The highs and lows of owning your own home

A house. A fence. Three men and a dog. Some ancient hatreds, questionable friendships – and a man in pain looking for relief…When John decides to leave the home he’s lived in his whole life, he gives it to his best friend John. But when he returns to reclaim it, everything is not as it was: Shirley the milkman keeps changing jobs, John has redecorated the house and refuses to leave and the pain in his groin that’s troubled him for decades has suddenly come back. In the power struggle that follows some uncomfortable truths about friendship, loyalty and bearing a grudge all come to the surface.

An absurd dark comedy that exposes the dangerous place deep-held yet barely understood feelings can go, how the seeds of mistrust and manipulation grow into deceit and betrayal, and how going on a quest to find yourself can sometimes leave you completely lost (and won’t necessarily cure the pain)


An early draft of the play was given a rehearsed reading with an all-female cast at the Shunt Arch in Bethnal Green in 2004. Hannah Ringham played John, Amber Sealey John 2 and Gemma Brockis Shirley. Glen Neath directed


A second reading at the BAC, on 18 March 2005, featured septuagenarians John Ringham and Godfrey Jackman as John and John 2 and Patrick Driver as Shirley. Mark Espiner directed


The first act was shown at 'A Life Affirming Joyride Vol. 1', curated by Ant Hampton, at the Hackney Empire, on 13 January 2006, with the same cast & director. Lizzie Clachan designed the set. Costumes by Charlotte Espiner. Lighting by Chris Umney


The play premiered at ACUD-Theater, Veteranenstrasse 21, Berlin, Germany on 28,29 March 2019, to mark the moment of the UK’s misplaced rebellion and historic and catastrophic folly. acud-theater.de


Darren Smith played John, Jef Burrell John 2 and Stephen Jacob Shirley. Mark Espiner directed. Set and costumes by Charlotte Espiner. Lighting by Chris Umney


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