We release a new episode of The Painkiller Podcast once a fortnight. You can subscribe to the podcast on all podcasting platforms including Apple, Spotify and Google Podcasts. Other platforms can be found by clicking here. You can also listen below.

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7. People Watching

 

Written by Liam Kelly. Directed by Hew Rous-Eyre. Sound by Piers Sherwood-Roberts. Cast: Steffan Rhodri (This House, Gavin and Stacey)

"Gaze upon this non-entity dragging his feet past HMV. F**king odourless fart. Utterly unremarkable. All the charisma of a deflated colostomy bag. Take a good gander because you’re looking at the future Prime Minister."

John Bull likes to watch people. He sees everything: every dirty little secret and every skeleton in the closet. People make assumptions about him, but if they knew what he knew, they might think again.

People Watching is a caustic comedy that asks what we can ever hope to know about the people we pass on the street - and what they might know about us.

6. Severance Package

 

Written by Freddie van der Velde. Directed by Hannah de Ville. Sound by Piers Sherwood-Roberts. Cast: Nicola Coughlan (Derry Girls) and Kate Stokes.

Despite giving her life to an investment bank - financial analyst and modafinil guzzler Olivia May is being made redundant. Furious with the decision, she refuses to leave until she gets what she’s owed.

Severance Package is an explosive comedy that explores our relationship with wealth, privilege and grapefruit knives.

5. O Sister Where Art Thou?

 

Written by Will Farrell. Directed by Max Elton. Sound by Charlie Pelling. Cast: Justin Edwards (The Thick of It) and Charlotte Ritchie (Fresh Meat).

 

When Liz decides to track down her long-lost brother she turns to a private investigator. Martin Hooper, (P.I.) is more than happy to take the case but before long Liz is faced with an uncomfortable truth…Martin might not be the best sleuth for the job.

 

O Sister, Where Art Thou? is a comic and outlandish record of a troubling yet entirely fictitious case.

4. Smoking Reduces Fertility

 

Written by Ella Thompson. Directed by Grace Vaughan. Sound by Piers Sherwood-Roberts. Cast: Jessica Barden (The End of the F****ing World) and Noma Dumezweni (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child).

 

Laura has a secret which has changed everything.

 

It has caused her to question her perfectly put together life and to leave her daughter with the nanny.

 

Smoking Reduces Fertility is a sharp portrayal of motherhood and a foreboding glimpse into the minds of two women on the edge

3. The Last Manicure

 

Written by Amy Baty. Directed by Max Elton. Sound by Piers Sherwood-Roberts. Cast: Miriam Margolyes (The Age of Innocence, Harry Potter, Romeo + Juliet)

“Nails don’t get wrinkles. My hands look like walnuts but my nails could be anyone's."

Harriet is 78 years old. She gets her nails done every week so she can sit opposite Tien. A beautician who is too young to mention.

 

When they unexpectedly find themselves alone, both women sense an opportunity but how will they make every second count?

 

The Last Manicure is a darkly comic play about desire and the brutality of aging.

2. A Case of Mistaken Identity

 

Written by Gus Crotty. Directed by Max Elton. Sound by Marcus Rice. Cast: Toby Jones (Berberian Sound Studio, Marvellous, The Birthday Party, Uncle Vanya) and Owen Teale (Game of Thrones, Rutherford and Son).

 

“People die doing the most ridiculous things. Changing TV aerials, falling out of the window putting their trousers on. Doing crosswords.”

 On a park bench, Michael is joined by a man of grotesque proportions who has clearly mistaken him for someone else.

 

A Case of Mistaken Identity is an absurd and witty vignette, that explores the dark matter of…wrong place, wrong time.

1. Stuff

 

Written by Alison Carr. Directed by Max Elton. Sound by Piers Sherwood-Roberts. Cast: Sophie Thompson (Feel Good, Present Laughter (Old Vic), Four Weddings and a Funeral).

 

Hello? Are you squished? Have I squelched you?

 

When a woman’s bath falls through the floor into the flat below, she meets her downstairs neighbour for the very first time.

 

Stuff is a witty and surreal reminder that we never know what the insides of other people’s homes look like and asks how far we might go for some space.

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