Strikingly moving Ikaria coming to Whitley Bay
19th-21st October – Laurel’s in Whitley Bay
Writer-director Philippa Lawford’s debut play Ikaria is set to tour the UK this autumn, after a
critically acclaimed London run in 2022. When romance blossoms between two university
students from different walks of life, the giddy excitement of a first love is at first
preoccupying and then stifling as the pair contend with their ultimate place in the world that
lies ahead. Strikingly moving, Ikaria is an illustration of how we can find salvation in someone
After taking a year out, Simon (James Wilbraham) has returned to university, determined to
get on with his finals and not slip back into old, destructive habits. Mia (Andrea Gatchalian), a
first-year, is embracing the explosive freedom of life away from home. While seemingly from
different worlds, the two easily slide into a relationship, spending every night together in
Simon’s messy dorm room, staying up later and later, not going out, and skipping tutorials.
Mia is initially happy to sink into Simon’s nocturnal habit of living, until she begins to question
whether this makes her happy – and whether it makes Simon happy as well.
Ikaria is a heartfelt look at the gritty reality of loving and caring for somebody who cannot
love and care for themselves. Swept up in a dizzying romance, Simon and Mia find solace
from the pressures of the outside world in Simon’s bedroom, a space which begins to reflect the growing unrest infiltrating their relationship. Set against the backdrop of university, as young adults begin to question their place in the world, Ikaria presents a nuanced look at
mental health and the coexistence of love and self-destruction.
The show received a runner-up award for the 2022 ATG/Platform Presents Playwrights’ Prize,
an OFFIE Short Run Commendation and came in at number two of Broadway World’s ‘Best
Theatre of 2022’ List.
Philippa comments, I was 24 when I wrote Ikaria – three years after leaving uni. I’ve tried to be
as accurate as possible about what it felt like to be a student – how exciting and romantic it
felt, and also the dizzying fear of feeling like an adult for the first time, fully able to make all
your own mistakes. It’s been wonderful working with such talented actors and with my
fantastic associate director Izzy Parriss as we’ve built the detailed world of the play inside
The show will begin its tour in York before visiting Mold, Stafford, Guildford, Belfast, Whitley
Bay, and London.
Previous Praise for Ikaria
★★★★★ Theatrical gold… a hugely promising debut, Broadway World
★★★★ A well-crafted rollercoaster of love, depression and self-destruction, One Show More
★★★★ Brilliant, pointed writing, Always Time for Theatre
★★★★ A powerful, poignant, and important piece of work, The Peg
★★★★ Quietly devastating, The Reviews Hub