By Hazel Last edited 153 months ago

"I don't blame the war.

The war was alright. I miss it.

It's just you come back to this."

Motortown opens tomorrow night at the Royal Court Theatre - a new play by

Olivier Award Winning playwright Simon Stephens (Best New Play 2006 for On The Shore of the Wide World performed at the National Theatre). Written during the London bombings last year, Motortown "is a fierce, violent and controversial response to the anti-war movement - and to the war itself."

The play follows Danny who returns from Basra to an England he doesn't recognise, in the grip of a different kind of battle. He buys a gun, visits old friends and goes on the road. His journey is a powerful and provocative, chaotic and complex portrayal of a volatile and morally insecure world.

Simon Stephens wrote the play in four days; the first of the four days was 6th July 2005.

"It was the day that London was awarded the right to host the Olympic Games in 2012. I remember the hope in the city. Nobody in London believed the bid would be successful. It seemed to unite us with a genuine sense of euphoria. That mood energised my writing, I think. The second of the four days was the 7th of July."

He goes on to explain how his aims for the play changed once the euphoria of winning the Olympics bid had turned into the panic and confusion of London post-bombings, and how his reactions to the war in Iraq and the war on terror came into focus in his writing process:

"Audiences come to these plays, readers read these articles in order to hear spoken that which they had always suspected. With Motortown I wanted to do the opposite of that. I wanted to write a play which inculpated more than it absolved. I wanted to write, as honestly as I possibly could, about the extent of my guilt in creating and perpetuating the culture that drove these wars, and the guilt of all of my audience."

For the rest of his comment on the creation of the play, go here. Motortown opens at the Royal Court Theatre tomorrow night until 20 May. For more information and to book tickets, go to the Royal Court website here.

Last Updated 21 April 2006