and last year a movie, is peculiarly well suited to the stage: is, indeed, an image of the theatre … Donoghue’s originality lies in showing imprisonment through a child’s eyes.’ - The Observer

‘The empathy and bite are keen… Both prurience and sentimentality are admirably kept at bay.’ - The Independent