“You haven’t got it, have you? You all talk about engaging with the youth of today, encouraging us to step up to the ballot; well we ain’t interested. Not because we don’t understand, or because we’re all too fuckin’ idle or stupid, but because it has fuck all to do with us. Why am I going to dance to the Labour Party’s tune when they’re not interested in singing any song to which I know the fuckin’ words?”
When you arrive home late one night, there’s a young man standing, looking out of the lounge window. He says his name is Nails, but who is he really? What’s he doing in your house? And why is your sister going out at this time of night to buy him fried chicken?
Nails and Me is a play for five characters set in Clapham, South West London and the action of the play takes place over one night.
It's a play about hope, despair and Labour Party politics, about education and inequality, about stereotypes, the housing crisis and the future facing a whole generation in this country.
In Trevor Griffith’ play ‘The Comedians’, a play about social stereotypes and working class aspirations, one of the central characters, Gethin Price - an aspiring comic - plays with a tongue twister as part of his warm-up routine… “The traitor distrusts the truth. The traitor distorts the truth. The traitor destroys the truth.” In ‘Nails and Me’ we have a central character who, like Gethin Price, is fired by an anger and prejudices that arise out of his sense of powerlessness in the world. In a climate of fake news and political sophistry, Nails not only distrusts the ‘truth’ of those who are ostensibly trying to help him but begins to use language and ‘the truth’ as a weapon in pursuit of his own particular goals.
The ‘Labour Movement’ arose out of people finding advocates to articulate their cause, but in a world where politics has become less and less about conviction and more about developing a career there is a danger that those espousing the cause become more and more distanced from those whose case they plead. Accordingly, we should not be surprised if our politicians begin to behave in ways that distance themselves still further from their constituency. Neil Cassidy aka ‘Nails’ is acutely aware of this dichotomy and decides to take matters into his own hands in support of his now scattered family; in short to reunite them in what was once the family home. With the help of his brother, ‘Stripes’ a young soldier damaged by his experiences in Afghanistan and his sister Moz, a single mother presently living in Croydon with her wastrel boyfriend, he arrives one evening at the home of Polly, a young lawyer and Labour Party activist who lives with her post-graduate student brother in a town-house in Clapham owned by her father, a distinguished left-wing academic.