Solid Air

Produced by

Theatre Royal Plymouth

Written by

Doug Lucie


Look, here we are with time to kill, enough hash brownies to get the entire population of Oxford high and two guitars. Let’s just jam, man, like the old days.

An Oxford College Ball, June 1973. Genius folk musician John Martyn is on the bill and he’s brought along his equally brilliant friend, Nick Drake. Despite their wildly different natures – John is a maverick; charming, brash and reckless, whilst Nick is shy and pensive – the two are close friends. But whereas Martyn’s career has taken off with the release of his groundbreaking album, Solid Air, Nick’s has stalled after his last effort, Pink Moon. And he doesn’t want to talk about it.

Backstage, between sets, the two musicians hook up with an unlikely crew – Ball Committee Rep, Anthony Blair, his date Sarah (who has dreams of joining the RSC), anti-ball protestor Dave (who isn’t supposed to be there) and off-duty Special Forces squaddie, George. Fuelled by hash brownies, crates of alcohol, lobster and crisps, the party spend a reflective night bantering, bickering, making music and singing.

Exploring themes of artistic purity vs commercial realism, social mobility and friendship, Solid Air is a funny and moving play echoing sentiments of today’s social disparity


Theatre Royal Plymouth
Thursday 7th – Saturday 23rd November 2013


“Solid Air is a superb, beautiful, thought provoking piece of new theatre that rewards the audience from the moment they walk in until the final applause has died away”
The Public Reviews


“…a theatrical treat, well written and brilliantly acted. An absolute triumph which stays with you long after the lights go up”
Western Morning News


Alice Bailey Johnson

John Martyn
Sean Biggerstaff

Nick Drake
Tom Clegg

Anthony Blair
Phil Elstob

Jim English

Joe Sims

Creative Team

Mike Bradwell

Set and Costume Designer
Bob Bailey

Sound Designer
Gregory Clarke

Lighting Designer
Jason Taylor

Assistant Director
Jennifer Tang

Casting Director
Lucy Jenkins (McShane Casting)