Radiant Vermin

by  Philip Ridley

Full Length Play  /  1m, 2f

A wickedly comic satire about a young couple offered a way out of the housing crisis, and just how far they're prepared to go for it.

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Radiant Vermin

by  Philip Ridley

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    1m, 2f
  • Duration


    90 minutes

Additional Info

"I feel this ...thing inside me. Just here. Next to my heart. It's small. The size of sparrow. I don't know what it looks like. But I know it's got claws because it scratches. And I imagine it to be dark blue - mauve almost - like the veins on my mum's hands. I hear it talking. Its voice is high pitched and screeching. It's talking about all the things we've done."

Ollie and Jill want to tell you about their dream home. Some of the things they did to get it, you might find shocking. But they want you to know they did it all for their baby...

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“A gift for savage prophecy is often unwelcome in society, and Ridley has it in abundance” – Independent

“Ridley is a master of modern myth” – Guardian

“Mr. Ridley . . . is high on my list of contemporary playwrights these days. He was always a writer of daring and satanic imagination, with a sui generis vocabulary to match . . . But more recently he's been weaving theatrical fantasies that bear the relation to everyday reality that your dreams, and especially your nightmares . . . The exotic worlds he conjures feel deeply familiar, even to the point of banality, which is what makes them all the scarier and all the more revelatory.” – Ben Brantley, New York Times

“accessible and overtly political . . . Ridley pictures consumerism at its most insane and destructive. He's on stingingly funny form” – Evening Standard

“cheerfully twisted social satire by Philip Ridley . . . Ridley - in full-on comic mode” – The Times

“It's a deeply macabre, stingingly funny modern fairy tale that shows its two protagonists wading deeper and deeper into murky moral territory. . . . It's deliberately outrageous and surreal but Ridley pulls it off brilliantly . . . A clever, funny and provocative cautionary fable.” – Financial Times

“Ridley's is a darkly funny morality play” – Guardian

“'Radiant Vermin' is an allegorical satire about the housing crisis that unfolds like a modern day Grimm tale. . . . It's a hysterically heavy-handed allegory for the ravages of gentrification . . . 'Radiant Vermin' works, because it's dispatched with such flippant glee by the writer . . . Philip Ridley: sicko, firebrand, and all-round entertainer.” – Time Out London

“brutal, deceptively buoyant satire on consumerist greed and rapacity, written by Philip Ridley, multi-talented maestro of East End Gothic and morally acute in-yer-face shockers . . . The play is very funny” – Independent

“no London writer has shown more literary potential than Ridley.” – Spectator


License details

  • Minimum Fee: £55 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

    This title is currently restricted in London, please contact the Licensing Department for further details.



  • Duration: 90 minutes


1m, 2f
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Philip Ridley

Philip was born in the East End of London. He studied painting at St Martin’s School of Art. He has written many highly regarded and hugely influential plays: the seminal The Pitchfork Disney, the multi-award-winning The Fastest Clock in the Universe, Ghost from a Perfect Place, Vincent River, Mercury Fur, Leaves of Gl ...

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