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Sweet Panic

Sweet Panic

Stephen Poliakoff


In “Sweet Panic” a child psychologist’s understanding of contemporary life is brought into question when she finds herself stalked by the mother of one of her young clients. Casting an acute eye over the changing face of urban life, Stephen Poliakoff’s vibrant and compelling new play pits the two women against each other in a battle for the soul of the city.


«Stephen Poliakoff’s brilliant new play is a spiritual thriller for the 1990s — which certainly does not mean that once the 1990’s are over it will be tired and dated… “Sweet Panic” will survive because of its intensity and perception.» (Sunday Times)

Methuen Drama


Stephen Poliakoff

According to his own website ( Stephen Poliakoff was born in London and educated at Westminster School and King’s College, Cambridge.


He began his career in the theatre, becoming resident playwright at the National Theatre in London aged 22. He won the Evening Standard’s Most Promising Playwright award for his plays “Hitting Town” and “City Sugar”, and has since written over 20 plays, all of which premiered in Britain’s major theatres including four at the Royal National Theatre, four at The Royal Shakespeare Company and three in the West End. Among his plays are “Clever Soldiers”, “Strawberry Fields”, “Shout Across The River”, “American Days”, “Breaking The Silence”, “Playing With Trains”, “Sweet Panic”, “My City”, “Talk Of The City”, and “Blinded By The Sun”, which won the Critics’ Circle Best Play Award.


Alongside his career in the theatre, Stephen began an extremely successful career writing for British television, working with such leading directors as Michael Apted, Stephen Frears and Peter Hall. Stephen later moved into movies and wrote and directed his first film, “Hidden City” which led to him directing nearly all of his subsequent work.


For both his television work and his movies, Stephen has won an extensive list of international awards. His major credits for television and movies include “Caught On A Train” (1980), which won two BAFTA awards, “Bloody Kids” (1980), “She’s Been Away” (1989), winner of five awards at the Venice Film Festival, “Close My Eyes” (1991), which won the Evening Standard’s Best British Film of the Year Award, “Century” (1994), “Shooting The Past” (1999), which won the Prix Italia, “Perfect Strangers” (2001), winner of two BAFTA awards and a Peabody award, “The Lost Prince” (2003), winner of three Emmys; “Friends And Crocodiles” (2006) and “Gideon’s Daughter” (2006), which won two Golden Globes and a Peabody award, “Joe’s Palace” (2007), and “Capturing Mary” (2007), which was Emmy-nominated and won a BAFTA.


More recently, Stephen released the feature film “Glorious ’39” (2010) with BBC Films. Stephen’s BBC television series “Dancing On The Edge” (2013) achieved international acclaim, winning a Golden Globe, and “Close To The Enemy” was transmitted with remarkable success on BBC Two in November/December 2016. His latest show “Summer of Rockets” premiered on BBC Two in May 2019, receiving critical and audience acclaim.


Stephen was awarded a CBE for his contribution to the arts in 2007. He is also an ambassador for the conservation and environmental organisation WWF-UK for whom he has created two short films, “Astonish Me” (2011) and “Virunga” (2013).

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