Young Everyman Playhouse graduates star in new dark comedy

Graduates of the award-winning Young Everyman Playhouse (YEP) will take centre stage in the world premiere of a brand new coming of age play in June. 

‘Our Town Needs a Nandos’, written by Samantha O’Rourke, deals with sexuality, female friendship, threats to young women, class, relationships and explores the hearts and minds of teenage girls trapped in their small seaside town. It is directed by Ameera Conrad. 

Samantha wrote the play during her time at the Young Everyman Playhouse as a writer.  

She said: “When I wrote the play I was working in a high school and met so many brilliant, bold young women and I knew I wanted to write something which celebrated them.  

“It’s such a tough time – particularly when you don’t see yourself in stories – and especially when you’re from a place where no one expects much from you.  

“So, it feels really amazing and kind of radical to have a play on the main stage centring those girls.  

“You can expect lots of laughs, some big questions about how society treats young women and hopefully capturing the joy and chaos of being a teenager.” 

Samantha is currently based in North Wales. She is developing her first feature support by Ffilm Cymru and a comedy series for Channel 4 Drama. 

She was also recently selected as part of a BFI Flare x BAFTA mentoring programme, and said that her time with Young Everyman Playhouse was vital to her becoming the writer she is today. 

Samantha said: “I always say YEP is the reason I was able to do this as a job, I didn’t know anyone who worked in the arts or how you would actually go about becoming a writer!  

“YEP offered me a community of peers, the chance to write for actors, see a load of theatre and work with the most supportive literary department who really believed in me, it was properly life changing.” 

The Young Everyman Playhouse is currently celebrating its 10-year anniversary

The young cast for Our Town Needs A Nandos includes three YEP Actor Graduates. 

The main cast of Our Town Needs a Nandos. Top row from left to right: Nadia Anim, Chloe Hughes, Mali O'Donnell. Bottom row from left to right: Kalli Tant, Jada-Li Warrican.

Nadia Anim, who plays the character Zahidah, is passionate about representations for diverse and mixed-heritage characters, being of Malaysian-Chinese-Indian descent herself. Originally a dancer, Nadia stepped into acting through Musical Theatre. 

Chloe Hughes, playing Ellie, has been a member of the Young Everyman Playhouse for over 10 years. She recently played Macbeth in a brand-new youth led take on William Shakespeare’s Scottish tragedy. 

Welsh RADA graduate Mali O’Donnell will take to the stage as Rachel. She has been a number of theatre productions and has acted in award-winning BBC show Casualty. 

Kalli Tant, whose character is called Beth, is an emerging young actress and was recently in the BBC series The Responder, which stars award-winning actors such as Martin Freeman. 

LIPA graduate Jada-Li Warrican plays Chloe. She directed and hosted Blackball Showcase, an annual Performing Arts event cultivated around Black History month. In the last year she has raised over £500, all of which were donated to Talawa Theatre company and UK Black Pride. 

Our Town Needs A Nandos is at the Liverpool Everyman from 23rd June to 2nd July. Tickets priced £10 to £20 are available now at  

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