Thursday, 19 December 2013


Royal Court Theatre
18 December

They lay experiments on paper plates
and pour them, blue and green, in shot glasses; 
red wine to wash away the cow methane 
and eggs that are not eggs.
Is this cupful of soup nostalgia what it seems
or will it burst in fireworks upon your tongue
and turn your head, entice you, trip you up 
and make you sniff and lick, trying to taste
what you thought you already knew, again.

Gastronauts runs until 21 December at the Royal Court

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Lizzie Siddal

Arcola Theatre
5 December

From their first sight, 
her feet upon a chair, 
her hair aflame, alight;
to her last breath, 
with body wracked 
and wild, poppy eyes
induced to heartbreak, 
desolation, death.

Lizzie Siddal runs at the Arcola until 21 December

Saturday, 30 November 2013

30. Tallest Tales from the Furthest Forest, Northern Stage, Newcastle

Tallest Tales from the Furthest Forest
Northern Stage, Newcastle
Saturday 30 November

The furthest forest
hides a host of heartwarming
stories and sneezes!

29. Peter Panto and the Incredible Stinkerbell, Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Peter Panto and the Incredible Stinkerbell
The Tron Theatre, Glasgow
Friday 29 November

One smelly fairy
fights and farts and flies
over oceans of glitter.

28. A Christmas Carol, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

A Christmas Carol
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
Thursday 28 November

Curmudgeonly Scrooge,
his purse held tight, must face up
to his past tonight. 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

27. Richard III, York Theatre Royal

Richard III
York Theatre Royal
Tuesday 26 November

He takes a bloody path,
smiling, deceiving,
dissembling Richard.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

26. The Mousetrap, Blackpool Grand

Agatha Christie's - The Mousetrap
Blackpool Grand Theatre
Monday 25 November

Snow-bound, these strangers
would do well to worry more
about murderers.

Monday, 25 November 2013

25. The Hitchhiker's Guide to Fazakerley, Royal Court Liverpool

The Hitchhiker's Guide to Fazakerley
Royal Court Liverpool
Saturday 23 November

Across the sky the Space Girls
fly and sing, and fall
in love with earthlings. 

Saturday, 23 November 2013

24. War Horse, The Lowry, Salford Quays

War Horse
National Theatre
Lyric Theatre, The Lowry, Salford Quays
Friday 22 November

Head up, quivering,
eyes bright, the call from long ago,
the sound of home.

23. Jack and the Beanstalk, Oldham Coliseum Theatre

Jack and the Beanstalk
Oldham Coliseum Theatre
Friday 22 November

Dame Trott steals the show;
dressed as an ice cream
she defies description. 

22. Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
Thursday 21 November

Poor thing, heartbroken,
out for vengeance, cold blooded
murder, hot meat pies.

Friday, 22 November 2013

21. Slava's Snowshow, The Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield

Slava's Snowshow
The Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
Wednesday 20 November

The sad clown, shuffling,
yellow and green, summoning
snowfall, magical.

20. The Grand Gesture, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

The Grand Gesture
Northern Broadsides
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
Tuesday 19 November

Gannet-like they swoop,
to turn a hopeless man
into a sacrifice. 

19. Out of the Shadow, Nottingham Playhouse

Out of the Shadow
Nottingham Playhouse
Monday 18 November

From the darkness, man
will crawl, stoop, learn at last
to love, hope, live, dance, die.

Monday, 18 November 2013

18. Cymbeline, Curve Theatre, Leicester

Phizzical Productions
Curve Theatre, Leicester
Saturday 16 November

In her sleep he steals
her necklace and her husband;
what riddles follow.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

17. Every Mother's Son, Everyman Studio Theatre, Cheltenham

Every Mother's Son
Multistory Theatre Company
Everyman Studio Theatre, Cheltenham
Friday 15 November

His war games are real now.
What can we do but smile,
bake, remember, wait.

Friday, 15 November 2013

16. Tom's Midnight Garden, The Old Rep Theatre, Birmingham

Tom's Midnight Garden
Birmingham Stage Company
The Old Rep Theatre, Birmingham
Friday 15 November

By night the dustbins
fall away and flowers bloom
that were dead long ago.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

15. Tartuffe. Birmingham Rep

Birmingham Rep Theatre
Thursday 14 November

Under the table,
listen to that buffoon
making love to your wife.

14. Charlie Peace - His Amazing Life and Astounding Legend, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Charlie Peace - His Amazing Life and Astounding Legend
Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
Wednesday 13 November

Cat thief, a night creep,
taking delight in taking
what he should not own.

13. Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story, Derngate Theatre, Northampton

Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story
Derngate Theatre, Royal and Derngate, Northampton
Wednesday 13 November

Let's up the pace, up
on your feet, dance like the wind,
light feet, to the last.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

12. Sweeney Todd, Oxford Playhouse

Sweeney Todd
Oxford Operatic Society
Oxford Playhouse
Tuesday 12 November

Revenge is a pie
made of your age old
enemy, served with a song. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

11. Save The Last Dance For Me, Theatre Royal, Bath

Save The Last Dance For Me
Bill Kenwright and Laurie Mansfield Productions
Theatre Royal, Bath
Monday 11 November

Here is your smooth-singing
American, whisking you
off your dancing feet.

