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Never Any Fruit

    by Dougie Blaxland

Winner: The Watermill Theatre, Raising New Voices, Best New Play, 2010


Drama Play Script: 'Never Any Fruit' by Dougie Blaxland

Set in London in the present day the play is based on a true story, although the characters’ names and specific details of their lives have been changed at the request of their families.

In this compelling two-hander, Isla Rose Lancaster a struggling young singer in her early 20’s meets Jack Lane, a brilliant but deeply unusual young man who has just completed a PhD in Mathematics at Cambridge University.

The reason for their encounter is that both have been referred to the Rosenberg Clinic in London for clinical trials. They are suffering from a particularly rare and aggressive form of cancer which has not responded to conventional treatments and the hope is that the untried drug will save their lives.

Initially it appears that having a virulent form of cancer is all they have in common. Jack’s obsession with numerical calculation and complex equations is as alien to Isla Rose as her scatty and bohemian life is to him. Yet beneath the cloak of their many differences lies a deeply felt and unifying need to explore and understand their own mortality.

For Isla Rose whose family and friends have conspired to avoid discussing death or dying in her presence, Jack’s blunt honesty about his situation is as refreshing as it is cathartic. For Jack the opportunity to engage in intimate exchange with a fellow human unlocks feelings he never knew he had.

Whilst the play deals with a dark and difficult situation it does so with great humanity and much good humour. 

Time Out described the play as “a poignant, gripping and intensely powerful piece of theatre"


1hr 15mins approx (without interval)


(1m, 1f)

  • Isla Rose Lancaster - 20, a struggling young singer from a conventional middle class background. She likes to think of herself as a free spirit but in reality finds it hard to shake off the influences of her upbringing. Held back by severe dyslexia she finds it hard and to come to terms with fears that her parents favour her academically successful younger sister. She suffers from a rare and usually fatal form of Melanoma
  • Jack Lane - 19, a young man with an obsession for figures and symbols; he is a brilliant mathematician and is completing his PhD at Cambridge University. His literal interpretation of events and social situations suggest that he suffers from Asperger Syndrome. He has also been diagnosed with Melanoma

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