Vivienne Franzmann’s play Mogadishu is a cautionary tale of a teacher who intervenes on behalf of a troublesome student, only to find her actions rebounding on herself to disastrous effect. It was the joint winner of the 2008 Bruntwood Playwriting Competition and was first performed at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, on 26 January 2011.
When white secondary-school teacher Amanda is pushed to the ground by black student Jason, she’s reluctant to report him as she knows exclusion could condemn him to a future as troubled as his past. But when Jason decides to protect himself by spinning a story of his own, Amanda is sucked into a vortex of lies in which victim becomes perpetrator. With the truth becoming less clear and more dangerous by the day, it isn’t long before careers, relationships and even lives are under threat.
Franzmann worked as a secondary-school teacher in London for twelve years before submitting Mogadishu, her first full-length play, for the Bruntwood Playwriting Competition.
The Royal Exchange premiere was directed by Matthew Dunster and designed by Tom Scutt. The cast was Malachi Kirby, Tara Hodge, Farshid Rokey, Tendayi Jembere, Savannah Gordon-Liburd, Hammed Animashaun, Michael Karim, Julia Ford, Shannon Tarbet, Ian Bartholomew, Christian Dixon and Fraser James.
The production transferred to the Lyric Hammersmith, London, with performances from 3 March 2011.
The play was revived by the Royal Exchange and Lyric Hammersmith as a touring production in 2012, playing at the Liverpool Playhouse from 30 January at the start of a UK tour.
Mogadishu was awarded the 2010 George Devine Award.