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Ezra England - Nuclear Children Interview

Nuclear Children, written by Ezra England, directed by Seán Linnen, is a dark comedy about mental health, a submarine accident and a melon.

Following the death of her father Isla is struggling to cope; plagued with intrusive thoughts and her deteriorating mental health, she runs away to university in the hope of staying sane.

As Isla finally begins to find her feet, her world, quite literally, stops making sense.

Photo by Alex Brenner

Ahead of the Edinburgh Fringe I caught up with writer and performer Ezra England to discuss the show.

What inspired the piece?
It initially started as a monologue to use for drama school auditions; then in the first lockdown I got furloughed and decided to keep writing & see where it went. I’d always wanted to write my own work, and exploring mental health & complex family dynamics were things I knew I wanted to focus on. 
How did you approach the development of the show?
Trial and error! Writing lots of drafts, stressing, bit of crying, lots of help from some amazing people (Theatre West, Mike Akers, Milli Bhatia, Platform Presents, Seàn Linnen), lots of re writing, questioning my sense of humour, giving up, starting again, giving up again, sacrificing brain cells and skiving off work to have enough time to write. 
Did you put any of your own personal experiences in the writing?
Sometimes! But I think there’s a balance to be found with exploring your own experiences through the eyes of another person, so anything personal becomes almost indirect and often easier to understand. I think the distance writing can give you actually helps bring those experiences closer in a very cathartic way. 

Photo by Alex Brenner

How do you manage to balance the themes of the show and create something that connects with an audience?
I think luckily mental health and grief are already quite unifying themes, the challenge was more about exploring these & doing them justice through the lens of one character and her family. Comedy massively helps to connect these big themes and humanises them in ways that make them feel relatable; so many of us use humour as a tool to cope, because it works. 
What do you want an audience to take away from seeing the show?
Nothing- please don’t touch the set.
Can you describe the show in 3 words?
Family, grief, madness 

Nuclear Children plays at the Edinburgh Fringe at Pleasance Courtyard The Attic from 2nd - 28th August at 2.05pm. Tickets are available from

Photo by Alex Brenner

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