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December 06 , 2008

Chicken Dust


Oh this ain't a farm. This is a loading dock. No such things as farms anymore, not around here.

A chicken farm in rural England. New boy Tim has just arrived for his first shift. The job is pretty simple: grab chickens seven at a time by their legs and ram them into cages for shipping. All of this in the dark, stomping around in ankle-deep chicken shit, muck and mud.

Tim's teammates are old-timers, with cigarettes dangling from their lips and pantyhose up their arms to protect their skin. Feathers cling to clothes. This band of survivors doesn't want much: just to stay in the countryside, catch the chickens, and earn the best living they can.

But the chickens are dying, rotting from the inside-out like hot fruit just hours after they arrive. As disease spreads and pressure mounts, enter Oscar, the meticulous poultry inspector . . .

A hard-hitting exploration of the human cost of our enormous appetite for cheap meat.

Winner of the Curve Leicester's Playwriting Competition and first seen as a staged reading at the Finborough Theatre's annual Vibrant: A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, Chicken Dust marks the full-length debut of a new playwright. It received its world premiere at the Finborough Theatre on 1 March 2015.
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