Our Publications

NO PLACE FOR A WOMAN

A play with movement and music by Cordelia O’Neill

'An officer drove me up to gates and told me to wait, that it was no place for a woman.'

The wife of a commandant is throwing a party. She asks her husband for champagne. Instead he brings home a ballet dancer from the camp. An extraordinary story that explores the strength of marital love, the redemptive power of dance, and the survival of two women who live as neighbours – but are worlds apart.


Praise for The Stolen Inches:
'Subversive and intriguing piece of social satire' - The Scotsman

'O’Neill’s cleverly constructed play [has]... pager-turner tension' - The Stage



HIDDEN

by Nicola Werenowska

A love story about invisible disability.

Chris is a city lawyer, Jess is a Ph.D student. Two ordinary people in a relationship who want to get on with their lives. The birth of their son and the economic crash create a catalyst of events that leads them to discover who they really are. Can their relationship survive the challenges of accepting their newfound reality?

Nicola Werenowska is an award-winning playwright and my work is gaining significant recognition regionally, nationally, and internationally. Organisations she has worked with include including Hampstead Theatre, The Royal Court, Graeae and the Mercury Theatre.

Other work published by Playdead Press; Tu I Teraz


JUST AN ORDINARY LAWYER

by Tayo Aluko


Nigerian Tunji Sowande quietly breaks through multiple barriers to become Britain’s first Black judge in 1978. Also a fine concert singer and keen cricket lover, he muses on international politics and history as they affect the Black world from Africa to the USA and Britain, from the point of view of one who would rather watch sports, and spread love and peace through the medium of song.

Recalling heroic sporting achievements alongside epoch-defining political events, Tayo Aluko follows the multi-award-winning Call Mr. Robeson with another “brilliantly put together history lesson delivered as art.”

He is Britain’s first Black judge, a fine singer and keen cricket lover. Finding himself stranded in the Heart of Empire, Nigerian Tunji Sowande muses on Black liberation struggles worldwide. He insists he is no political aficionado, but is content to contribute through his music and songs.

"First Rate" The Guardian on Call Mr. Robeson

"Another triumph … that thrills and touches" (5 Stars) British Theatre Guide


Other work published by Playdead Press; Call Mr. Robeson


CHOOSERS

by Holly Mallett
Alfie and Reg are homeless. A series of unconnected events has led them to this park, at this time, under this tree. As day unfold, an unlikely friendship forms as the two men navigate through life under the light of a single lamp post.

Choosers is a funny and tender new play about male companionship and the humanity behind the label of homelessness.

Holly Mallett is a professionally trained actress and musician based in London having graduated from East 15 Acting School. Choosers is her debut play.


GETTING BETTER SLOWLY

by Adam Pownall
Written by Nick Wood
What if you woke up to find your body was slowly shutting down? Unable to walk, talk or blink and nobody knows why... When Guillain Barré Syndrome affected Adam Pownall it caused full paralysis within days. Getting Better Slowly tells his inspiring story of recovery through new writing, sound and movement. Funny, moving, and honest, Adam’s journey through illness and rehabilitation including months re-learning how to walk and talk invites audiences to consider how they would deal with an unexpected illness or accident, and explores how it feels when your closest relationship is with the illness that’s holding you back.

Other work by Nick Wood published by Playdead Press; A Girl With a Book


RAPUNZEL

Book, Music & Lyrics by Jez Bond & Mark Cameron
Directed by Jez Bond

The King and Queen of Püss Püss are looking forward to the birth of their first

child when… disaster: the Queen contracts a life threatening fever and only a powerful herb, known as Rapunzel, can save the mother and child.

The noble Baron Teth offers to locate the herb. However the witch who grows it has her price, and in exchange she demands the baby. The desperate King and Queen agree and the Queen recovers, giving birth to a healthy baby girl. But, as she is so quickly taken away, darkness falls across the land.

Eighteen years later the royals have given up any hope of finding their heir and Baron Teth, now their greatest confidant, is about to be ordained King. Then as the neighbouring Prince Corbyn rides through the forest, he hears singing from an isolated tower. Perhaps all is not what it seems…

Where is the baby girl? What happened to the witch? And how noble exactly is Baron Teth? Find out, as Park Theatre bring you the third and wackiest instalment in the Chronicles of Waa!

“An enjoyable piece of surreal theatrical lunacy.”
★ ★ ★ ★ WhatsOnStage (Sleeping Beauty)



TREASURE ISLAND
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Adapted by Gari Jones

The Robert Louis Stevenson classic, originally written in 1883 and which created the archetype pirate, is here brought to life through theatrical magic in 2015. 

Jim has three visitors, as if from dreams or nightmares, and life is never the same again. A journey of discovery and betrayal is re-imagined in an inventive and nutty new theatrical adaptation. Whilst retaining the narrative of Stevenson’s classic, with depth, integrity, a dash of thriller and a large amount of silliness, Gari Jones’s adaptation zips along like a wacky race brimming with pirate speak, off-the-wall characters and a whole heap of original shanties and brand new songs.

The original production was created in collaboration with Oxford’s Creation Theatre.

Gari Jones is a Director and Writer, with over twenty years experience, whose work has been seen at numerous Theatres throughout the UK and Internationally. He lives in Essex with his wife and three children.


Other works published by Playdead Press are; Wind in the Willow, Metamorphoses (after Ovid) and Gari Jones: Three Plays.




In My Head
by Chris Mayo

"It's seen as a flaw, a weakness, people don't understand it, people are scared of what they can't see."

Hurtling through twenty-two scenes, six actors play over forty characters in Chris Mayo's striking new play.

A bold, loud, funny, angry, touching and honest portrayal of mental health in the modern world. IN MY HEAD is a part verbatim, part fictional exploration of those who struggle, those who help and those who fail to notice.



Positive
by Shaun Kitchener

“If Britney can get through 2007, 
then I can get through today.”

Benji’s mantra has just about got him through his first year with HIV but it’s not so much the virus that’s the problem - it’s everything that comes with it. Afraid of judgement and rejection, he’s put his love life on hold, stopped going out and kept a safe distance from his overbearing mother.

But that’s enough of that. With a little help from his sisterly housemate, it’s time he grabbed the world by the balls and started living in it again. How hard can it be...?

SPOILER: Nobody dies.

“Hilarious, powerful… Positively brilliant in every sense.” West End Wilma

“Intelligence, warm humour and emotional power”
QX

Attitude 5 Stars

An Evening with Lucian Freud
by Laura-Jane Foley

There’s something compelling about that, don’t you think? That wish to leave something behind; to create art out of the impressions of life.
It is the day of Laura’s PhD viva and she arrives early at the university research office. While she waits, she recounts the extraordinary tale of the evening she spent with the artist Lucian Freud.

Based on a real life encounter, this personal, anecdotal tale is blended with art historical and biographical insights and features a range of fictionalized sitters who have been on the receiving end of Freud’s unflinching gaze.

Laura-Jane Foley’s compelling monologue with video cameos takes us inside Lucian Freud’s studio and lays bare the fascinating and complex character of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. The play explores the themes of memory, permanence and creativity, and ultimately reflects on how artists, and writers, must use people to make their art.

An Evening with Lucian Freud received its world premiere at the Leicester Square Theatre, London on 19th May 2015.

*** "Foley’s play offers a teasing promise of revelation, with Cressida Bonas offering an engaging performance" The Daily Telegraph



ROMEO & JULIET
by William Shakespeare


Full of music, dancing and a healthy dose of chutzpah, The Flanagan Collective turn their hand to one of the best-loved stories ever told.

Performed in the beautiful surroundings of St Olave’s Church you can expect a candle-lit, foot-stomping and heart-wrenching telling of Shakespeare’s homage to young love and tragic romance. Infused with live music, soaring harmonies and good, honest storytelling.

"...a near flawless portrayal of young love." Unknown Magazine

"Be assured, you will never see another play quite like this." On Magazine



YOU
by Mark Wilson

‘So today: Friday. Imagine. Him, coming here.’
Kathleen awaits the arrival of the man she gave up for adoption thirty years before.

But what will he think, and what will he want to know?

Years spent insulating herself from the pain of separation and loss fall away as Kathleen, now in her mid-forties, recalls the events of her past with a clarity that brings each of her story’s characters to life.

You is a fast-paced exploration of the dynamics of adoption from the perspectives of those involved that cuts clean through the sentimentality that so often surrounds this topic.



FAT SOULS
by James Martin Charlton
(Plays Volume One)


Fat Souls won the International Playwriting Festival and was produced to great critical success at the Warehouse Theatre, Croydon in 1993.

Fat Souls tells the story of a social misfit and long-time jobseeker, Fat Mags, who finds dead-end employment doing routine dogsbody work in an office. In the workplace, she meets Lamb, a youth with a whole other way of looking at things, and his vision transforms her previously gloomy outlook on life.

“There is simply no mistaking a new voice in the theatre... Charlton’s is a quirky, assured creative voice, consistently theatrical.” - Jeremy Kingston, The Times.

