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Punk at the theatre

The playwright Simon Stephens is a rebel at the heart of British theatre

By Michael Coveney   February 2013

Women are shown as deer in Stephens’s Three Kingdoms (2011), a play about sex trafficking © Ene Liis Semper

The most prolific playwright of our new century, 41-year-old Simon Stephens, sits at the very centre of new British theatre, a ubiquitous activist who believes in “making” theatre, not writing it, relishing what he calls “the gang mentality” involved.

Port, which opens at the end of January at the National Theatre, defines Stephens’s talent and areas of interest almost perfectly. A story of growing up and escape in his native Stockport,…

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