The Royal Court Theatre, Northern Stage and New Writing North present

Writers' Group: North

Writers' Group: North Top / Details
Mon 21 May - Fri 25 May 2018

The Royal Court Theatre has collaborated with Northern Stage and New Writing North to create a new writers’ group. The first public readings of the plays that have been developed by the group will take place in The Site at the Royal Court in May 2018.

Royal Court Writers’ Group: North was open to playwrights based in the North of England. The nine writers selected have spent the last three months in sessions with leading UK playwrights Stacey Gregg, Emteaz Hussain, Alistair McDowall, Simon Stephens and Tom Wells.

The new writers include Olivia Hannah, Karen Laws, Mhairi Ledgerwood, Laura Lindow, Jack Nicholls, Tamsin Daisy Rees, Lindsay Rodden, Chris Salt and Zosia Wand. The readings will be directed by Royal Court Associate Directors Lucy Morrison and Sam Pritchard, and Northern Stage Artistic Director Lorne Campbell.

Following the readings at the Royal Court, the plays will also be shared at Northern Stage in September.

Tickets are £5 or £8 if you book for two readings in one transaction.

Find out more about the plays below.

Writers’ Group: North is supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.


Monday 21 May, 6.30pm
Man Hours
Written by Chris Salt
Directed by Lucy Morrison
Cast: Craig Gazey, Andrew Gower, Simon Harrison, Muzz Khan, Charlotte Lucas
A play about boys, Burnley and betrayal.

Chris 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.


Tuesday 22 May
6.30pm: Cheer Up Slug
Written by Tamsin Daisy Rees
Directed by Lorne Campbell
Cast: Amy Cameron, Patrick McNamee
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.

8pm: Paper Tiger
Written by Mhairi Ledgerwood
Directed by Lorne Campbell
Cast: Naana Agyei-Ampadu, Amy Cameron, Patrick McNamee
A play about love, language, and fear.

Mhairi 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.


Wednesday 23 May
Written by Olivia Hannah
Directed by Lucy Morrison
Cast: Mercy Ojelade, Kate Okello
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 their 2018/2019 Associate Artists.

8pm: Bones
Written by Zosia Wand
Directed by Lucy Morrison
Cast: Madison Clare, Julia Ford, Kate Okello
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.


Thursday 24 May
Island People
Written by Lindsay Rodden
Directed by Sam Pritchard
Cast: Amy Blair, Lisa Dwyer Hogg, Paddy Glynn, Valerie Lilley, Amy McAllister
A play about sleeping giants, uprising women, and a dance hall at the edge of the world.

Lindsay was born in Scotland, grew up in Donegal and Liverpool, and is currently based in another rainy edgeland, 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.

8pm: Marikana
Written by Karen Laws
Directed by Sam Pritchard
Cast: Siphiwe / Rob Peter Bankolé, Ashley McGuire, Tracey Wilkinson
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, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Hollyoaks, 32 Brinkburn Street, Waterloo Road, Stella and Shameless.


Friday 25 May
Dear Pig
Written by Laura Lindow
Directed by Lucy Morrison
Cast: Navin Chowdhry, Lucy Ellinson, Yasmin Mwanza, Boadicea Ricketts, Amalia Vitale
A play about bones, bedding and bruises.

Laura Lindow is a Scottish Playwright, Director & 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).

8pm: Harsh Noise Wall
Written by Jack Nicholls
Directed by Lucy Morrison
Cast: Navin Chowdhry, Zak Douglas, Lucy Ellinson, Amalia Vitale
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.

The Site, Royal Court Theatre

Tickets are £5 or £8 if you book for two readings in one transaction.

Running time: 1hr per reading (except Mon: 1hr 30mins)

The Royal Court Theatre building is fully accessible. If there is anything we can do to assist your visit please contact Box Office on 020 7565 5000 or


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