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by James Fritz

It is with great regret that we announce that, due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, and following Government’s updated advice on 16 March, the Spring-Summer 2020 tour of LAVA has now been cancelled.

We will be working with our venue partners to reschedule the tour to a later date and hope to have further news soon. Our team has worked incredibly hard on LAVA, and the decision to cancel these events has not been taken lightly. If you have tickets for any LAVA performance the venue will be in touch with you.

“He can’t speak.” “What, at all?”
Boy meets girl. Boy can’t talk to girl.
And a small asteroid has hit the capital city.

It was ridiculous. Impossible. But it happened. As London adjusts to life after an unthinkable disaster, in a small town far away, a young man called Vin finds he can no longer speak. Is it shock? Grief? Or something else?

While Vin's mum Vicky struggles with a loss of her own, his friend Rach is determined to help him find a way out of silence. But when Rach’s family take in a charismatic and articulate survivor, who thinks talking – or even singing – about your suffering is the way to heal, Vin’s plight is suddenly eclipsed...

In a world that celebrates self expression, what happens to those who can’t express themselves? And what lengths will we go to to make sense of our sadness?

LAVA is written by award-winning playwright James Fritz (Four Minutes Twelve Seconds, Parliament Square, Ross & Rachel). Sharply funny and deeply moving, LAVA is a tender, necessary story about friendship and human connection in the face of the inexplicable.

Running time: 1hr 25 mins (no interval)
Age Guidance: 14 +

“a beautiful bit of visual storytelling … A compassionate, emotionally astute and often very funny play” ★★★★
The Stage

“The four actors are uniformly excellent” ★★★★
East Midlands Theatre

“James Fritz’s intelligent new play … purely gorgeous”
The Times

“Enigmatic and riveting”
Nottingham Post

“hypnotic from beginning to end”
Theatre World Internet Magazine

Tour Dates

The Spring-Summer 2020 tour was originally planned as follows:

23rd - 25th April:
Salisbury Playhouse (The Salberg), Salisbury

28th April - 2nd May:
Birmingham Rep (The door), Birmingham

5th - 16th May:
Soho Theatre (Main stage), London

19th - 20th May:
Theatre Royal Bath (Ustinov), Bath

21st - 23rd May:
Nottingham Playhouse (Neville), Nottingham

2nd - 6th June:
Theatre Royal Plymouth (The Drum), Plymouth

10th -12th June
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

16th – 20th June:
Oxford Playhouse (Burton Taylor Studio), Oxford

Watch: Lava in Rehearsals

Watch: Writer James Fritz tells us about his new play LAVA


About James

James Fritz is a multi-award-winning writer from South London, whose plays for stage and radio include Four Minutes Twelve Seconds, Parliament Square, Ross & Rachel, Start Swimming, The Fall, Comment Is Free, Death of A Cosmonaut and Lava. He has won the Critics Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright, a Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting and the Imison and Tinniswood BBC Audio Drama Awards, the first time a writer has won both in the same year. He has also been nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre, a BBC Radio Award for Best Single Drama, and was named runner-up in the 2013 Verity Bargate Award. He is a graduate of both the Channel Four Screenwriting Program and the BBC TV Drama Writers Program and has a number of original television series in development.

Artistic Team

  • Writer: James Fritz
  • Director: Angharad Jones
  • Associate Director: Laura Ford
  • Designer: Amy Jane Cook
  • Lighting Designer: Alexandra Stafford
  • Sound Designer:  Dan Balfour
  • AV Designer: Louise Rhoades-Brown
  • Dramaturg: Nic Wass
  • Casting Director:  Christopher Worrall

Compassionate, warm and funny

The Stage


The four actors are uniformly excellent

East Midlands Theatre

Enigmatic and riveting

Nottingham Post

James Fritz’s intelligent new play

The Times

James Fritz’s work is current without straining for topicality. His plays have a knack of anticipating the zeitgeist, becoming more rather than less relevant over time.

The Guardian

Hypnotic from beginning to end

Theatre World Internet Magazine

A co-production with:

Commissioned and developed by Fifth Word in association with:

Supported by: