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The Shallow End


by Doug Lucie

The Southwark Playhouse

February 2012

A Stone Junction Production



The Shallow End is a hilarious, biting satire that attacks the mercenary agenda in the UK’s media. Set in the 90s, amidst the wedding celebrations of a media mogul’s daughter, the axe is about to be wielded. The old-guard of a recently taken-over broadsheet paper are presented with the dilemma of yielding to the philosophy of the new regime, thus compromising their own professional and moral values, or be ousted from it.

Unmasking a heightened world of seduction and power, The Shallow End walks the stark moral battle lines that were drawn at the dawn of a new age in British media.

"Politics won't improve the world, neither will sport or any of the things you revere, no - only art and learning will do that". Alison Troop, The SE 

Director's Note


My first major test as a Director - massive cast, big venue and the mother of vicious attacks on the press in The Shallow End. Also had the honour of working alongside the playwright himself Doug Lucie - a true artist and champion for saying the bloody truth!

We went on at the height of the Leveson Inquiry and this was really a project about engaging with society ...adding to the arguments flying around the country and to remind people of the power of art as, incredibly, The Shallow End was written 15 years before the press scandal broke and predicted, with unwavering accuracy, what was to come.

We attracted a lot of flak from certain corners but audience feedback was great and Doug said it was the best production of his play yet. What we failed in, I feel, was how we marketed the play. Expectations were for a balanced discourse rather than the moral bloodletting which ensued.

“In 1997 The Shallow End was condemned across much of the media when it premiered for being hysterically negative and just plain inaccurate. “How could any successful business be so dysfunctional and borderline criminal?” they asked…  In light of recent revelations, it’s clear that it was pretty much spot on, and that my depiction of the company’s philosophy and business practice didn’t go far enough.” -Doug Lucie, Playwright of The Shallow End.

Cast and Crew


Andy Taylor, Mario Demetriou, Luke Trebilcock, Alex Nash,

Stephen Chance, Krissi Mcquillam, Seamus Newham, Daniel Benoliel,

Louise Templeton, Max Warrick, Olivier Blanc, Jim Barclay,

Nelly Kaligas and the dulcet tones of James Tweedy.


Operator and Stage Manager - Natalie Gunzle

Designer - Kev Rice

Lighting Designer- Jethro Compton

Sound Designer- Ed Lewis

Costume Designer- Zahra Mansouri

The Telegraph


“This is an entertaining and pacey production. It emphasises the ruthlessness of the executives in charge (‘I’ve got a lot of people to sack before dinner’); the connection between writing and power; and the many questions surrounding free speech: ‘Don’t confuse freedom of the press with freedom of the people,’ scoffs one of the paper’s editors.” 


The Evening Standard

“There are deliciously snappy one-liners and laugh-out-loud moments.” 


One Stop Arts

“This accomplished production has a lot to say to an audience that has wised up to the machinations of the Murdochs and Bransons of this world. This is certainly not a feel-good play, but it's wickedly caustic, played with callous glee and very enjoyable to take in” 


Broadway World

“I found myself alternately laughing and wincing as the barbs bit - and that's a mark of great satire.” 

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