Bang Bang You're Dead

Bang Bang You’re Dead is largely based on a shooting in Oregon in 1998, in which a fifteen-year old boy killed his parents and then two of his fellow high school pupils, injuring many others at the same time, although it also contains references to other high school shootings of the same period. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the beginnings of school violence, which are not always easily seen.The play is about a boy named Josh who is in prison after killing his parents and five classmates. The ghosts of those classmates demand to know why he killed them . Josh refuses to answer so the ghosts seize Josh and push him into a coffin. They only let him out after he begs them and he then talks to them. They remind him of his first hunting trip when he killed a buck, even though he was almost overcome by the beauty of the animal. Afterwards he bitterly regretted killing it but at the same time enjoyed the respect he received from other hunters.The ghosts then recount their final day at school, which ends with Josh killing his parents and the five classmates. Their stories show how the initial cause was a trivial argument between Josh and another boy, which then escalated out of control. Or perhaps it had started years before, when Josh was first bullied and made fun of, causing him immense pain which nobody had ever taken seriously.The play powerfully evokes a sense of great loss for those whose lives were cut short – the chances of going to college, travelling the world, falling in love and having families. However, it also shows that Josh too has lost everything – he will now spend the rest of his life in prison and will never be able to do any of the things he’d dreamed about. Josh exclaims “I never thought I was taking away all that!”The intentions of the writer are that this play will reach out to potential killers and make them pause before taking their final step and realise what it means to kill someone. It also tells us that people shouldn’t be excluded or laughed at just because they’re a little bit different or slow. Overall, this is a very moving and thought-provoking production.

Reviews by Alan Chorley

History Boys

★★★★

Dracula

★★

Cherry Orchard

★★★★

Azincourt

★★★★

Secret Garden

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

European premiere of William Mastrosimone's brand new updated version of this Fringe First-winning worldwide phenomenon. Josh has killed five students and his parents. In the jail cell of his mind, they're back to know why.

Most Popular See More

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Grease the Musical

From £20.00

More Info

Find Tickets