Ella’s play premieres in Southampton

Boys is being performed at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton from May 16-26.
Boys is being performed at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton from May 16-26.
Joe Pasquale as Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em. Picture: Michael Wharley

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Ella Hickson has been causing quite a stir since her debut play in 2008, Eight, won a Fringe First, The Carol Tambor Best Of Edinburgh Award and was nominated for an Evening Standard Award.

Fresh from graduating university in Edinburgh, Ella quickly became a nationally known playwright, and the play toured New York and London’s Trafalgar Studios.

Her following plays – Precious Little Talent, Soup and Hot Mess – have also gone on to critical acclaim.

Now Ella’s newest play, Boys, is being premiered at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton from May 16-17, just around the corner from where the young writer spent a lot of time growing up with her father, who lives on Hayling Island.

She says: ‘I spent weekends and summer holidays there, although I mainly lived with my mum in Guildford. I spent all my summers there, so a lot of time.

‘It will be interesting being close to somewhere I know so well!’

She adds: ‘My dad is going to come along which will be nice, so all my family will get to see it. I should be staying with my dad on Hayling as well because I will be there for its opening.’

Her latest offering, Boys, draws from her own experiences of knowing people as they graduated university.

Ella explains: ‘It’s about these boys who graduated and the challenges that face all these people in a recession. It’s about them growing up and accepting their responsibilities.

‘I put up with a bunch of boys for a while so I understood the way they were thinking.

I think we have ended up with a generation of people in this situation. I was around them and saw how tough it was for them after they finished university.’

Following on from the success of her first play, Ella never expected this kind of attention for her work.

She says: ‘It was a really nice surprise when it did so well! But it meant I had to learn very quickly afterwards.

‘Some days I think I love it and some days I think I hate it. I think it depends on the day. It’s a lot of work and it’s very solitary. You have to push yourself right out of your comfort zone.’

With the opening of Boys only days away, Ella already has more ideas in mind for her next play.

She adds: ‘I’ve got two or three in development so lots more to come. The next few plays are much more political, so it’s an interesting difference.’

Tickets cost £10.50 to £19 from the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton on (023) 8067 1771 or go to nuffieldtheatre.co.uk.