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Photo credit: Ali wright

Winner of the Tony Craze Award, Bacon is an unflinching and unexpectedly humorous look at masculinity, sexuality, and power, through the dizzying lens of youth.

The show is currently playing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and will then play at Bristol Old Vic.

I got the chance to speak to Sophie Swithinbank the writer of the show to find out more about Bacon and to see what has changed from it's previous run.


What is Bacon about?

Bacon is about two boys who meet at school. They form a complex and many layered friendship which changes the course of each of their lives. We meet the boys a few years later as adults, and the play addresses the question of whether Mark can let Darren back into his life.

What is the key message you are aiming to get over to the audience? and who is your target audience?

The play asks the question of how and why young men become the adults they are. The play is about friendship, trust and love so many different people find themselves able to connect with the story.

Why do you think this message needs to be addressed in current times?

Bacon is about young people who need guidance and the play shines a light on that current lack of guidance. As adults, we can do better to teach teenagers how to be in the world with kindness.

How did you approach the theme of sexual exploration within friendships through the lens of youth?

I was very exploratory and curious in my teenage years, but felt unable to express those feelings. So the play keeps that lid of the pressure cooker on – two people who are not quite able to express their truths, are much more interesting to grapple with, than two people who know who they are.

Photo credit: Ali wright


What do you think makes Bacon a unique production?

I think it is the only play at the fringe that is entirely staged on a 4 meter see-saw.

Have you changed or adapted anything in the new run?

Yes I have made some textual edits, to tighten up the journey. Matthew also re-staged the show as our previous venue, the Finborough Theatre, was in traverse. Corey and Willaim have also been working on their own performances to a forensic level of detail.

What is your favourite thing about the show?

I love this show because it is a romance without ever being romantic.

Describe Bacon in one sentence?

Bacon is a joureny that feels a bit like being a teenager – one minute you’re laughing in the sunshine, the next minute, you’ve lost your keys and someone has thown your shoes in the river, and your mum has come into your room without asking.

Photo credit: Ali wright


Swithinbank, who won the 2023 Peggy Ramsay/Film4 Award for Bacon, said of the return, “the murky and grey area of sexual exploration within friendships does not get wide representation on stage, because it is not a love story, and therefore has no specific genre. But during the run at Finborough Theatre, many people spoke to me directly about how much they connected with the story, and saw themselves in it. I am so thrilled that HFH Productions is re-mounting Bacon for the 2023 UK tour as it feels urgent and essential to share this story with audience members across the country.”

Bacon was developed as part of Soho Theatre’s Writers Lab and first performed at The Finborough Theatre, London. The production’s return is presented by HFH Productions with support from HOME, Manchester.

See below for important show info.

Photo credit: Ali wright




- EDINBURGH Summerhall - 2 - 27 August 2023

- BRISTOL Bristol Old Vic - 12 - 16 September 2023

- Run time - 1 hour and 15 min (no interval)

- Age Guide - 16+

Bacon has the following triggers and content warnings.

Contains strobe lighting and haze.

Contains distressing or potentially triggering themes, depictions of physical and sexual violence, references to self-harm and abuse, and smoking on stage.

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