Rise Up: Hags Ahoy

Despite having no formal education, Steven Todd has written multiple plays in his lifetime, and paired up with wife Melissa, the two formed theatre company Hags Ahoy in March 2018. Hags Ahoy was originally the name of a band Steven was in 30 years ago and was meant to denote old people living by the sea. The name stuck and inspired a great logo for a theatre company!

Steven’s writing is more often than not egged on by his anger and frustration to social injustices and these unfairness’s throughout society are highlighted in his work. For 30 years, Steven has been writing, acting and directing and has found that writing was an outlet for his frustrations in society.

His plays around social issues have included topics such as racism and bullying, but also pay tribute to his favourite writers: Kerouac, Virgina Woolf and Truman Capote, to name a few.

Steven’s new play, that Hags Ahoy will be bringing to multiple fringes throughout the UK this summer, is called Right of Entitlement. Hags Ahoy describes the play as:

a two-hander set in an educational psychologist’s officer, starring Adrianna Paniak as a stroppy teenager. Together they present her tale and discuss issues around class, education, social mobility and the grammar school system.

Right of Entitlement deals with some of the most crucial issues facing Britain today – the ever-widening gap between the have’s and have not’s, stalling or reversing social mobility, disaffected and alienated youth

Right of Entitlement premiered last November in Broadstairs and was an immense success. Steven and Melissa are well-known in East Kent, and they are eager to discover if they might be well-received in other parts of the country through their work. The pair hope to continue to tour next year, but with a different production.

Hags Ahoy have said their potential weakness may be “about the technical stuff”, as they hope to learn more about this aspect of theatre, but they make up for it with their multitude of strengths in the field, as proven by their winning of awards and changing lives through their work.

The team highlight that they think “theatre is a middle-class prerogative” and “there are so few authentic working-class voices within it”, which is where they hope to stand out.

The tour of Right of Entitlement started in Albany in Coventry at the end of April, and the tour continues to the Brighton Fringe from 14 – 18 May, before heading to the Manchester and Gravesend Fringe’s, as well as visiting Norwich, Chester, Huddersfield, Glasgow, London and Leicester.

Right of Entitlement

Quick Fire Questions

  • In the theatre world, who inspires you? “We are inspired by young drama groups who bring enthusiasm and freshness to the stage, rather than established voices”
  • What is your favourite show that you’ve seen?Ross & Rachel
  • What is your favourite genre of theatre? “Issue based drama. Stuff that makes you think”
  • What do you think we need more of in theatre? “A broader range of voices!”

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