“...this remarkable piece delivers a parable on the need to confront the world without a mask. The author certainly does so... He has created something funny, touching and quite unlike anything else on the scene.” - Irving Wardle, The Independent on Sunday.

“Fat Souls was one of the most innovative and original plays I can remember seeing in a long history of going to see new plays." - Michael Codron.


THE MOMENT WE MET

by Ian Buckley

How does one woman make sense of events that are beyond her control but which touch her deeply?

This is the focus of THE MOMENT WE MET. Liz is an ordinary woman - an amazing ordinary woman - who struggles to make sense of the senseless. Only when she uncovers the truth of what happened in the past, and of who had been involved, will she find any degree of inner peace.

Hers is an unremitting, inescapable struggle to sift truth from lies and to balance personal fulfilment with the need for justice.

Admirable, moving, tenacious - Liz is a woman for our times…



OUT OF THE CAGE

by Alex McSweeney

Inspired by the munition women of Silvertown, London during the First World War, Out Of The Cage tells the story of women’s courage, dignity and hope, fired in the crucible of war.

Early spring 1916, before the slaughter of the Somme, munitionettes all over London met in secret to decide the fate of thousands of fellow co-workers. Their choice was simple: stand up to the belligerent attitude of male workers and an intractable government or forever be seen as second-class citizens of the Empire.

Were they dangerous and disruptive elements undermining their country at a time of war, or inspiring visionaries of a better world prepared to fight for a fairer future?

Out of the Cage was shown at the Park Theatre, London in January 2015.

THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS 

by Kenneth Grahame

Adapted by Gari Jones

Toad hasn’t been seen since the most recent of his escapades backfired, Badger doesn’t react well to visitors in the winter and Ratty and Mole have tucked themselves away eating sardines and telling tales of sunnier days.

How will we drive the wild-wooders back where they belong?

Warm your feet by the fire, toast yourself a crumpet and let us thrill you with the daring adventures of Mr Toad, as his friends try to put him off his latest scheme while the seasons turn on the riverbank.


Gari Jones is a Director and Writer, with over twenty years experience. He has directed at many theatres including the Royal National Theatre, the Almeida, the Old Vic, the Young Vic, the Tricycle, in the West End and on Broadway. His work as Writer/Director has played at many theatres, the Edinburgh Festival and toured extensively throughout the UK and internationally.


SUM

by Susan Gray
A technology that will change the concepts of self and other, love and death…

This is just the pilot.

Following the pioneering technology of the new Hivemind, we follow the stories of six individuals (who can be cast gender blind) in their experiences of this new life.

SUM follows these characters who have entered this contract. The Hivemind enables them to share their thoughts and feelings in a much more intimate way than the illusions of our social media. They question the concepts that we have accepted since time began – love, birth, war and loss. Who is the pioneer of the technology? Who will use it for good (whatever that means in this reality) and who will use it to further their own ends? Should everyone be able to connect?

Susan Gray is a Playwright, Performer and Artistic Director of the Theatre Company Stars or Mars Theatre in London.



SMILIN' THROUGH | STILL ILL

Two plays by Billy Cowan

Smilin’ Through

On the eve of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, Kyle Morrow comes out to his fiercely Presbyterian mother, Peggy. When she tells him to get out he barricades himself into his bedroom and goes on hunger strike until she accepts his sexuality and agrees to let him stay.

Smilin’ Through is a savage comedy which won the 2002 Writing Out Award for Best New Gay Play organised by Finborough Theatre. It was nominated for Best New Play 2005 by the Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards.

A hard-hitting play and at times exhilaratingly surreal.  The Stage
Unflinchingly ambitious.  The Metro *****

Still Ill
Ulster 2008. Ten years after peace, police stations are closing down and sex shops are opening up. When Tommy returns home he can’t believe all the changes, but then he bumps into Gary, his old friend and fellow fan of The Smiths. The two men start a dangerous affair that pulls Tommy back into a world of violence he hoped had disappeared.

Still Ill (ne: Transitions) is a tragic love story which won Warehouse Theatre’s 2010 International Playwriting competition and received a Special Commendation at the Verity Bargate Award. 

Cowan’s writing is the kind of challenging work from the regions that the National Theatre should be showcasing.  Birmingham Post


INSIDE

by Rosie MacPherson
Inspired by astonishing true stories, INSIDE is a psychological drama that explores the effects of Stockholm Syndrome on a kidnap victim desperate to keep hope. Locked in a basement for 12 years, she has survived physical and psychological abuse by escaping to her childhood and recording video messages to her Mum. Now, reeling from her latest beating and in the most critical hour of her captivity, the victim discovers that not everything she's been told is true. But to find a way out, she'll have to break through something much stronger than just the basement door. 


FAST TRACK

by Catriona Kerridge

“I don’t know you. I know nothing about you. You’re just a stranger. All that I have in common with you is that I sat on this bench.”

Six characters, one park: Fast Track follows six young city-dwellers whose lives collide on one life-changing day.

Characters run, cycle, walk and hurtle past each other. Strangers confess, love and judge each other. They have one thing in common: they are all stuck in a relationship – a relationship with money. They are trying to find ways to handle it: save it, steal it, exchange it, make it or get rid of it. And as the sun sets and night falls, the park becomes an altogether darker place…

Pulsing with energy and dark humour, Fast Track exposes the beating heart of the city and the challenges faced by those that live in it. The North Wall is proud to present the premiere of this bold new play from one of Britain’s brightest up-and-coming playwrights.



LOTTY'S WAR

Written By Giuliano Crispini 

Adapted by Clare Slater
A mesmerising story of passion, courage and sacrifice, Lotty’s War is a thriller set in WWII enemy occupied Channel Islands. Based on unpublished diaries found in Guernsey, this critically acclaimed play brings a touching story to life.

With the last boat to England gone, Lotty is housed in close quarters with the enemy. In a struggle between her loyalty to the island and the temptations of forbidden love, does Lotty dare to tread a passionate and dangerous path?



FIELDS UNSOWN

by Catherine Harvey and Louise Monaghan

‘I pity you. I do. You clearly have no idea what a family actually means. You’re married to your work, aren’t you? And nothing else matters …’
Late summer 1916. With an overwhelming number of casualties coming back from the Front, Morden Hall has been transformed into an auxiliary hospital for injured soldiers. All over the country women are eager to support the war effort and offer their services as V.A.D. Nurses. But when the daughter of an eminent M.P. who’s pushing a controversial bill arrives, Matron Enid Woods makes it clear Elizabeth Ewing Chapple isn’t welcome.

Fields Unsown uncovers the secret history of Morden Hall Park, exploring the legacy of the First World War, acknowledging its impact on colonialism and honouring Gilliat Edward Hatfeild’s wish that the grounds be enjoyed by the local community now and for many years to come.



THE ME PLAYS

by Andrew Maddock
Exciting young writer Andrew Maddock’s The Me Plays present a semi-autobiographical look at growing up in Wembley, complete with discussions of male body image, internet pornography, Roman Catholic schools & Rap. Expect laughs & lows in a series of monologues that look at what it means to be somebody finding their way in the world under the pressure of the new digital age.
‘JUNKIE’
Me has met a girl on Tinder and his brand new red jumper doesn’t fit. But why leave the house when there is a million other fish in the digital sea? “Junkie” is a sharp witted emotional journey into everyday averageness and the rise of the digital age.

‘HI LIFE, I WIN’
We join Me, on the eve of his biopsy, as he takes a look back at his tearaway teenage years stuck inside a Roman Catholic School. Expect Adidas Poppers, Dr Dre, Bunking French & Loudon Wainwright III. “Hi Life, I Win” is a nostalgic journey that anyone whose ever been a teenager can relate to.




NOTES FROM OTHER WORLDS
A Series of Dramatic Monologues

by Susan Gray

11 characters in 11 dramatic puzzles.
Well, more if you count the hiveminds.

A Series of Voices in a Science Fiction Age - a Collection of Notes from Other Worlds.

Dealing with such futuristic themes as post-humanism, mass interstellar transit, physical invulnerability and a crime scene of hiveminds, this book delves into the ever-changing idea of the character, the human, the individual and the state in our present and future. These monologues come without age and gender guides for the actor and/or director to add their own twist to the performances. Each piece includes some crib notes for the situation the character is facing, along with some stage directions.

Susan Gray is a Playwright, Performer and Artistic Director of the Theatre Company Stars or Mars in London.



JEZEBEL

by Mark Cantan
A clever comedy about the dumb consequences of hot sex meeting cold statistics.
Alan and Robin are a go-getting couple who want to spice up their sex life. Jezebel is a woe-fretting singleton who’s looking to get one. Could a threesome be the answer to all their problems? Follow this unlikely trio on a fast-paced adventure of misunderstandings and unexpected complications. Jezebel is a light-hearted lesson in what not to do when your sex life needs saving.

Jezebel was commissioned by Rough Magic Theatre Company through its SEEDS programme and premièred at Project Arts Centre, Dublin in December 2012. It was revived for a 2014 Irish tour and dates in Paris and Glasgow, and subsequently transferred to Soho Theatre in August 2014.

Mark Cantan won the prestigious Stewart Parker Trust New Playwright Award for Jezebel.

“Brilliantly bizarre” Irish Times
“A non-stop effervescent farce” Irish Independent
“Clever and very funny” Sunday Times



WHERE NOTHING ARRIVES

by Abram Rooney
'I'm a big believer in quiet minds.’

In a room of an un-finished new build in Kensal Rise, Chimp and Knuckle are passing the dark hours before dawn.
As they consider the future, the two men confront and console one another whilst addressing some of the universal doubts and fears of the human condition; masculinity, identity and boredom. No holds are barred as they wrestle to arrive at a better and more honest knowledge and understanding of themselves and each other.




LIFE'S A GATECRASH

by Terry Hughes
A troubled, violent relationship collides head on with fate in this intense modern day revenge tragedy about the horrific consequences that arise when someone refuses to take responsibility for an act of violence.

This is Terry Hughes’s first play, written while he was still at drama school in Manchester. It won a coveted Edinburgh Festival Fringe First award and a screen version is in development with SKY ARTS.





THE GLASS SUPPER


by Martyn Hesford
Marcus and Colin have escaped the madness of London to live in the peaceful countryside. But will this new idyllic reality soon be shattered when Steven, his beautiful young boyfriend, Jamie, and Wendy arrive unexpectedly for supper?

The Glass Supper is a blistering, poetic, funny new drama about the search for love and sex in the modern world.

The Glass Supper by BAFTA-Nominated Martyn Hesford is a searing new comic play from the writer and team behind Mrs Lowry and Son (**** Critics’ Choice in The Times and in The Telegraph, 2013). It had it's UK première in July 2014 at the Hampstead Theatre in a production starring Michelle Collins.



THE BREAD + THE BEER

by Tristan Bernays
Ever wanted to share a pint with a god?
Meet John Barleycorn: drinker, party animal, ancient god. John awakes in the modern day after thousands of years to find a grey and lifeless world filled with grey and lifeless people. He thinks it’s time they remember what it’s like to have a little fun.
A one-man epic tale where ancient myths collide with the modern world.

‘WOW… one of the most action-packed dynamic shows of the Fringe.’
★★★★ The Scotsman

‘A seductive and earthy myth for modern times told with eloquence and passion’
★★★★ A Younger Theatre



WORKSHY

by Andy Dobb
Workshy is a play for young people about six characters exploring their relationship to work, education, society and the influences/barriers to all of these.

Six friends wake to the first day of the rest of their lives after their A Levels. Harry is not too worried as his parents are well enough off for him to bounce around before joining the family business. Ben has got a job working with his dad on the dustbin lorries and is putting money over studies. Hannah works too much. Ruth and Mandy have big ideas about uni, but Mandy has just discovered that she and Joe might be about to become parents. Joe has no plans, no motivation for work, nothing to look forward to at all. Could a baby really be the answer to his prayers?

Education @ The Palace joined forces with Vision West Nottinghamshire performing arts department and Create Theatre to present this new play, which comes from Write Track, the new writing programme at the Mansfield Palace Theatre.



ARCHIMEDES’ PRINCIPLE

Written by Josep Maria Miró i Coromina
Translated by Dustin Langan


How safe are our children in the care of a stranger? How much do we know about the people we work with? How far would we go to protect ourselves?
A town that's haunted by an incident at the nearby Scouts centre. Regular swimming lessons come to a halt when a swimming instructor is accused of inappropriately touching a child during a lesson – and the dangers of Facebook creep to the surface. When history appears to repeat itself what can we do but expect the worst.
Put on your water-wings, listen to the evidence and decide for yourself…

After an award-winning sell-out run in Spain...
"Magnificent, Unmissable." Time Out

...Archimedes' Principle comes to Park Theatre in a UK première.



ALL THE BENS

by Ian Townsend
Ben likes Al, but Al says he’s straight and isn’t keen on being stalked by a weird guy he’s just met off the internet.
Al likes Henry, but not in THAT way. Besides, Al has other things to worry about. Like his girlfriend. And life.
Henry likes numbers, especially the number 7. He’s also starting to discover girls. Trouble is, he hasn’t really discovered much about them yet.
When Ben meets Al, and Al meets Henry, that’s when everything changes.

First seen at Manchester’s 24:7 Theatre Festival, All the Bens is an engaging, witty and accessible 60 minute play dealing with themes of loneliness, desire, identity, growing up, special needs and internet meets. It won a Manchester Theatre Award for Best Fringe 2013, the Audience Favourite Show in 24:7 Theatre Festival 2012, and the Vicky Allen Memorial Award presented by Equity.

**** What’s On Stage
“Excellent performances, spot-on direction and a terrific script”

***** The Public Reviews
“One of the sharpest, funniest scripts around…”

British Theatre Guide
“A lovely piece with really touching moments and characters that are well-drawn and easy to like”




UNION

by Tim Barrow

Two Nations. Like oil and water, they cannot mix.

Union tells the story of the original Union of Scotland and England in 1707 as you’ve never heard it before.
Tim Barrow’s play is an energetic and highly theatrical romp through the raucous leaking taverns off the Royal Mile, Kensington Palace and the Scottish Parliament.
Union is rich in famous historical figures such as Daniel Defoe and Queen Anne, as well as our great Scottish poet - Allan Ramsay - who finds love in Grace, a prostitute in the bawdy and dangerous world of Eighteenth Century Edinburgh.

Don’t miss this big, foul-mouthed yet eloquent story as it leaps onto The Lyceum (Edinburgh) stage in the year of referendum.



WORLD ENOUGH AND TIME

by Sarah Sigal

2014. Celia appears to be the woman who has it all—a high-flying career, financial security and a picture-perfect family. But then a friend from her past reappears and the certainties of her spotless life start to crumble.
1936. Pamela, a journalist, is assigned to interview little-known American socialite Wallis Simpson. What starts as piece on cocktails and couture becomes dangerous when she meets Charlie, an MI5 agent monitoring the relationships between Simpson, the Prince of Wales and German Chancellor Adolf Hitler.
1646. With the men of the village away fighting, Lady Anne’s Royalist household is struggling to survive the winter with Cromwell's Army bearing down on them. When Joan, Anne’s illegitimate half-sister and suspected witch, shows up on her doorstep looking for protection, Anne is faced with a terrible choice.

World Enough and Time interweaves these three stories in a provocative new play about women’s lives in political landscapes.


World Enough and Time was first shown at the Park Theatre.


AWAY FROM HOME

by Rob Ward & Martin Jameson

Kyle is comfortable with his life as a male escort until the day he is hired by a premiership footballer and finds himself falling in love. But can Kyle maintain a relationship with a closeted footballer in a country where no top flight players are out? Can he go on pretending that the homophobia endemic in the game is nothing to do with him? Does he know what a relationship means, when, for him, sex has only ever been a transaction? Can he ever tell his friends – and his family – the truth?

An edgy, moving and subversively political one-man show, laced with sharp humour, going in for a hard tackle on football’s last taboo.

‘…a singularly brave – and rather extraordinary – piece of theatre.’ The Independent


Away From Home won two awards at the prestigious Manchester Theatre Awards 2014. It was first shown at the 24:7 festival before transferring to the Jermyn Street Theatre, London and then a UK tour. 


PICASSO’S ARTFUL OCCUPATION

by Ian Buckley

In a gloomy vault of a Paris bank in September 1940, Picasso has been summoned by the German occupation authorities. His precious works of art are to be inventoried.

But for what reason?

To the new German order Picasso is an artist of the ‘Bolshevik-degenerate’ variety. Is this summons a prelude to the art equivalent of the burning of the books? An art Kristallnacht just for Pablo - the most famous artist alive?

A desperate, surreal, sometimes comic, battle of wits and wills ensues. If Picasso loses, the consequences could be dire, both for him personally and for his work.

Ian is also the writer of Tailors' Last Stand also published by Playdead Press.


DOG DAYS

by Annie Hulley
'It's probably the menopause. My Aunty Vera's went on for twenty years. She was so hot once, she ended up in the freezer cabinet at Tesco's. Just got in with the fisherman's pies.'
What do you do when your world turns upside down? Cate and Johns marriage has hit the rocks. Now they are trapped in a nightmarish limbo until they manage to sell the family home. When a rather unusual couple fall in love with the house, it looks like the answer to their prayers-but be careful what you wish for...

A wickedly dark comedy about love loss and real estate.

Dog Days is Annie Hulley’s debut stage play. She has worked extensively as an actor and previously written for television (winning places on the Eastenders Writers Academy and Carlton Comedy Screenwriters course). 


Dog Days was first shown at Theatre 503.


CATNIP

A play by James Ernest

Derrick suffers a prolonged episode of impotence and uses his self-help group Manspeak as a means to escape his own life, and to avoid his own marital issues.
His impotence has a deep and unspoken effect on his wife, Julie, who diverts her attention to other things. She develops an obsession with the nonsensical, and this begins to have an effect on her balance of mind. Her behaviour becomes erratic, unpredictable, and eventually cruelly violent.

James Ernest is a graduate of the Royal Court Young Writers Programme. His first play, The 8th Wave was shortlisted for the Soho Young Writers’ Award.



OEDIPUS RETOLD

Two plays by Jeremy Kingston

“Why do we do it? Why do we make these journeys to
that smoking crack in the earth at Delphi?
We watch for birds flying this or that way,
Cringe at thunder-claps.
The folly of us all!.”


Oedipus Retold is a double-bill of Oedipus the King, an imaginative retelling by Jeremy Kingston of Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannos, performed alongside Jeremy's original work, Oedipus at the Crossroads.

The story of Oedipus the King is widely celebrated and Kingston's interpretation is a witty, alternative and thought-provoking retelling that revisits questions of fates, power and perception.

Oedipus at the Crossroads is a bitingly comic exploration of an alternative narrative; what would have happened if Oedipus had met his father and instead of killing him had struck up a conversation? And how on earth was Oedipus persuaded to kill his father and marry his mother within a few days?

Jeremy Kingston’s previous plays include Making Dickie Happy (Tristan Bates Theatre), No Concern of Mine (Westminster Theatre), Signs of the Times (Vaudeville Theatre) and Oedipus at the Crossroads (King's Head Theatre). Other writing includes two collections of poems, a novel, two children's books and scripts for Granada TV. He has been theatre critic for both Punch and The Times.

"A bristling, intelligent and funny play" - The Guardian
"A highly diverting diptych" - The Independent



MOON PROJECT

by Rachel Blackman

Leila is an aeronautical engineer. Shahab is a film maker. Today they have been asked to give a talk about their famous friendship and how two such unlikely people have become friends in the first place.
It all started with a crash. Leila was thrown into the air one day when Shahab crashed his car into her.

Did she experience shock? or peak experience? And was it possible she experienced both at once? Meanwhile Shahab, who has spent his whole life on the run, is having to come to terms with why he didn't stop to see if Leila was ok… Moon Project is about how often the thing we want the most is the thing we are most frightened of. It is also about space.

'A theatre maker of exceptional heart and skill. Deft, detailed theatre for the brain and heart' Tim Crouch



A GIRL WITH A BOOK
 

by Nick Wood
Can a Guardian reader really be prejudiced?
It’s October 2012. Gunmen stop a bus in Pakistan and shoot three girls. For wanting to go to school. How can the writer respond? Knowing nothing about the situation, able to offer little more than outrage he’s forced to come out from behind his desk and go into the community searching for answers to help him tell the story of a brave young woman’s fight for girls’ education. When his research uncovers attitudes at odds with his liberal convictions he also has to deal with what he learns about himself.

A Girl With A Book, written and first performed by Nick Wood is a searing examination of modern society.



metamorphoses
(after Ovid)


by Gari Jones

Metamorphoses.
Visceral.
Beautiful.
Savage.
Affecting.
In the face of emotional & physical transformation, the humanity of these stories, filtered through from Ovid, transcend the years to speak to our time. This version reflects the variety and persistence of pure storytelling.
Love, loss, memory, imagination and mind games, with a glimpse of the divine.

“Juxtaposing what we desire with what we love is a heady mix that causes emotions to stir. A seamless flow and a mix of traditional and contemporary storytelling makes this stick in the mind. The words seem to go on forever”
Remote Goat

“Involving, fascinating and highly entertaining.”
Colchester Gazette



COWARD


by James Martin Charlton
Coward is James Martin Charlton’s new, speculative play about the life of playwright, performer, musician and wit Noël Coward and his relationship with a struggling young actor named Leonard, set in the lively and ostentatious 1930’s.
Leonard is star struck and taken in by Noël’s signature charm and wit. Lured away from his girlfriend and his faith, Leonard is seduced by the lifestyle Noël promises him. But will Leonard ever become the great actor he always wanted to be, or is the part Noël has in mind for him more amorous than it is theatrical? All the while, events are observed and stage-managed by Noël's personal assistant, Cole Lesley, the epitome of the good and faithful servant.

“…an intelligent, accessible play written with dash, wit and real comic brio." David Eldridge



THEATRE RENEGADE PRESENTS 
COURTING DRAMA: VOLUME 1

Featuring 


Old Fools by Tristan Bernays
Conk the Dyslexia Goblin by James Hamilton
Scarlet by Sam H. Freeman
Extinct by Jamie Biddle
Bangin' Wolves by Phoebe Eclair-Powell
In Theatre Renegade’s Courting Drama, eight handpicked writers and directors speed date to find a new collaborative partner who will help them bring a twenty-minute piece of new writing to life. Courting Drama showcases these new partnerships and their pieces, which are moulded and developed over a three-week period.

Volume 1, programmed in a similar way to our live events, features five short plays that were performed at the Bush Theatre’s Attic space during the series' first three installments.

Be prepared to laugh, cry and experience the genuinely absurd in Theatre Renegade’s Courting Drama anthology.



THE TRAGICOMEDY OF MAC-BETH

by Sebastian Rex

In a small room, Mac and Beth sit. They type. Words. They long to find more meaning in their lives, looking to emulate their Supervisor, the Man Behind the Door. Into their world come Ste, Whit and Che; three childish creatures who prophesise that the couple will become great - if they are willing to kill for it. And so begins a journey into their worst nightmares.

Based on Shakespeare’s great tragedy, this sparse re-imagining is told with only five characters and set in the minds of a frustrated, sleep-deprived pair. The Tragicomedy of Mac-Beth couples some of Shakespeare’s most powerful verse with Rex’s acerbic contemporary language.

Reality and hallucination merge in this unique piece of theatre, as Mac and Beth begin to feel the vice-like grip of past sins and the harrowing consequences of murder.

Other works by Sebastian Rex include The Woyzeck and Fulfil Me Fully, Phil.



CALL MR ROBESON

by Tayo Aluko
“They say I’m meddling in the foreign affairs of the United States Government. Now, that’s too bad, ‘cause I’m going to have to continue to meddle...”
Paul Robeson is a world famous actor, singer and civil rights campaigner. When over the years he gets progressively too radical and outspoken for the establishment's liking, he is branded a traitor to his country, harassed, and denied opportunities to perform or travel.
Just as physical, emotional and mental stress threaten to push him over the fine line between genius and madness, he is summoned to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee, to give the most difficult and important performance of his career.

“First-rate... an admirable introduction to a great pioneering performer" The Guardian



THE SPEED TWINS

by Maureen Chadwick
The Speed Twins is an exhilarating, intriguing and moving story about a long lost love between two women.
Respectable widow, Queenie, is astonished and appalled when she finds herself trapped in a mysterious nightclub called “The Gateways” with two alarming companions and no way out.
As the drink flows, uncomfortable truths are revealed and Queenie is forced to revisit that fateful motorbike crash she walked away from fifty years ago.
Torn between temptation and fear, she struggles to justify her life’s choices and clear her conscience. Will she go to her grave with her conventional moral certainties intact? Or will she have the courage to re-write history and finally be true to her heart?
The Speed Twins unleashes an explosive and darkly comic conflict of desires and challenges us all to ask fundamental questions about identity.

Maureen Chadwick is the creator and writer of award-winning dramas Bad Girls, Footballers’ Wives and Waterloo Road.



THE SPRING TIDE

by Carol Vine
Suzy has loved Lan her whole life, or so it seems. A world without Lan in it would be unimaginable. But the strongest feelings are also the most dangerous, and Suzy is afraid. Instead of Lan, she opts for a life of safety, convincing herself over the years that this is the right path. 
But even as life’s circumstances pull them apart, still they are drawn to one another by a deep and irresistible bond that is inevitable as the tide.
After years apart, Lan’s final return shatters everything Suzy has made her own – a home, a husband, a son. As her world begins to unravel, Suzy must confront her fears and her desire. A decision must be made, whatever the cost.
'Her writing constantly takes you by surprise, draws you in. Strong and provocative.' WHATSONSTAGE on Whore by Carol Vine


GARI JONES: THREE PLAYS

by Gari Jones
Wretch

Wretch: i) a despicable person 
ii) a person pitied for his misfortune.
A powerful attempt by one man to purge himself of his past and destroy his future, in order to fully live in the present.
"Words filled with graphic imagery and a confrontational poetry that has its own dark beauty. Mesmerising. Haunts you long after it has ended" The Scotsman
"By far the best one man show I've seen. Unique, challenging and a genuine delight" The Good Review
Somewhere Else
He and She. The man and the woman. Time and habit have pressed them into isolation. Together. Alone. This is a last chance at the dream. Let the games begin. 'I dare you.' Go Somewhere Else.
"My understanding was far more extreme that the revelations of the spoken word"
Toilet
He. The Man. Time has pressed him inside the confines of his own mind. This is a last chance. Save Or Sabotage. But he needs to come to terms with the life around him. Where there's a party going on. In a Toilet.
"Neighbours speculate as to their neighbours comings and goings. The curtains remain closed so there's little to see. Isn't that always the way?" 



HIDDEN

by Laura Lindsay and Peter Carruthers 

Meet Claire, searching for an unexpected item in her bagging area.
Meet Gareth, wrestling over breakfast.
Meet Cara, wondering if she's value for funny.
Meet James, breaking the rules on the ten past eight.
Meet Nina, crossing the thin blue line.
Meet Colin, knowing it's wrong... but he just can't help himself.
Meet what happens when they meet each other.

Meet Hidden.

Hidden is a darkly comic story of six characters, their secrets and the intriguing puzzle of how they interweave and unravel in a modern urban world. Hidden peels back the skin and explores the inside.

**** THE GUARDIAN
"A true gem… This is, remarkably, the first piece Lindsay and Carruthers have written together. Talent as natural as this shouldn't remain hidden for long."

**** WHAT’S ON STAGE
"Imaginative and moving… an irresistible play"

***** THE PUBLIC REVIEWS
"Hidden could be performed on a motorway and still capture your attention"




TU I TERAZ ('HERE AND NOW')

by Nicola Werenowska
"If you want to survive, you can’t fill your head with the past. Truths and untruths, it’s dangerous, all of it. You leave all that. You look forwards."
Marysia moved to England a long time ago. As far as she is concerned, she has started a new life here with her teenage son, Kuba. But when her sister Anna arrives from Poland unexpectedly, it forces her to think again about her choices. Should you leave your past behind and start over again or is where you come from the most important thing about you? And has Marysia really left everything from her past behind or is she hiding a secret?
A moving, intelligent, vibrant new play about immigration and family loyalties.

Nicola Werenowska’s previous plays include Davy’s Day, Aftermath, Peapickers, Freedoms of the Forest, Camulodunum, Birthdate. Initially developed at the Mercury Theatre through the GFTA Escalator Performing Arts Scheme, Tu I Teraz was premiered at Hampstead Theatre before touring to The Nuffield Theatre and the Mercury Theatre.

“Catch it if you can: this is a delicate and bold piece of work.” Damian Thompson, The Telegraph.



HAPPY NEW

by Brendan Cowell

'People don’t really accept chickens, which is wrong, ‘cos we invented the pecking order.'

The outback. Danny and Lyle were abandoned by their mother in the chicken coop. Discovered after several months, surrounded only by hens, feathers, pecking and clawing, they are taken into care. Over the years, they’ve become media celebrities. Sultry TV journo Pru has entered their lives.
But now, society is bored with them. It’s New Year’s Eve. Tomorrow, Danny and Lyle must leave care and step out into the world alone for the first time. But are childhood traumas coming home to roost? What’s Pru hatching? Why’s she egging them on? Will they ever eat Nando’s again? And of course, which came first?

Brendan Cowell is a multi-award-winning and BAFTA-nominated playwright and screenwriter from Australia.  After an acclaimed, extended run at the Old Red Lion in 2012, Happy New received its West End début in June 2013 at Trafalgar Studios 2.

‘…by general agreement, the leading light among stage writers of his generation…’ Sun Herald, Sydney

‘Brendan Cowell has a fresh and distinctive voice and he approaches familiar subjects – sibling relations, infidelity – from startling and original angles.’ Sunday Age, Melbourne



OUR SHARE OF TOMORROW

by Dan Sherer
Tom asked Grace out when they were sitting on the Quay. She was fifteen, he a year older, and they were very happy together. But then she had to go away – something to do with her parents. So he sat on the Quay waiting for her. And one day she came back. 

Our Share of Tomorrow is a love story.

With a growing reputation for powerful, innovative theatre, Real Circumstance creates plays through a unique improvisatory process.

“Beautifully written, complex and humane…both uplifting and quite terribly sad.” British Theatre Guide
“Evolving at an impressive rate. They are very exciting indeed” Ben Power, Associate Director, National Theatre


DON'T WAKE ME: The Ballad Of Nihal Armstrong

by Rahila Gupta
An unforgettable love story of a mother and her disabled son. NIHAL - a boy born to silence. His mother - convinced, in the teeth of all advice, that he can communicate and live a rich life. A powerful, funny and deeply moving account of their struggles and triumphs. Starting with a difficult conception and a terrifying delivery with unsympathetic midwives on hand, Nihal's mother says 'her backbone lost its steel' when the doctor predicts that this gurgling, farting, smiling baby would not grow up to walk, talk, read or write. When Nihal's mother discovers he has a sensitive and intelligent personality trapped inside his body, she does everything in her power to set it free but mostly comes up against brick walls. Even in schools where the teachers should have known better!

A rollercoaster of loss, grief, joy, Nihal's wicked sense of humour and the indomitable human spirit.

“What an extraordinary piece of work… brave, complex and funny as well as incredibly moving.” Roy Williams



BOTALLACK O'CLOCK

by Eddie Elks
For the last two years of his life, Roger Hilton took permanently to his bed, in his cliff top cottage on the coastline of Botallack, Cornwall. Here he continued to work, painting over the side of his bed on sheets of paper laid on the floor. A small downstairs room became his bedroom, living space and studio, where Roger would work through the night with only his thoughts, his imaginings and a temperamental radio for company. 

Botallack O'Clock is a funny, moving and thought–provoking journey into the creative mind of one of the most unique voices in post–war British art. 

Botallack O'Clock received rave reviews during its Edinburgh Fringe Festival run and consequently transferred to Off-Broadway for the Brits Off-Broadway Festival at 59e59 Theater


CUDDLES

by Joseph Wilde
Eve is a 13 year old vampire. She has never left her room and everything she knows about the world and herself comes from what her sister Tabby has told her.
Eve lives in a world without sunlight. A world where Harry Potter, Bilbo Baggins and the cast of Dante’s Inferno are real; where princes with adjectives instead of names seduce beautiful princesses against the odds. A world crammed full of story book characters but with just one living, breathing human being to cuddle. Eve does everything a good little vampire girl should, including drinking her (human) sister’s blood. But one day, Tabby tires of opening her veins and, in a breath, the whole world changes.

Cuddles is the award-winning début play from Joseph Wilde. 


BETWEEN TEN AND SIX

by Chris Mayo
"Sometimes it’s just good to know who you've got living under your roof isn't it?"
Two strangers, Charlie and Ed sit in a dusty flat in North London. Charlie an anxiety ridden twenty-something and Ed, his socially awkward live-in Landlord. One needs a roof over his head the other just wants a friend. A late running parcel, delayed girlfriend and stilted conversation build the tension in the room. Just how much can the two tolerate before one of them snaps?

Chris Mayo’s dark comedy is his début play which was first shown at the Etcetera Theatre, London before being performed at the Leicester Square Theatre and the Brighton Fringe.

“Hilarious and shockingly devastating at the same time — it is undoubtedly a triumph.” A Younger Theatre


THE 8TH WAVE

by James Ernest
Brian’s little world revolves around his shop, a business built up from nothing. Lonely and unmarried, somewhat at odds with the world, his self-righteous world-view cadged from the Daily Mail, he believes in things as they should be, not as they are.
When teenage scally Mathew breaks into his shop, the fire of Brian’s resentments flares up. He holds the boy captive and unleashes on him the fury of his bitterness at the world. Mathew fears the worst.
But Brian and Mathew have much in common: both are desperately lonely, observers rather than guests at life’s feast. And they share a desire: for something better than their lot, a longing for meaning, for an end to the pain, for transcendent happiness.
And Brian is determined that things will not continue as they are – he will send them both to a better place, one way or other. 



VANESSA AND VIRGINIA

by E.H. Wright
Based on the acclaimed novel by Susan Sellers, E.H. Wright's innovative new play is a moving, poetic and powerful story about the remarkable sisters, novelist Virginia Woolf and artist Vanessa Bell.

“Our faces are imperfect replicas of each other, as if the painter were trying to capture the same person from different angles.”

Vanessa and Virginia are sisters, best friends, bitter rivals, and artistic collaborators. As children, they fight for attention, but as young women, they stake their claims on bohemian Bloomsbury, creating new lives and groundbreaking works of art. Through everything — marriage, lovers, loss, madness, children, success, and failure — they remain the closest of co-conspirators and the fiercest of competitors. A love letter and an elegy from Vanessa Bell to her sister, Vanessa and Virginia is a portrait of sibling rivalry and sisterly love that travels with dream-like fluidity through places, events and memories from their Victorian childhood to their Bohemian adulthood and final separation by death.

“I think its fluidity is remarkable and completely absorbing… I found the whole thing totally convincing and moving.” (Professor David Bradshaw, University of Oxford)



A GUIDE TO SECOND DATE SEX

by Rachel Hirons
Six outfits, one hour of make-up, one push-up bra and eight cigs. She's ready.
Six press ups, twenty minutes cleaning, three beers and a pube trim. He's ready.

Hear their thoughts and feel their pain as you witness the rawest most hilarious portrayal of male and female attitudes, anxieties and agonisingly familiar sex tricks as Ryan and Laura meet for their second date. A true story based on your sex life.
Whether male, female, single, married or divorced, here is everything you need to know... and loads you don't. 

A Guide to Second Date Sex was first performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and later transferred to the Soho Theatre in March 2013.
Rachel Hirons' play When Women Wee has just been turned into a feature film starring Sheridan Smith with Rachel writing the screenplay.



3SOME

by Lisa Gifford
Three friends. Two secrets. One night.
Paul and Jenny, an engaged couple, and Paul’s best friend Rob return from an evening at the pub. As the drink flows, their conversation turns to ex-lovers, sexual conquests and tales of Rob’s legendary bad behaviour. Soon, a game of ’I Never’ leads all three to the bedroom, but is it really just a harmless bit of experimentation, or does somebody have an ulterior motive? Who’s keeping secrets? And what happens when the night before becomes the morning after? As the saying goes; two’s company...

3Some was first performed at the Etcetera Theatre as part of the Camden Fringe to great success.  It was then revived at the Etcetera Theatre in March 2013.

"...succeeds in packing a lot more punch, featuring comparatively in-depth explorations of human sexuality and the emotional traps hidden therein." Everything Theatre

"Filled to the brim with witty one-liners... Gripping and side-splitting in equal measures..." One Stop Arts

"This is a fantastic play with a few risqué scenes to add to the thrill, recommended to all." Broadway Baby



MAKING DICKIE HAPPY

by Jeremy Kingston
“On the rare occasions when love deigns to come our way, it is the frenzy to have some one person in particular walk beside us: eat, drink, talk, listen, laugh, sleep, fart alongside. That is not what marriage is about, after the first few months of careful rapture. From rapture to rupture unless, dear Dickie, gazing upon your perfect lawn, you recognise that other grass is just as green and fragrant.”

Making Dickie Happy looks at the brittle, brilliant world of England’s literary and social elite in the 1920’s. Featuring the young Noel Coward and Lord Louis “Dickie” Mountbatten alongside celebrated writer Agatha Christie, this delightful comedy examines relationships, marriages, engagements and promises of some of the greatest writers and socialites of the time. 

Jeremy Kingston is a playwright and theatre critic for The Times.

After initial critical acclaim, Making Dickie Happy was revived at the Tristan Bates Theatre in March 2013.

“A witty collision of characters in a sugar-spun comedy” Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph

“Kingston's imagination has run wild and witty in his brooding comedy of love and misunderstanding” Nicholas de Jongh, The Evening Standard



THE CAFE

by Ben Aitken
A political comedy about austerity that puts the Coalition in the Kitchen.
A struggling café is forced to make cuts. A waiter tries to organise a strike. Will he convince a Turk, a Pole, and a trialling waitress that striking is the way forward? 

The Cafe was performed as a site specific piece is a real cafe first at the Brighton Fringe then in London in association with the Old Red Lion Theatre.

‘Bitter-sweet social observation… the direction matches the sparkle of the script.’ The Stage

‘Gloriously caustic… Aitken is one to watch.’ Fringe Guru



THE THING ABOUT PSYCHOPATHS


by Ben Tagoe
Britain. 2013. Times are hard, but the money’s still out there if you know where to look and are prepared to gamble. Whether it’s prison or the corporate world, there are rules to be followed. Only the fittest survive. It’s every man for himself.

A searing, funny and thought-provoking new play from Ben Tagoe (‘Cold Turkey at Nana’s’ – Oran Mor / Perth Theatre, ‘Bittersweet Sunshine’ – Red Ladder and BBC Writers Academy), ‘The Thing about Psychopaths’ asks important questions about power and empathy in modern Britain.

National Tour from March – May 2013


HOT DOG

by Sarah Kosar
"She pissed on me. Actual dirty yellow piss. I’m not overreacting on this one. My mother should not pee on me!"

Meet Maryanne’s mother: The Dog.

After years as her mother’s carer, Maryanne finally has a way out, leaving her sister Carol to take over. But the Dog has other ideas.
Determined to force Maryanne to stay, the Dog is out of control. How much will the sisters put up with before something must be done?
Set in small town America, Hot Dog is a black comedy about old loyalties, new beginnings and losing sight of our humanity.


COALITION

by Robert Khan and Tom Salinsky
COALITION charts the final days of Lib Dem Leader Matt Cooper, in this fast-moving comedy satire about modern politics.

It's early 2015 and Britain's coalition government has only a few months left to run. The Conservative Prime Minister and his Lib Dem Deputy haven't spoken for months, the economy has flat-lined and government MPs are threatening to defect right, left and centre. Lib Dem leader Matt Cooper has to make a series of last, desperate gambles to save the party he loves.

"Real class -don't miss it"
* * * * The Times

"An absolute gem... guaranteed to make you shake with laughter"
* * * * * Sunday Express



FEAR OF MUSIC 

by Barney Norris 
‘This is my life, I want to do more with it than flip burgers…’ 

Thatcher's England, and Luke and Andy are facing the end of their childhoods. Luke is the first in the family to go to university- but as Andy looks for a way of escaping the life he was born into, he can' t stop thinking about his father. Surrounded by mixtapes, guitars and ambitions, the two brothers discover how easy it is to get lost in a country that doesn't look after its own. 


Fear of Music toured in 2013 in a production by Up in Arms, supported by Out of Joint

‘Well constructed and eloquent... smart work’ The Telegraph

‘That most poignant of cocktails: youthful hope mixed with youthful disillusionment... touching, unsettling, occasionally funny, and thought-provoking’ British Theatre Guide



THE TAILORS' LAST STAND

by Ian Buckley
Four old boys who still caper about like adolescents. Four wrinklies full of mischief and fun. Four trade unionists with the sad task of saying a final goodbye to their beloved union. Four comrades with personal memories that still have a sting in the tail.

Seen with sympathy and affection by a playwright who was the son of just such a man, Ian Buckley’s play evokes a whole era through these four men with their very human characters and their moving and mighty belief in a better world.

This is a comedy from the pen of a writer who knows it from the inside. 


LEAN

by Isley Lynn
Tessa’s home. Unannounced.
Michael has stopped eating again.
She makes a deal with him – she’ll stay, but will only eat what he eats.
Michael, however, plays by his own rules.
A brave, boldly original and unashamedly frank insight into one couple's battle with anorexia and each other.


Isley Lynn is a graduate of the Royal Court Young Writers Programme, and her work has been produced and supported by National Theatre Studio, Nabokov, Arcola Theatre and BAC.

'High tension...informative and sensitive...With exemplary acting (...), set design, lighting and sound, this is the kind of production that makes the lovely Tristan Bates Theatre a safe bet for a great night out.' The Stage


Oliver Reed: Wild Thing

by Rob Crouch and Mike Davis
‘“I’m Oliver Reed from Wimbledon!” I’d say to anyone I met. I out-drank, out-spoke and out-punched everyone.’

Join hell-raiser Oliver Reed as he shares his life story... From a difficult childhood and riotous youth through the success of Oliver! boozy adventures with Keith Moon and disastrous chat show appearances — this was a life well lived.
But though Ollie may appear an unstoppable force of nature, this is Malta 1999 and time is running out for the ‘Wild Thing’.


‘Mike Davis and Rob Crouch's exhilarating monologue races through the chief highlights of Oliver Reed's career. Reed had a marvellous knack as a phrase-maker and the script honours this talent to the full.’ The Spectator

‘Everything a biopic should be.’ Edinburgh Evening News

‘It's all great fun — as, one imagines, Reed was himself (when not recovering from what must have been appalling hangovers). But there's also a poignant seam of self-awareness running throughout.’ The Daily Telegraph

Oliver Reed: Wild Thing has taken the Edinburgh Fringe festival by storm and toured the UK and Ireland.  It continues to tour and more information can be found at olliereedtheplay.co.uk


American Justice

A play by Richard Vergette
Richard Vergette’s searing political thriller about guilt and redemption in America’s Deep South, American Justice is set during the eight years of an Obama administration, when idealism and forgiveness may not be all they seem. American Justice comes to the West End in a new version directed by Lisa Forrell having won plaudits from critics and audiences alike throughout the UK.

‘Executed with the slash of a well-sharpened knife.’ The Stage

‘Fascinating... full of unexpected surprises.’ Manchester Evening News

WINNER Audience Favourite Award and Best Production Award 24.7 Theatre Festival, Manchester
WINNER Best Fringe Production 

NOMINATED Best New Play and Best Performance Manchester Evening News Awards 

American Justice was performed at the Arts Theatre, London in Jan 2013.


Just One Day

A play about Sexual Violence and the F Word by Catherine Kay
When Girl 29 is drug raped the friendship between Shona, Sheldon and Janet is stretched. When Janet’s fiancé Gary is accused of the rape, the women are forced to take sides and reassess their friendship and personal values. What will be their priority? Protecting an ‘alleged’ rape victim? Or protecting an ‘accused’ rapist?

JUST ONE DAY is a beautifully told account of female solidarity and ultimately a story about recovery and hope. The play was inspired by the writing of Jewish Militant Feminist Andrea Dworkin, who had one wish that there could be JUST ONE DAY each year when women and children would be free from sexual violence being perpetrated against them. The script was written and researched with the assistance and support of MANCHESTER RAPE CRISIS, the (Pankhurst Centre Manchester). And STAR Surviving Trauma after Rape (based in Wakefield). 


Impotent

A play by Matt Reed, additional text by Graham Hubbard
A pitch-black comedy drama set in the murky world of a Market Harborough Genito-Urinary Medicine Department. Five men at different stages of their life and different stages of treatment for impotence are seen individually undergoing treatment with Dr Zoë Lane, a woman who has to penetrate, interpret and reprogramme the misfiring, and frequently overwired brains of her patients. Her patients are a mixture of men for whom sex is any or all of a reward, a curse, a threat, a justification and punishment and for whose lives have been mainly exercises in searching for validation, reassurance, but most of all… a hard-on. 

Impotent was first performed at The Lion and Unicorn Theatre, London in Jan, 2013.


Transmission

A collection of short plays by Jimmy Osborne
Five short plays transmitting stories of the what-if, the might-be and the could-have-been:
Two lonely souls search for love in the most unlikely of places; an ex-convict returns to regain what he lost; one man has to fight between love and inheritance; a couple find out how far they will go if no one listens; and a father tries to talk his missing son home from within the boy’s voicemail.

'Multi-layered, provocative.' Exeunt Magazine review of Meat

The plays featured in Transmission are being performed in London, Sydney and New York.


Fulfil Me Fully, Phil
Playing With…
$ellebrity


Three Plays by Sebastian Rex


Fulfil Me Fully, Phil - Suffering a minor existential crisis Phil creates man. From that moment on, Phil hasn't got a moment's peace. Husband wants a wife, Wife wants a baby, Captain wants to kill, Chairman wants money, Doctor wants to cure, Whores have a penchant for caviar and Russian men, Fatso wants to eat and Sister Father to worship; Mankind’s exhaustive demands are pretty hard to meet. Witty, surreal and eerily relevant, Fulfil Me Fully, Phil inverts the wants and needs of our very make-up, be it religion, reproduction, or excellent cake.
Playing With... - Two dark comedies, where playing games is the only way of communication. Living With... is a symbolistic play, telling the story of a man forced to move in with three hedonistic beings where the name of the game is sex, indulgence and alcohol - and torture is the only refuge. Toy Boy tells the story of Toby, an emotionless being whose sole purpose is to entertain those around him. The play deals with exploitation in relationships, leading to a climatic end.
$ellebrity - A sharp satire questioning the ownership of celebrity culture. A star is tied to a chair in the basement by a girl who rents him out to a friend as a way of making money. 'hilarious and cheeky' The Stage



but i cd only whisper

by Kristiana Colon
America. 1970. Black Vietnam veteran Beau Willie Brown is held in custody, accused of a heinous crime. A story comes to light that sticks in the throat, a story murmured between dark dreams. 

‘beau come back from ‘nam with empty eyes and hands like stone
but
the war started long before he got on that plane’


but i cd only whisper wrestles with being vulnerable and black in white America. Fusing the physical and the poetic, a strange song emerges from the warble of police sirens, the percussion of machine guns, and the chants of voices only you can hear. but i cd only whisper is a new play by Chicago based poet, playwright and actor, Kristiana Colón (Cry Wolf at Teatro Luna and Promised Instruments on Northwestern University Press).


One Hour Eighteen Minutes

by Elena Gremina, Translated by Noah 
Birksted-Breen
A few years ago, a team of Russian lawyers discovered evidence of corruption by the Russian government - proving the theft of £145m of public money. Understanding the risk to their lives, the lawyers took asylum abroad. Except for one of them. 37-year old Sergei Magnitsky stayed in Moscow to testify against the Russian government. But before he could do so, Magnitsky was arrested and held without charge. A year later, he was dead. Inspired by previously unreleased evidence of Magnitsky’s treatment during his year in detention (obtained from independent journalists in Russia), playwright Elena Gremina has woven together a dramatic tale which gives a fascinating insight into the dark heart of modern day Russia.


Obama The Mamba
President of the Slums

A play be Kevin Fegan
"My brother has risen to be leader of the most powerful country in the world. My aim, in Kenya, is to be a leader amongst the poorest people on earth."

Meet "the Mamba" - George Hussein Obama, former Nairobi slum gangster. Barack's younger brother, born of the same Kenyan father. Only an accident of birth divides them.

The Mamba, means crocodile in Swahili. It is George's gang name - he was always the first to snap. Barack Hussein Obama Snr was the father the two boys never really knew. Whilst one brother made it to the pinnacle of First World power, the other became self-styled Third World President of African's most lawless slum - Huruma. Enter Obama The Mamba's secret world- his charm will captivate you. A true life story of fate, power and destiny. 


The Right Ballerina

A play by Billy Cowan
Jack, the Artistic Director of the country's leading dance company, is forced to make some difficult decisions when Penny, his principal dancer, is outed as a member of a right-wing organisation. A sustained campaign of protest by a group headed by Mr X brings the company to near bankruptcy and Jack is forced to meet Mr X's ever - increasing demands. Is Penny about to lose more than her career and reputation? 

Billy Cowan is an award-winning playwright having won the 2002 Writing Out Award for Best New Gay Play for Smilin’ Through organised by Finborough Theatre, London. In 2010 he also won Warehouse Theatre’s International Playwriting award for Transitions.


The Woyzeck / Spare

Two plays by Sebastian Rex
The Woyzeck adapted from the play by Büchner
“Well, this was a fascinating case. A fantastical case, almost. A decent murder. A real murder. A wonderful murder.”

The Woyzeck only wants to live his life and support his lover and their child. But society has other ideas for him. On the eve of Büchner’s bicentenary this modern interpretation of the play pits Woyzeck against all the other characters in his life who push him to the point of madness.

Spare
“I don’t care about what causes things because caring won’t do any good. There is no reason for things. These things happened. They just did. Nothing caused them. They just happened.”

Twelve-year-old Qwerty responds to a newspaper ad and finds Sam. Voorty is accosted by Sam on the street on the way home.
Pranty will do whatever Sam wants because Sam is Pranty’s special friend. Spare is a raw, provocative and humorous look at human brutality and sexual abuse.


Both plays premièred at the New Diorama Theatre, London


Bones

by Jane Upton
Nottingham, 1998: 19-year-old Mark is living a life he never signed up to. Caring for his drug-addict mum and her baby, Mark knows he has to make a choice that could change things forever. But how far will he go?
The story of a boy trying to find his place in a world that doesn’t want him, Bones will chew you up, spit you out, then make you wonder why you cared in the first place.

First produced in Derby by Fifth Word in 2010, Bones went on to receive five-star reviews at the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and to tour nationally in 2012, taking in 19 venues across the UK.
A poignant monologue full of emotionally-charged passages, Bones is an excellent audition piece and especially suitable for students undertaking their AS-level practical examination.

'Jane Upton’s taut, compelling monologue is a harrowing but sympathetic portrait of a damaged young man…' The Stage
'Bones is ultimately an intense, unsettling and very rewarding piece.' The List



The Strange Case of 
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

by Nick Lane
Doctor Henry 
Jekyll is a good man. Successful within his field, respected by his peers, and close to a neurological discovery that will change the face of medical science forever... but his methods are less than ethical.
When a close friend and colleague threatens to expose and destroy his work, Jekyll is forced to experiment on himself – and something goes very wrong.
Or very right.
Suddenly Jekyll has a new ‘friend’, the brutal Edward Hyde, and he has willed his entire fortune to him. But what is Jekyll’s true legacy?
Love, betrayal and murder combine in this chilling adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of good and evil.

From the author of My Favourite Summer & Housebound.
'A writer who knows what he's doing.' The Guardian

Commissioned by Hull Truck Theatre, A Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde was taken a huge national tour throughout Autumn 2012


A Broken Rose 
by Sarah Goddard
Following the tragic tale of a young girl in search of adventure and truth, A Broken Rose is a powerful and harrowing new play from the pen of Sarah Goddard (Offie-nominated for Most Promising New Playwright). Surrounded by the harsh confines of her reality, Maria invents her own world to live in: a world of magic and beauty, that is far preferable to her own. As the two worlds begin to blur together Maria is left struggling in the wake, unable to grasp hold of either.

This beautifully unique play which was first performed at the Cockpit Theatre, London is sure to both shock and provoke.



Chicken

by Mike Batistick
The hit American Off-Broadway play praised by The New York Times and The New Yorker, CHICKEN is the third play by acclaimed dramatist Michael Batistick. The drama follows the self-destructive Wendell as he tries to eat himself to death and save his family from poverty and humiliation by deciding to train a rooster for a cockfight. 

