Roxy Cook’s Theatre503 Premiere!

Moscow, August 2018. The World Cup has just ended, and it has been a roaring success. Free Metro travel. Parties in the square. The police, the ones with guns, they were smiling! People finally saw that yeah, it’s okay over here and no, it doesn’t snow in the summer, it’s actually very warm. And wait, did we mention it was an incident free event? But when an old woman walks into a bank, she is conned into taking out a high interest loan which she immediately forgets all about. A catastrophic series of events are set in motion…with only her cat Sally to bear witness. 

Londoners, get down to Theatre503! Roxy Cook’s A Woman Walks Into A Bank opens on 21st November for a three-week run, after winning the Theatre503 International Playwriting Award. Roxy began writing in 2019, after 5 years of directing new writing for theatre: she was Associate Director on Olivier award winning Rotterdam at Theatre503, Assistant Director on Describe the Night and The Majority, and Director on Happy to Help. A Woman Walks Into a Bank is Roxy’s first play, and was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Playwriting (2021) and longlisted for the Bruntwood Prize and Verity Bargate Award (2022). 

Speaking to us about the play’s journey, Roxy has said… 

“A Woman Walks Into a Bank starts with a true story, something that did really happen to my grandmother living in Moscow. She walked into a bank looking for help and was conned into taking out a high interest loan that she forgot all about. The rest is a sort of modern Russian fairytale I’ve imagined. A small starting point that becomes a much bigger story – a journey through modern Moscow and modern Russian society. But this time through the eyes of ordinary Russians. 

I started scratching the play just before Covid and then finished Act 2 in lockdown – little votes of confidence like being longlisted for the Bruntwood Prize in 2022 kept me going, along with great steers from script readers. It’s such a privilege to now bring it to life with a brilliant company. It’s an energetic, whirlwind romp and so we’ve been working on building an ensemble of storytellers who can take us through this world with physicality and immediacy. And as a play about Russia so we don’t want it to get too heavy. There’s a dash of absurdity, plenty of dark humour, and a talking cat!” 

Congratulation Roxy, and break a leg to all involved! 

A Woman Walks Into A Bank plays from 21st November – 9th December at Theatre503. Tickets available here. 

Published on:
3 Nov 2023


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