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Wednesday, July 20


“You can’t move simply between things. My flat is stuffed with possessions and the recollections I attach to them. I feel equally suffocated and sated by my cave of treasures.” 

Plesance Theatre Trust and Theatre Royal Plymouth are delighted to bring Breathless by Laura Horton, Plymouth Laureate of Words, to Theatre Royal Plymouth and Edinburgh Festival Fringe. 

Theatre Royal Plymouth 20-23 July

What happens when the things we covet hide us from ourselves? 

Opening up to new experiences in her late-thirties, Sophie is exploring long repressed sides of herself. When a secret she’s keeping from those she loves, and even from herself, threatens to unravel it all, she has to make a choice. Who or what will she decide to give up? 

Breathless is a funny, honest and stylish exploration of the knife-edge of hoarding, from the joy to the addiction and suffocating shame. Based on the real-life experience of writer Laura Horton’s, own experience of clothes hoarding, the work is a dark, magical story about trying to escape a world you’ve spent a lifetime carefully building. 

Plymouth Laureate of Words, 2021-22, the first playwright in a Laureateship. Soho Theatre Writer’s Lab alumni 2017. In 2020 Horton wrote and produced her first film, A Summer of Birds, Toast of the Fringe winner. Short Plays include: Giddy Tuppy, The Space, ONCOMM winner, 2020; Labyrinth Diet, Arcola Theatre 2019; This I Believe, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Exeter Phoenix, 2019. Full-length plays include: Labyrinth Diet, The Space, London 2021, ONCOMM winner; Triptych, Theatre Royal Plymouth, 2021. She is currently commissioned by Theatre Royal Plymouth. She was listed in The Stage 100 in 2021 for her project Theatre Stories CIC and is an artistic associate of The Space, London. 

Produced in National Partnership with Pleasance & Theatre Royal Plymouth. The National Partnerships see the Pleasance work with important venues nationwide to identify, recognise and fund extraordinary work from across the UK to be presented at the festival.

“I’ve worked for many years as a publicist and love amplifying the work of others, but it feels so exciting to be following my own dreams and presenting my own work this year. Breathless is very personal to me, it took me a long time to realise I was hoarder as media narratives are so extreme, I hope I’m able to bring this topic to the fore through my storytelling at a festival I have loved for years.” Laura Horton – Writer – Breathless 

We’re so excited to present Laura’s first Fringe play as part of our regional partnership. Breathless is such a unique story and one I think will not only resonate but could affect real change in people that see it.” Nic Connaughton, Head of Theatre at Pleasance Theatre 

“Working with Pleasance Theatre Trust offers us such a vital opportunity to support artists from the far South West. Plymouth is a vibrant hub of creative talent but it can be hard to export work further afield, so the partnership is an invaluable pipeline that offer artists exposure, support and a chance to present their work to a range of audiences and industry in Edinburgh.” Ben Lyon-Ross,Talent Development Producer, Theatre Royal Plymouth.

Book your tickets HERE.

Upcoming events

Wednesday, July 17
Untitled design (13)
Bringing together four distinct painters – Bernadette Kerrigan, Chris Martin, Daniel Pettitt, and EJ Hauser – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today explores the formal and informal ways each of them make sense of the world through paint.
Saturday, July 20
Untitled design (25)
Hettie Judah, writer and exhibition curator, shares insights from her research for her book, Acts of Creation: On Art and Motherhood which explores the joys, messes, myths and mishaps of parenting through visual culture.
Wednesday, July 24
Untitled design (24)
Take a deeper lunchtime look into ‘The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure’.
Saturday, July 27
Untitled design (3)
Come and immerse yourselves in an exhibition that explores pivotal moments in Plymouth’s past and present relationship with the sea.

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