Biography

I am a playwright who works for stage, radio and screen; I am also very involved in the new playwriting scene and have written about the pedagogy of playwriting, the nature of plays and been a participant in shaping arts policy in this area; I have been described as ‘one of the UK’s most accomplished political playwrights’.

Having written The Contingency Plan, a diptych of plays in 2009 about climate change I have been at the forefront of artistic practice and reflection on climate change and was a co-convenor of the Writing and Science Project at UEA.  I returned to climate change with my solo show 'In a vulnerable place' performed in 2014-2015.  I am currently embarked on an AHRC Leadership Fellowship funded leave called 'The Song of the Reeds: Dramatising Conservation' which is an 18 month long collaboration with Wicken Fen and Strumpshaw Fen nature reserves.

I teach at undergraduate and post-graduate level in LDC and convene the MA in Creative Writing: Scriptwriting programme and supervise 4 Creative/Critical PhDs.

Career

Work for the stage

Current and forthcoming

Translation/adaptation of Brecht's 'The Caucasian Chalk Crcle'  Autumn 2021

'The Song of the Reed' residency - on-going to 2022

revival of 'The Contingency Plan' for Theatre Clwyd and the Donmar Warehouse, scheduled for May-July 2020 but postponed thanks to Covid-19 to 2021

Adaptation of Giles Foden's 'The Last King of Scotland' for the stage, Sheffield Theatres Sept-Oct 2019, published Nick Hern Books

Limehouse (2017) Donmar Warehouse, pub NHB

The Play About Calais (2016) Cambridge Junction, epublished NHB

Temple (2015) Donmar Warehouse, pub NHB

Europa (2013) – October, 2013. Birmingham Rep in collaboration with theatres in Croatia, Germany and Poland. Published by Methuen/Bloomsbury, October 2013
Far From the Sea (June 2014) Three short plays for Theatre Absolute, Coventry
The Known Universe (forthcoming) - a new play for Birmingham Repertory Theatre, developed in collaboration with the Institute of Astronomy in the University of Cambridge

Why can’t we live together? July-November 2013; A one-act play for Menagerie Theatre company, Hotbed Festival Cambridge, performed at The Junction, Cambridge, The Mercury Theatre, Colchester, Soho Theatre and Theatre 503, London.

Other major theatre work

 

‘Ignorance/Jahiliyyah’, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs, November to December 2012, published by Nick Hern Books
'Capernaum' - a short play in response to 'The Gospel According to Mark' for The Bush Theatre's '66 Books', October 2011,published by Oberon
'Little Platoons', The Bush theatre, January/February 2011, published by Nick Hern books.
'Amphibians' with Offstage Theatre company, developed at the National Theatre Studio 2010, staged as site-specific show at The Bridewell Theatre in London, January 2011
'The Contingency Plan' (On The Beach and Resilience)The Bush Theatre, London April-June, 2009; shortlisted for John Whiting Award, 2009; published by Nick Hern books; subsequent productions in the USA, Australia; adapted for Radio 3, broadcast December 2009; currently being adapted to Film by Film Four and Cowboy Film Productions.
'Scribblers' commissioned by National Theatre; currently in development with Out of Joint theatre company.
'Out of Your Knowledge', 2008, Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh and East Anglian tour (2007) by Menagerie Theatre Company.
'Fast Labour', West Yorkshire Playhouse and Hampstead Theatre (April-June 2008); published Nick Hern Books; longlisted for The John Whiting Award.
'06/07/05', for Arcola Theatre March 2007, ‘Miniaturist’ evening; also ‘Hotbed’ festival for Menagerie 2006.
'Flight without End' (adaptation of Joseph Roth’s novel) for LAMDA ‘long project’, May 2006.
'The Unthinkable', Sheffield Crucible Studio, Oct/Nov. 2004;published by Nick Hern Books.
'World Music', June 2003, Crucible Theatre, Sheffield transferred Donmar Warehouse, Feb/March 2004; published Nick Hern Books; runner up to Meyer-Whitworth Award 2004; translated into French, produced by TheatreFirst in Oakland California, May/June 2006.
'Habitats' translation/adaptation Philippe Minyana’s play The Gate Theatre, London, December 2002; published by Oberon books; revived at Tron Theatre, Glasgow, November 2004.
'After the Gods', Hampstead Theatre, May/June 2002,published by Faber; translated into German.
'English Journeys', Hampstead Theatre 1998; revived by Weaver-Hughes Theatre Company at Edinburgh Festival 2003.

Writing for Film/TV

Adapted 'The Contingency Plan' for Film 4/Cowboy Films

'Safe House' BBC4 2002

Writing for Radio

 

Miriam and Youssef, BBC World Service, 10 episodes April-July 2020, available on BBC Sounds

Fall of the Shah, BBC World Service, 9 episodes January-March 2019, available BBC Sounds and nominated for Best Fiction Podcast by British Podcasting Society 2020

Saving the Blue' R4 Afternoon play November 2017

'Deep Swimmer' R4 Afternoon play March 2016

'Scribblers' R3 July 2015

'Bretton Woods' R3 July 2014
'The Air Gap', Saturday play for Radio 4, October 6th 2012. 
‘Little Platoons’ Radio 4, June 18th as Saturday Play. 
‘The Contingency Plan’ broadcast Radio 3, December 2009.
‘The Parliament of Rooks’ , ‘From Fact to Fiction’, Radio 4, May 2009.
‘The Family Project’ broadcast on ‘The Verb’, Radio 3, March 2005.
‘The Moderniser’ afternoon play, Radio 4, September 2001.

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