Sieges, riots, serial killings, sex work … Alecky Blythe has put them all on stage. She reveals all about her latest project – an epic look at the comic ups and touching downs of teenagers across Britain today

The first sight of Alecky Blythe’s new play, Our Generation, comes via a trailer on YouTube, which seems apt for a drama that aspires to take the pulse of today’s teenagers. Out it pours in the words of 12 young people from across the UK, whose comic ups and touching downs have been meticulously recorded over five years, with every stumble and repetition left intact. “I’m an only child, it’s just me, my mum, my cat, my dog and my deceased chicken,” explains one girl. Another frets: “I have a really itchy roof of my mouth. I think I have hay fever. I’ve gotta be at 100% health so I can watch Love Island.” Yet another bubbles: “I wanna go hajj so bad. And Australia. I wanna get a tan.”

A play by Blythe has become a bit of an event – ever since, weary of trying to find an agent, the home counties-born actor turned to writing in an attempt to jump-start her stalled career. She specialises in verbatim pieces, created from recorded interviews, applying the same listening skills to scenarios as wildly various as the 2011 London riots, a talent contest in Stoke-on-Trent and a brothel for mature women in Bournemouth. “I got to a stage where I wasn’t getting much acting work, and I fell in love with [writing verbatim plays], because, well, you couldn’t make it up,” she says. “As an actor, I found real joy in the fact that you could play parts that maybe you wouldn’t normally play. It really opens up your range. And I discovered that I could do it.”

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