Build a Rocket at the Edinburgh Fringe

11 May 2018

Build A Rocket, a new play about teenage pregnancy by NSDF alumnus Christopher York, and starring alumnus Serena Manteghi, is the first time that Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre will go to the Edinburgh Fringe.

Hard-hitting yet uplifting, Build a Rocket, by Scarborough-born writer Christopher York, will be seen at the Pleasance Courtyard in Edinburgh throughout August.

A one-woman show directed by the SJT’s Artistic Director Paul Robinson, it tells the story of Yasmin, played by Serena Manteghi, who audiences will remember as LV in last year’s hit production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.

It will have a single performance at the Latitude Festival in Suffolk on at 3.30pm on 13 July before returning to the SJT for two previews at 7.45pm on 24 and 25 July, which will be ‘pay what you decide’ shows, an exciting first outing for such a scheme at the SJT.

It then heads to Edinburgh’s Pleasance Courtyard from 1 to 27 August (4.30pm each day, including Sundays), before returning to Scarborough for 10 performances between 31 August and 8 September.

Paul Robinson said: “I couldn’t be more excited about this play, a stunning debut about a teenager from Scarborough who gets pregnant decides to keep her baby.

“It doesn’t flinch from the issues. Scarborough is the teenage pregnancy capital of North Yorkshire, accounting for more than a third of all such pregnancies in the county last year. There’s a proven relationship between teenage pregnancy and deprivation. But a record number of young women in this town are stepping up to take on the role of parent. Young people should never face stigma or judgment and deserve to get the support they need to make informed choices about their lives.

“But this isn’t a play that deals in statistics or overt politics. Instead, it’s like a rocket itself, an explosive and passionate portrait of a young heroine of our times.”

Christopher York was born and brought up in Scarborough. His short plays Jimbob, Seven People, A Million Little Hands and Jesus is a Rochdale Girl have been performed at venues such as The Arcola, Southwark Playhouse and The Arts Theatre.

He is a recipient of the High Tide First Commissions Award as well as being shortlisted for the Old Vic 12.

Serena Manteghi played Rosie in My Mother Said I Never Should at St James Theatre, and was Bobbie in the Olivier-Award-winning York Theatre Royal production of The Railway Children at King’s Cross Theatre.

For further information on Build A Rocket, and to book, please visit: or


For further media information, please contact Jeannie Swales on [email protected] or on 07968 953737