by Jane Upton

“She doesn’t feel like my mum. She doesn’t do things mums do. She gets leathered and smacked up and tries to shag my mates."


Nineteen-year-old Mark is living a life he never signed up to. Heavy with the weight of caring for his broken mum and her baby, and pining for a past of Panda Pops, eggy bread and Brian Clough, Mark knows he has to do something drastic to change things forever – but will he make a chilling choice that will change things forever?

Buy a copy of the script from Playdead Press


Joe Doherty


  • Left Lion

    The script has flashes of brilliance, juxtaposing the vulnerable boy in need of a father figure to the furious adolescent

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  • The Nottingham Evening Post

    Upstairs at the Playhouse, the recently named John Neville Room was packed for this one; and rightly so. But it makes a harrowing forty-five minutes.

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  • The Stage

    Bones will have the senses reeling, emotions struck numb. Its portrait of a teenage boy contemplating how best to kill a baby is as uncompromising a piece of theatre as this reviewer has seen.

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  • Three Weeks

    storytelling to perfection… shockingly realistic Left me agape in wide-eyed awe

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  • Fest Mag

    ‘Believable, powerful and quite genuinely heartbreaking’ ‘A superlative performance from Joe Doherty’ ‘Explosive debut production from playwright Jane Upton’

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  • This is a stunning piece of theatre that will have you glued to your seat A really memorable and special experience

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  • an intense and very rewarding piece

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  • The Public Reviews

    ‘Compelling, thought provoking, emotive, challenging…’ ‘an emerging actor with unquestionable talent’

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  • poignant, sincere and unrelenting throughout

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  • Bones is at times funny, brutal and scarily honest

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  • Bones is utterly convincing in its portrayal of lives blighted by poverty and violence, by damage handed down like some kind of hellish inheritance, and in facing the ugliness head on, it challenges not only its audience but society as a whole.

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Artistic Team

  • Director(s): Angharad Jones & Laura Ford
  • Writer: Jane Upton
  • Associate Producer: Dep Arts
  • Design: Nathan Rose
  • Lighting: Nic Holdridge
  • Sound: Martin Iveson
  • Projection Design: Vent Media


Nottingham Nottingham Playhouse
Doncaster Doncaster Little Theatre
Harrogate Harrogate Theatre
Derby Derby Theatre
Oxford Oxford Playhouse
Cheltenham Everyman Theatre
Mansfield Create Theatre
Hull Hull Truck
Leeds Stage@Leeds
Cardiff Chapter
Peterborough Key Theatre
Bracknell South Hill Park
Exeter Bike Shed
Stamford Stamford Arts Centre
Norwich The Garage
Corby The Core at Corby Cube
Liverpool Unity Theatre
London Tristan Bates Theatre

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