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Royal Court writers at Northern Stage

Published: 2 June 2018
Reporter: Peter Lathan

The Royal Court, Northern Stage and New Writing North will present public readings of nine new plays developed by the Royal Court Writers’ Group: North at Northern Stage in September.

The Royal Court is the UK’s best known and most active new writing theatre, reading and considering over 2,500 unsolicited scripts each year as well as involving writers in one of their writers’ groups which are traditionally writer-led and in the past have helped launch the careers of some of today’s most probing playwrights including Lucy Prebble, Polly Stenham, Bola Agbaje, Mike Bartlett, John Donnelly, E V Crowe, Penelope Skinner, Alistair McDowall, Alice Birch and Nick Payne.

From 4 to 8 September in Stage 3, Northern Stage will showcase the work of nine Northern playwrights in a series of rehearsed readings. The playwrights (and their plays) are:

  • Man Hours
    Written by Chris Salt
    Directed by Lucy Morrison

    A play about boys, Burnley and betrayal.

    Chris Salt is a Manchester-based playwright, arts engagement practitioner (Edgeways Productions) and award-winning documentary film-maker. As a playwright, he has been a runner-up for the Papatango New Writing Prize, commissioned by Northumberland Touring Company, selected for Bolton Octagon’s Top Five festival, had a rehearsed reading for 24:7 and written an ACE-funded documentary opera about invisible illness.

  • Cheer Up Slug
    Written by Tamsin Daisy Rees
    Directed by Lorne Campbell

    A play about sex, slugs and the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award.

    Tamsin Daisy Rees is a playwright and illustrator from County Durham, currently based in Newcastle. She is an Associate Artist at Live Theatre. This is her first full-length play.

  • Paper Tiger
    Written by Mhairi Ledgerwood
    Directed by Lorne Campbell

    A play about love, language, and fear.

    Mhairi Ledgerwood has had work performed at The Traverse, Northern Stage, Live Theatre, Alphabetti Theatre and ARC Stockton. She currently has plays in development with The Six Twenty and Alphabetti Theatre.

  • Braids
    Written by Olivia Hannah
    Directed by Lucy Morrison

    A play about friendship, identity and hair.

    Olivia Hannah is a Newcastle-based translator, short story writer and playwright. She has had work performed at Live Theatre in Newcastle and is one of the theatre's 2018/2019 Associate Artists.

  • Bones
    Written by Zosia Wand
    Directed by Lucy Morrison

    A play about a Polish headscarf, a teenage girl and a dead seagull.

    Zosia Wand is a playwright, novelist and occasional poet. She has lived in the Cumbrian festival town of Ulverston for most of her adult life and her stories are rooted in the local landscape.

  • Island People
    Written by Lindsay Rodden
    Directed by Sam Pritchard

    A play about sleeping giants, uprising women and a dance hall at the edge of the world.

    Lindsay Rodden was born in Scotland, grew up in Donegal and Liverpool and is currently based in North Shields. Recent writing includes The Story Giant (Liverpool Everyman, adapted from the book by Brian Patten), Cartographers (Theatre by the Lake), A Modest Proposal and Sunday Morning, Dandelion Seeds (women playwrights’ collective Agent 160), Man With Bicycle, ’73 and Writing in the Dark (The Miniaturists) and her new writer-in-residence play for Live Theatre, Newcastle.

  • Marikana
    Written by Karen Laws
    Directed by Sam Pritchard

    A play about recrimination, loyalty and rape.

    Karen Laws lives in Newcastle. Her first play, Dirty Nets, was performed at Live Theatre in 2004 and in 2009 she co-wrote a radio play called Beware the Kids. She has written for television, both comedy and continuing drama, including EastEnders, Casualty, Holby City, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Hollyoaks, 32 Brinkburn Street, Waterloo Road, Stella and Shameless.

  • Dear Pig
    Written by Laura Lindow
    Directed by Lucy Morrison

    A play about bones, bedding and bruises.

    Laura Lindow is a Scottish playwright, director and clown doctor proudly based in the North East of England. Recent credits include the award-winning Key Change (for Open Clasp), The War of the Worlds (for Northern Stage) and new musical Beyond the End of the Road (for November Club).

  • Harsh Noise Wall
    Written by Jack Nicholls
    Directed by Lucy Morrison

    A play about limbs, brains and every member of The Fall.

    Jack Nicholls is the author of the poetry pamphlet Meat Songs (The Emma Press, 2017) and has been published in The Best New British and Irish Poets 2017 (Eyewear), The Poetry Review and other places too. He produces and hosts the experimental cabaret FLIM NITE and makes comedy with the sketch group Beach Hunks.

Details of the performance schedule can be found on the Northern Stage web site.