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Sarah Grochala

Oberon Books

May is an idealist. She’s fighting for a better world and has sacrificed more than most. So when the old regime is destroyed, she is rewarded with a job as a prison photographer.But as the enemy pass one by one before her unflinching lens - both strange and familiar faces - can they shake her belief in this world she helped to create?

Inspired by the work of the photographer Nhem En, who photographed the inmates of the Tuol Sleng prison in Cambodia under the rule of the Khmer Rouge, and by painter Van Nath who painted Pol Pot and was one of the only seven survivors of Tuol Sleng, playwright Sarah Grochala draws on prison records and interviews with both prisoners and Khmer Rouge cadres to create a startling and affecting drama.

S-27 won the first Protect The Human Playwriting Competition in 2007, run by iceandfire in conjunction with Amnesty International and Soho Theatre, and was in production at the Finborough Theatre in June 2009.


Sarah Grochala studied English at St John’s College Oxford and Playwriting Studies at Birmingham University. She is the current holder of Off West’s Adopt a Playwright Award. Her play S-27 (Finborough 2009; Griffin Theatre Sydney 2010) won the 2007 Amnesty International Protect the Human Playwriting Competition, and was also shortlisted for the Kings Cross Award and the Leah Ryan Award for Emerging Women Writers. Other plays include Waiting for Romeo (Pleasance Islington 2009; Edinburgh Festival 2006) and Open Ground (Theatro Technis 2005). She has also written several short plays for The Miniaturists and for Theatre 503.

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