Brilliant Adventures

A U.S. Premiere
By Alistair McDowall, directed by Robin Witt

Tucked away in his dingy apartment, Luke has invented a device that could change the world – if only he thought the world was ready for it. When an opportunistic outsider arrives with designs on his invention and his apartment, Luke’s family and the universe itself are at risk of being torn apart.

Running Time: 2 hours, with one 10-minute intermission

July 9 - August 29, 2015

Production Sponsors: Lisa & Randy White


Peter Moore*
Curtis Edward Jackson
Ty Olwin
Brandon Rivera
Ryan McBride
Will Kinnear

Director – Robin Witt*
Set Design – Dan Stratton**
Lighting Design – Brandon Wardell**
Sound Design & Original Composition – Thomas Dixon**
Costume Design  – Jessica Kuehnau Wardell
Prop Design – Maria DeFabo**
Fight Choreography – Christina Gorman
Dialect Coach – Kendra Thulin*
Assistant Director – Maggie Rogers
Dramaturg - Jeremy Kazan

*Denotes Steep Company Member
**Denotes Steep Artistic Associate

In the press

Top Five Shows of 2015
- Kevin Greene, New City

Three and a half stars!
"an exceptionally interesting show...[a] hugely talented could not ask for a much better U.S. premiere. A brilliant adventure indeed." 
- Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
Four out of Five Stars!
"Alistair McDowall's American debut crackles with possibility...[a] twisty, darkly comic thriller...riveting."
- Kris Vire, Time Out Chicago
"WINDY CITY CRITIC'S PICK! A little Pinteresque menace, a lot of kitchen-sink drama and British post-industrial funk. But it's young playwright Alistair McDowall's sci-fi twist and well-etched characters that mark [Brilliant Adventures] as special, along with the best damn acting I've seen in a long time."
- JA, Windy City Times
"One of the most delightfully antithetical pieces of theater to grace a Chicago stage this season... Brilliant Adventures shines a bright light on the infinite possibilities latent in theater if we only allow ourselves to dream"
- Kevin Greene, New City
"Highly Recommended...McDowall's hybrid of Quentin Tarantino meets H.G. Wells is presented in a staggering, stimulating and astonishing production that's guaranteed to "stoke conversation" and haunt audiences long after the final curtain."
- Colin Douglas, Chicago Theatre Review
"[MacDowall's] absurd and cynical twists...contribute powerfully to the play's unexpected pathos."
- Chicago Reader
"An intriguing U.S. Premiere....fiercely focused"
- Lawrence Bommer, Stage and Cinema

About Brilliant Adventures

Steep Company Member Robin Witt is back in the director’s chair for the final show of Steep’s 14th season, the U.S. premiere of Alistair McDowall’s Brilliant Adventures. The production marks not only the U.S. premiere of the piece, but the U.S. premiere of the playwright McDowall, who is quickly becoming one of the hottest playwrights in the UK.  Appropriately, his work is paired with one of Chicago’s most sought after directors, Witt, who has received Jeff nominations for Best Director the past two years and has directed some of Steep’s most notable hits, including 2013’s sensational Motortown

According to Alistair McDowall “there are no rules in theatre – you can do anything. Whatever rules there are, you can break them – immediately if you want to." McDowall’s debut play, Brilliant Adventures, which was awarded a Bruntwood Prize in 2011, pulls apart the laws of physics while telling a story of brotherly love. Brilliant Adventures packs all the gritty British drama you’ve come to expect at Steep into a wildly entertaining sci-fi thriller with more than a touch of dark comedy.  Steep has made a name for itself with uncompromising productions of bold, new work, and McDowall’s piece certainly continues in that tradition.