Modern Love Story Ikaria Announced for York

Writer-director Philippa Lawford’s debut play Ikaria is set to tour the UK this autumn, after a critically acclaimed London run in 2022. When romance blossoms between two university students from different walks of life, the giddy excitement of a first love is at first preoccupying and then stifling as the pair contend with their ultimate place in the world that lies ahead. Strikingly moving, Ikaria is an illustration of how we can find salvation in someone else.

After taking a year out, Simon (James Wilbraham) has returned to university, determined to get on with his finals and not slip back into old, destructive habits. Mia (Andrea Gatchalian), a first-year, is embracing the explosive freedom of life away from home. While seemingly from different worlds, the two easily slide into a relationship, spending every night together in
Simon’s messy dorm room, staying up later and later, not going out, and skipping tutorials. Mia is initially happy to sink into Simon’s nocturnal habit of living, until she begins to question whether this makes her happy – and whether it makes Simon happy as well. Ikaria is a heartfelt look at the gritty reality of loving and caring for somebody who cannot love and care for themselves. Swept up in a dizzying romance, Simon and Mia find solace from the pressures of the outside world in Simon’s bedroom, a space which begins to reflect the growing unrest infiltrating their relationship.

Set against the backdrop of university, as young adults begin to question their place in the world, Ikaria presents a nuanced look at mental health and the coexistence of love and self-destruction.

The show received a runner-up award for the 2022 ATG/Platform Presents Playwrights’ Prize, an OFFIE Short Run Commendation and came in at number two of Broadway World’s ‘Best Theatre of 2022’ List.

Philippa comments, “I was 24 when I wrote Ikaria – three years after leaving uni. I’ve tried to be as accurate as possible about what it felt like to be a student – how exciting and romantic it felt, and also the dizzying fear of feeling like an adult for the first time, fully able to make all your own mistakes. It’s been wonderful working with such talented actors and with my
fantastic associate director Izzy Parriss as we’ve built the detailed world of the play inside Simon’s bedroom.”

The show will begin its tour in York at 41 Monkgate on Septembr 16th before visiting Mold, Stafford, Guildford, Belfast, Whitley Bay and London.