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New play coming to Hornchurch takes aim at social media and stereotypes

PUBLISHED: 11:44 09 February 2017 | UPDATED: 11:44 09 February 2017

#Haters. Pic: Zbigniew Kotkiewicz

#Haters. Pic: Zbigniew Kotkiewicz

Archant

Most plays make us laugh or cry but one is coming to the borough next week that will leave audiences with food for thought.

#Haters is based on a stabbing in Hackney in 2014. Pic: Zbigniew Kotkiewicz#Haters is based on a stabbing in Hackney in 2014. Pic: Zbigniew Kotkiewicz

#Haters comes to Queen’s Theatre, in Billet Lane, Hornchurch, on Wednesday, and focuses on the role social media plays in re-enforcing negative stereotypes.

Written by Emilia Teglia, the founder and artistic director of Odd Eyes Theatre, the play is based on a stabbing in Hackney two years ago when a man collapsed in a newly opened pub.

A worker at the pub tweeted about the incident and caused uproar on social media .

For Emilia, it highlighted divisions in London communities due to gentrification.

The play breaks down stereotypes through the experiences of the main characters. Pic: Zbigniew KotkiewiczThe play breaks down stereotypes through the experiences of the main characters. Pic: Zbigniew Kotkiewicz

We get to see this clash of worlds through the two main characters who at first seem worlds apart but soon discover they have more in common than previously thought.

“One of the characters is a hipster, one is a stereotypical thug estate boy and through the play they get to move past the stereotypes,” said Emilia.

“Social media is there constantly trying to stir the direction of one character or the other. It also explores the triviality of knife crime and how cheap life can be.”

The playwright also places some of the blame on the media for its sensationalist coverage of knife and gang crime.

“A lot of the incidents were reported in tabloids and through click bait titles. It divides people on both sides – it just talks about us and them. It’s a piece of theatre that makes you think and reflects reality to the audience.”


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