The poster for Salmonella, opening Wednesday at the adcMaria Pointer

Way back in the early lockdown days, a post floated onto my Facebook feed. It was the 2020-21 Footlights committee opening applications for their annual Harry Porter playwriting competition. I remember looking through the information and wondering if it was something I might have a go at over the Summer. Hop, skip and jump 18 months forward and Salmonella hits the ADC stage this week in its debut run from the 20th to 23rd October. So, how on earth did it get to this point? (A question I’m repeatedly asking myself as we speed towards opening night…!) 

"At the heart of it I had always imagined two people"

Salmonella started as a very fragmentary collection of notes, ideas and scribbles, written down throughout the Summer of 2020; ideas for one-liners and whacky scenarios, but at the heart of it I had always imagined two people. I couldn’t pin down at that time who they were or what their relationship was; it was only later that I began to establish that this pair were going to echo the close friendships I’ve had in my life so far. I’d always liked the idea of an unfortunate name combination: Jack and Jill, Rose and Jack, but ultimately settled on Sam and Ella. 

As these two characters began to take shape, so did the structure of the play - I was very keen to avoid a plot driven narrative, I was far more interested in showing an audience a glimpse of these energetic, dynamic people living distinctly ordinary lives. So followed the idea to have the elderley versions of Sam and Ella relieving and rewatching  their youth along with the audience. 

The cast of Salmonella in rehearsalMaria Pointer

Having written only a couple of sketches and stand up sets while at Cambridge, sitting down to write an hour long play was certainly a challenge. In all honesty, I only managed to convince myself to enter because all plays were submitted anonymously. For that reason, when the shortlist was announced in October I was in complete shock, and never imagined the play would ever go on to be selected as the winner. 


Mountain View

Seeing Red: ‘Bull’ Review

It’s been a mad year of editing, pitching, casting and now rehearsing so that the show can finally get off the page and onto its feet. I’ve found a fantastic team of actors and crew members who have been just a joy to work with over these last couple of months; their dedication, energy and enthusiasm throughout the process has been a delight to witness. From our very first Zoom readthrough and prod meetings over the long vacation, to our most recent paper techs and run throughs, the entire creative team behind Salmonella have been a privilege to direct. 

Looking back I wonder if the deep-rooted sense of community in the play was borne out of the separation we were all having to endure at the time of writing. It now seems fitting to have such a vibrant bunch bringing Salmonella to the stage with a full capacity, live audience at the ADC. 

‘A charming story of friendship across the years’ - Phil Wang, Comedian and Harry Porter Prize Judge 2020

Salmonella - Winner of the Footlights Harry Porter Prize runs from the 20th - 23rd October at the ADC Theatre. 

Tickets can be purchased here.