Following its highly praised win as part of the inaugural new writing competition What Happens Next? in January this year, Sean McLoughlin’s debut play I Am Steven Gerrard will as part of its prize package receive its first full production at The Hope Street Theatre in January 2024, alongside £1000 production budget and dramaturgical support from Olivier Award-winning Papatango theatre company.
It’s Liverpool. The Champion’s League Final in Istanbul was 13 years ago. The buzz is still rife. The obsession is still real. Steven Gerrard has left Liverpool Football Club, but his legacy keeps on growing; a legacy that Shane wants to embody and emulate. Though Shane shares an ambition no different to many of those around him, it soon transpires that he yearns for something far beyond football.
And in a city where ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ is the mantra, why does Shane constantly feel like he’s the only one on the sideline? Shane is back home to see his dad for the first time in three years. To heal old wounds. To attempt to find his place in a world that he has never felt a part of. To get answers. What secrets will come to light? And who will they come from? Could these revelations have saved everyone from heartache?
Written by Sean Mcloughlin and Directed by Amy Roberts, the winner of What Happens Next? 2023 is a story of football, aspiration, music, Steven Gerrard, loneliness, reality television, love, religion, friends, loss, passion, enemies, Davina McCall, politics, ambition, family, virginity, past generations – and the impact they leave behind; I Am Steven Gerrard is a one-man play performed by Joe Cowin that explores the complexities of masculinity, and what it means to be a real man in society today.
Tip Tray Theatre’s artistic directors Evan Byrne and Maisy Gordon are “delighted with the choice of the judges to crown I Am Steven Gerrard as the winner of our first ever new writing competition. Sean’s play captures the beating heart of Liverpool perfectly in a powerful coming-of-age story that is beautifully portrayed in Joe’s performance and Amy’s sharp direction.”
Since 2022 Tip Tray Theatre have been the company in residence at The Hope Street Theatre and are fast creating an exciting and vibrant series of events, which bring together the vast talents the city has to offer. The Hope Street Theatre’s Artistic Director Sam Donovan states “When we first met Evan and Maisy, we could tell instantly the passion and drive they had to make a difference to the creative culture here in the city, the creation of What Happens Next? brought a real buzz to the city with new and old professionals creatively working together to showcase and champion new writing. It is a real honour to be able to support them and this production of I Am Steven Gerrard.”
What Happens Next? Will return directly prior to the run of I Am Steven Gerrard. Submissions for the competition is now open and seeks writers to submit the first 20mins of a play where by the end the audience wants to ask “What Happens Next?” for more information please visit www.tiptraytheatre.com