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by James Fritz

LAVA premiered in the Neville studio in June 2018 at Nottingham Playhouse. Nottingham Playhouse’s first studio production under Adam Penford’s tenure as artistic director.

LAVA will be touring in 2019. Interested venues please contact Corinne Salisbury for further details.

Watch: Audience Reactions

Watch: Lava in Rehearsals

Watch: Writer James Fritz tells us about his new play LAVA

Boy meets girl. Boy can’t talk to girl. And a small asteroid has hit the capital city.

It was ridiculous. Impossible. But it happened. As London adjusts to life after an unthinkable disaster, in a small town far away, a young man called Vin finds he can no longer speak. Is it shock? Grief? Or something else?

While Vin's mum Vicky struggles with a loss of her own, his friend Rach is determined to help him find a way out of silence. But when Rach’s family take in a charismatic and articulate survivor, who thinks talking – or even singing – about your suffering is the way to heal, Vin’s plight is suddenly eclipsed...

In a world that celebrates self expression, what happens to those who can’t express themselves? And what lengths will we go to to make sense of our sadness?

'Lava' is written by award-winning playwright James Fritz (Ross & Rachel, Parliament Square). Sharply funny and deeply moving, 'Lava’ is a tender, necessary story about friendship and human connection in the face of the inexplicable.

About James

James's first full-length play, FOUR MINUTES TWELVE SECONDS, was runner-up of the Soho Theatre's 2013 Verity Bargate Award. It was nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre before transferring to Trafalgar Studios in 2015. It then won him the “Most Promising Playwright” prize at the Critics Circle Theatre Awards 2015.

His other plays include ROSS & RACHEL (“a virtuosic piece of writing” Time Out) which opened to critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015, and PARLIAMENT SQUARE, which won a Bruntwood Prize in 2015. He is the recipient of a 2016 residency at the BANFF playwrights Colony in Canada, and will also be on attachment to the National Theatre in 2016.

Artistic Team

  • Writer: James Fritz
  • Director: Angharad Jones
  • Associate Director: Laura Ford
  • Designer: Amy Jane Cook
  • Lighting Designer: Alexandra Stafford
  • Sound Designer:  Dan Balfour
  • AV Designer: Louise Rhoades-Brown
  • Dramaturg: Nic Wass
  • Casting Director:  Christopher Worrall

Compassionate, warm and funny

The Stage


The four actors are uniformly excellent

East Midlands Theatre

Enigmatic and riveting

Nottingham Post

James Fritz’s intelligent new play

The Times

James Fritz’s work is current without straining for topicality. His plays have a knack of anticipating the zeitgeist, becoming more rather than less relevant over time.

The Guardian

Hypnotic from beginning to end

Theatre World Internet Magazine

A co-production with:

Commissioned and developed by Fifth Word in association with:

Supported by: