London Playwrights Festival Line-up

We’re so very excited to share the line-up for the festival with you! Keep an eye out for updates on special guests for the Q&A events and free digital content which will be coming your way during the festival.

In the meantime, here are the selected writers and their plays. You can book tickets here.


Monday 6th December: 7.30pm – Watching a Whale Fall by Ayse Evans

Rehearsed reading followed by Q&A/ Panel event (guests TBC).

When the all-female pirate crew aboard The Day of Reckoning is attacked by the British Navy, reality crumbles, and nothing is as it seems. The pirates are haunted by albatrosses, dead men and grieving whales. But how will they survive without a rudder? Why is the navy following them? And what happens when a whale falls?

Ayse Evans is a writer, facilitator and actor from the south of England. She honed her writing skills through the Royal Court’s introduction to writing course, as well as with support from Mrs C’s Collective and The National Youth Theatre. Ayse’s work has been performed by The Corona Virus Theatre Club and Yellow Coat Theatre, and her play Squirrels was shortlisted for the Phil Fox Award in Playwrighting 2020.  When not writing, Ayse can be found knitting and watching competitive cookery shows.

Tuesday 7th December: 7.30pm – Rewild by Gemma Lawrence 

Rehearsed reading followed by Q&A/ Panel event (guests TBC).

How do you hope when the future’s so unknown and you’re down to your last Brussel Sprout? REWILD is a raw, funny exploration of hope, grief and trees.

Gemma Lawrence is a writer and actor. Her debut play Sunnymead Court was nominated for an OFFIE for Best New Play, and had a sold-out run at the Actors Centre before touring to the Arcola Theatre, Theatre Clwyd, Dukes Lancaster and Theatre Royal Bath. She is a member of the 2021 Orange Tree Writer’s Collective.

Wednesday 8th December: 7.30pm –  Lee by Sally Reichardt

Rehearsed reading followed by Q&A/ Panel event (guests TBC).

 As the war draws to an end, Lee Miller, World War II reporter, isn’t ready to return home and surrender her career and the unlikely freedoms she has experienced as a woman on the frontline. Lee celebrates the amazing career of Lee Miller and explores the tensions between the liberty of life on the road and the horrors of war; as well as the lure and constraints of family life.

Sally Reichardt is a writer and actor from Hertfordshire, living in South London. Having trained in acting at East 15, she now enjoys writing and performing poetry and plays including Fruity Lil Number and co-writing Motion.

Thursday 9th December: 7.30pm  – Hot Mess by Claire Seeber

Rehearsed reading followed by Q&A/ Panel event (guests TBC).

The planet’s heating up, and so is single peri-menopausal mum Sunny.  Already on the edge, she’s got to save son Jay from a fate worse than arrest with the help of young waif Storm.  Well, who else is going to protect kids and planet if not Sunny?  Enlisting help in the roughest pub in the city to weaponise, now she’s just gotta sort the dastardly powers that be before the planet implodes…

Claire is a Londoner who started professional life as a (bad) actress and then became a documentary maker, a journalist, and in 2007, Harper Collins published her first psychological thriller, Lullaby; her 7th was released in June ‘21! Playwriting takes her back to her first love – the buzz of live theatre. She is also a qualified Gestalt therapist (as in psychotherapist) and in her down-time,tries(!) to manage a home of slightly feral teenagers and animals, including Colin the dog.

Friday 10th:  7.30pm  – Mum by Emma Dawson 

The Kaki Bandit by Toby McShane (a short play written in response to Mum, selected as a winner from this year’s Play Club, find out more here.)

Rehearsed reading followed by Q&A/ Panel event (guests TBC).

Mum is the centre of Edie’s universe. They’ve stuck together through thick and thin, as other family members abandoned them one by one. But after a terrible accident, Edie has to learn to function as an independent adult in a world that she severely dislikes.

Emma Dawson is a playwright and short story writer. Mum, her first full-length play, was shortlisted for Through the Mill Playwriting Prize, longlisted for Theatre503 International Playwriting Prize, longlisted for development with Traverse Theatre, and shortlisted for development with Middle Child Theatre. Her audio drama commission, Diltie Moss, aired in May 2021 with Eclectic Full Contact Theatre, a Chicago-based audio company. Her short plays have been performed at Theatre503, Battersea Arts Centre, Pleasance Theatre, White Bear Theatre, and Theatre Deli and her short stories have been published by Untitled, Dear Damsels, and Broccoli Arts.

Toby McShane is a writer and educator living in Switzerland. He teaches literature at an international school outside of Geneva. His written work has been produced in collaboration with the New Works Playhouse and Church St Theatre. He currently has a short film, The Pig and Pirate, in production and is in the process of developing his first feature, Cherubs.

Saturday 11th December: 5pm:  All Work No Play by Scott Younger

Mac & Beth Holdings by Sally Wilden ( a short play written in response to All Work No Play, selected as a winner from this year’s Play Club, find out more here.)

Rehearsed reading followed by Q&A/ Panel event (guests TBC).

Fresh out of university, Greg is keen for his first taste of the working world. But he gets more than he bargained for when he joins Atlantis, a shambolic company due to host a make-or-break corporate event. Charged with finding a venue, navigating through office politics and surviving a gun-wielding CEO: it’s a baptism of fire for the new starter.

Scott is an emerging playwright based in Cambridgeshire, UK. He is passionate about telling stories that move, entertain and make people laugh. His plays include the award-nominated ‘The Baffling Adventures of Question-Mark Man’ (Edinburgh Fringe), ‘Junk’ (Old Red Lion Theatre), ‘The Vegan Next Door’ (Horse and Stables Theatre) and ‘Bodkin’s Beans’ (The Vaults). Scott has also written and performed comedy sketches for BBC Radio Norfolk and BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.Scott is an alumnus of the Soho Young Theatre company, The Director’s Cut Writers club, Eastern Angles’ Young writers group and has worked as a script reader for The Space theatre. Scott was recently selected as part of the Mercury Playwrights group for emerging eastern England playwrights.

Sally Wilden’s work includes a one act play, ‘Adlestrop – again’, ‘Hope and Loss’, a short play selected for Playclub 2019, co-author of ‘Trojan Whores’, Courtyard Theatre,London and ‘Gainsborough and the Modern Woman’ to be toured in East Anglia 2022. Her first love is writing for theatre but she has also written for radio and film.

Saturday 11th December: 8pm – Pulse by Julie Tsang

Bass by Roli Okorodudu (a short play written in response to Pulse, selected as a winner from this year’s Play Club, find out more here.))

Rehearsed reading followed by Q&A/ Panel event (guests TBC).

Pulse – A police interrogation room. Two strangers sit at each end of a table. One wants justice, one wants a second chance, but both have more in common than they could imagine. A play about love, loss and the beating of a heart.

Julie Tsang is an award-winning playwright. In 2017 Julie won the Scotland Short Play Award with Cumbernauld Theatre and Listen Up! Audio drama with Alphabetti Theatre in 2020. The Family Unit was long-listed for the Bruntwood Prize 2019, Paines Plough’s Women’s Prize for Playwriting 2020, and will be staged at the Women’s International Playwrights Conference in Montreal 2022. Credits include: Wildsheep & Wunderkind Offbeat Festival/Oxford Playhouse, All Noise Theatre 503/Theatre Centre, Playing with Tales Lyceum theatre/RSC and Fix Pleasance Theatre/New Earth theatre. Julie was mentored with Playwrights Studio Scotland and is an alumni of New Earth Theatre’s professional writer programme. She is under writer attachments/schemes with Oxford Playhouse, Theatre Centre, Oli Lansley’s We are Wildchild, Children’s BBC and EIFF.

Roli Okorodudu’s short play ‘Blend Share.Mix’ was selected and performed for Theatre 503’s Rapid Response and another play, ‘Let’s Start at The Beginning’ was performed with Page to Stage London’s scratch night. As an actor she has devised and written on‘Takeaway’ by Stephen Clark and Royal and Derngate Northampton Theatre’s Amandla! Roli is currently working on a full-length piece ‘Holiday’: loosely based on a true story where five women take their young children away for a week. Their relationships are tested as are their parenting skills as a series of events ignites tensions and traumas in the group. Roli is also working on a radio play, ‘Merry Widows’: Two recently widows decide to move in with each other in order to move on but guilt and bereavement make this a challenging journey. Roli lives in Stockwell with her 2 cats and her 2 children.

How to book: tickets are on sale now! Get them here.


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