'New York life is at the heart of the saucy but tender comedy wrapped around the fighting rooster.' Associated Press

'It’s the sort of play that makes you want to go home and take a long, hot shower.' The New York Post

Chicken received it's West End Première at the Trafalgar Studios in June 2012.



MEAT


by Jimmy Osborne
"Sometimes I dont even remember being there. Wake up at the end of my shift. Only part of my brain w
orking is the bit connected to the knife."

Vincent works in a meat processing factory. When the local lads erupt, things get out of hand and Vincent becomes a vigilante. As the violence from his workplace blazes through the streets, Vincent has to choose to fight for his town or for the woman who was once the love of his life.

Meat dissects the animal instincts that course through our blood, skin and bone and asks, "Is it really what's on the inside that counts?"

Meat was first performed at Theatre503 in June 2012.


Letter To Larry

A new play written by Donald Macdonald in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of Vivien's birth, this new play débuts in the Queen’s Jubilee year.
When Laurence Olivier asks Vivien Leigh for a divorce, her response creates a worldwide sensation. She is fighting for his love… and her life.

Donald Macdonald is an actor/writer/director. He made his West End début onstage at The Wyndhams in 1986, followed by international screen and stage roles. In 2011 he performed a one-man play of St John in Edinburgh, London and New York. He is an award-winning screenwriter, whose other stage plays include Caravan, Boulevard Play, Hot Taps and Seasons.

Letter To Larry was first performed at the Jermyn Street Theatre in June 2012.



Summer


by Julia Stubbs Hughes
“I went there to see him but I didn’t go in because I was afraid. Afraid that he’d think I’d come after him.”


Eighteen year old Charity Royall lives in the remote village of North Dormer with her guardian and father-figure Lawyer Royall. Lucius Harney, a young architect with his knowledge and experience of progressive New York, then comes into their lives.
Based on the novel by Edith Wharton and set in a society that values tradition over love, Julia Stubbs Hughes’ new play focuses solely on the novel’s three main characters and explores how a young woman dreams of escaping her confined world.

Summer received its debut in May 2012 at the Brockley Jack Theatre, London.



Release 

by Icon Theatre
Fringe First Award winner and hit of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011, RELEASE explores the lives of three ex-prisoners in the first months after release, as they attempt to reconnect with the people and the remnants of life they left behind. Kyle searches for work but finds offers from old friends more and more tempting; Hitesh cuts himself off from friends and family and dreams of the open road; while Becky has lied about her past and lives in constant fear of being found out. Devised through a two year development process of interviews, research and site visits with prisoners, ex-offenders, hostel managers and probation officers, Release fuses high-energy physical theatre, an original score and mixed media to create an explosive insight into just how hard it is to go straight.

‘A sharp, impeccably performed and blazingly impassioned piece of theatre…simply terrific’ **** The Times

Release was first performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2011 and in 2012 went on a full UK tour.


Infinite Riches

by Catherine Harvey 
Phil has reached a crisis point in his life. Deep in debt, with a nasty
cold, he spends his lunchtimes feeding the ducks, while his plant-mad wife
spends her money in the Pound Shop.
But everything changes when Phil meets a strange girl in the park who
offers him the chance of excitement - and much needed cash. Her Nan
doesn’t trust banks, she tells him. She could lend him the money and no
one need ever know anything was wrong… How far would you go if you were disillusioned and in debt?
Phil, a modern day Faustus, succumbs to temptation in this dark comedy for
the Recession. 

Infinite Riches received its debut in May 2012 at the Old Red Lion Theatre, London. Catherine Harvey was the winner of REDFEST 2011.


Same Same

by Shireen Mula
I draw a picture. Me. Me with a line drawn down me, right down my face, down my nose, down my middle. I tear along this line – tear me in two. I put the right away. I hold onto the left, I’m going to hold it all day.

It is five to midnight and Asha is about to turn 21. 21 means grown-up and ready for the world but Asha feels she doesn’t know who she is yet. At five to midnight Nid remembers the decision she made at 21, a decision that continues to echo in both women’s minds.

Shireen Mula’s structurally innovative new work is a journey through alternative realities and multiple identities, driven by a volatile mixture of hope and fear. Stories collide with reality in an exquisitely fractured jigsaw; Same Same is a lyrical story of regret, longing and mixed-race identity set in a dark recess of contemporary London.


Without A Trace

by Michael Wilson
Jack is back is this fantastic new novella.  It is 1888 and in the London district of Whitechapel a sleepless terror haunts the streets. Metropolitan Police Inspector, Edmund Reid, is called to a number of brutal murders that puts him at the centre of an investigation following a man who would become one of the world's most infamous serial killers. This story follows some of Whitechapel's citizens as the horrific tale unfolds. This is the story of Jack the Ripper.

Dean Jacobs, author of ‘The Streets of Whitechapel’ - Michael Wilson produces a gripping read in 'Without a Trace'. What most impressed me about this book was the interesting layout and recount of events that reads much like a diary entry into each character. He sets the scene well and the descriptive manner in which he approaches each murder allows the reader to be present to witness the gruesome act first hand. I love the creepy characterisation he has created for the Whitechapel villain!  His calm, creepy demeanour is perfectly put across.  A very interesting read, with some squeamish moments that will thoroughly delight all of those Ripper buffs out there.


Housebound

by Nick Lane
Jim has been married to Lucy for forty-one years, and his life is one of routines. Same trips to the same shops to buy the same stuff… and every day a new annoyance, a new exasperation. Lucy has her routines too, but they don’t involve going out. She’s agoraphobic, and doesn’t tend to get many visitors. The pair of them are struggling under the weight of an unspoken event from their past, with no sign of any change. When Ash, a desperate local youth, breaks into the house one night and is overpowered by Jim, the frustrated pensioner – to his wife’s horror – decides to teach the lad a lesson, revealing long-hidden sides to all three of them…

A dark comedy about the differences – and similarities – between the generations, from the writer of My Favourite Summer and Me & Me Dad.

“A writer who knows what he's doing.” Lynn Gardener, The Guardian

“...revelations that have you shifting your prejudices in the manner of Oleanna or Blackbird.” York Press

Critically acclaimed writer Nick Lane has been cited as one of the best writers to hail from north of the Watford gap and this play shows his versatility as a writer. Housebound is at times funny and touching and other times shocking and controversial. The play has seen a number of productions and was most recently taken on a national 3 month tour that finished Dec 2011.



My Favourite Summer

by Nick Lane
Dave is a sensitive twenty-three year old post graduate with a ten-year long crush on his housemate Sarah. When she announces that she is going to do a PhD in New York, Dave realises he must tell her how he feels or lose her forever. Unable to just come out with it, he hits upon the scheme of paying for a 'surprise holiday' for Sarah, and declaring his love in a more romantic setting. In order to raise the money for this high-stakes gamble he takes a summer job in a scaffolding warehouse, where he meets Melvin, an unreconstructed lunatic of a man. The initial culture-clash is only the start of Dave's troubles, however, for once Melvin gets wind of his plans, he takes it upon himself to educate the young lad in the ways of the world. . .

A comedy for everyone who's ever been in love and lived to tell the tale, from the writer of Housebound and Me & Me Dad.

'Blissfully funny' Daily Telegraph
**** – The Times


Another funny and touching piece of work by Nick Lane that is proof to the acclaim he has received.

My Favourite Summer will be on tour throughout February and March 2012



Theatre for Young People publications


Glee and Glum

by M6 Theatre Company
Precious is thinking of running away because she’s not happy. Michelle wants to be with Stuart because it makes her happy and Henry just wants to be Blackadder.
Should the right to pursue one’s happiness be on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Class 5P thinks it should. So, when their citizenship teacher sets them an experiment to do whatever makes them happy for a week, they all jump at the chance. But will anyone be happy by the end of the week?
Glee & Glum is a funny yet touching play about individual happiness and the price one might have to pay for pursuing that happiness.
M6 Theatre Company is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) and recognised as one of the UK’s leading theatre companies, creating innovative and relevant theatre for and with young audiences. Act Now! is their participatory programme which enables young people to create and perform theatre themselves.



Invisible
by M6 Theatre Company
Ten year old Jo might as well be invisible. No-one takes any notice of her. So, she decides to run away. Finding herself in the strange world of the Dragon’s Den, she soon realises she’s made a mistake. The Dragon’s, however, won’t let her go back home until she’s invented something that will make them rich. Jo soon learns that to escape, it is herself that must reinvent.
M6 Theatre Company is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) and recognised as one of the UK’s leading theatre companies, creating innovative and relevant theatre for and with young audiences. Act Now! is their participatory programme which enables young people to create and perform theatre themselves.
Invisible was devised by M6’s participatory manager, Rowan Davies, and the Act Now Youth Theatre group aged 8-11.


Out of Print Publications

Death to the Left
Life to the Right
by Tobias Robinson














With Or Without You
by Tobias Robinson