Monday, 11 November 2013

10. Solid Air, The Drum, Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Solid Air
The Drum, Theatre Royal, Plymouth
Saturday 9 November

A song for a friend,
sitting alone, silent and
starving for something. 

9. A Midsummer Night's Dream, Theatre Royal, Plymouth

A Midsummer Night's Dream
The Lyric, Theatre Royal, Plymouth
Saturday 9 November

Fairies of music
and skipping dance; white-faced clowns,
full of tricks and mirth.

8. Twelfth Night, Northcott Theatre, Exeter

Twelfth Night
Filter Theatre
Northcott Theatre, Exeter
Friday 8 November

Here are your revels,
dancing, drinking, gleefully
questing after love.

7. The Recruiting Officer, Salisbury Playhouse

The Recruiting Officer
Salisbury Playhouse
Thursday 7 November

Come ladies, here are men
enough to marry or
enlist you all.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

6. The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Watermill Theatre, Newbury

The Six Wives of Henry VIII
Living Spit Theatre Company
The Watermill Theatre, Newbury
Wednesday 6 November

Of wives and women
this man was a master but,
at heart, knew nothing.

5. Ghost The Musical, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Ghost the Musical
Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
Tuesday 5 November

In life, in death, they dance;
in song, they love. In all
this, hope and heartbreak. 

Thursday, 7 November 2013

4. King Lear, Chichester Festival Theatre

King Lear
Minerva Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre
Monday 4 November

Raging against the storm,
the world, his daughters: the rain
pounds down, remorseless.

3. The Duck House, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford

The Duck House
Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford
Saturday 2 November

The duck house in the room
that may not be mentioned:
hilarity beckons.

2. The Prisoner of Zenda, Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

The Prisoner of Zenda
Common Ground Theatre Company
The Guildhall, Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds
Friday 1 November

Their red hair is the root
of this misadventure:
what mis-haps, mis-hairs.

1. How to Catch a Star, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

How to catch a star
Blunderbus Theatre Company
New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
Friday 1 November

A little boy falls
for a star - I love
the sandwich-hungry seagull.

30 Plays in 30 Theatres in 30 Days

This is a bit different.. For the month of November I will be travelling around the country, visiting thirty different regional theatres in thirty days, and seeing a play at each. I will also be speaking to the Artistic Director of each theatre wherever possible about their programming strategies, their audience, and how they run their theatre.

I will keep a running blog of haikus here.. 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


Rose Theatre, Kingston
15 October

Here is an ancient myth
that won’t stay shut,
a man who sees the future
but is blind with lust,
a woman's body half consumed 
with cat, and city walls
that are not high enough
to keep these horrors out.

Oedipussy runs at the Rose Theatre, Kingston, until 19 October

Saturday, 12 October 2013


Little Angel Theatre
10 October

Terra-witches flap and flutter,
grey and gauzy wings aquiver;
where below the rooster struts, red–ruffed 
and beady-eyed, towards horror.

Macbeth runs at the Little Angel until 10 November

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

New Wimbledon Theatre
08 October

Now he's away again, up on the ridge,
where snow and rain and storm 
will hope to drive away all thoughts of women,

though at home, of course, a woman waits 
for him with heavy heart, and prays 
that he'll come home to her in spring.

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is on tour until May 2014

Monday, 23 September 2013

The Herd

The Herd
Bush Theatre  
18 September 

They are strong and stubborn, this clan,
hiding their suffering and struggle
for an age until it must erupt in anger
and the fear of loss.
Here is the breaking point of old, worn lives
and new beginnings, men who stand up tall
or who, weak in their hearts and legs,
stumble in pitfalls; men with their strength in words,
poetry, promises.
Here are the hearts of women, bitter, hard,
ready to fight at any moment
for the thing they love, or stuck in limbo
of their own slow grief and grudge. 
The Herd runs at The Bush Theatre until 26 October 

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The Man Who Planted Trees

Southbank Centre
31 August

Into a place of craggy lavender and scrub 
you came, with your tree fingers 
and your quiet way, living alone
and planting day by day ten thousand acorns 
that will grow into a sweet, green army
of oak trees, their roots ferrying water, 
their leaves casting long shadows, their shade 
a lovely resting place at last for an old man 
and his old dog to lie, their hearts content, 
their eyes still bright, the dog still sharp 
at the trick of a bone or stick, his tail thumping 
in the same old way, ears alert, nose wet.

The Man Who Planted Trees, by Puppet State Theatre Company
is now on tour until 26 October

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The Events (Edfringe)

Traverse Theatre
18 August

They pick mushrooms, 
walk on the coastal path
above the sea, talk,
sing, make love. All that
is in the past. Now they live
far apart, driven away 
with endless questioning,
with anger, and a boy
outcast, his mind a maze
that drove in darkness
to atrocity. 

The Events runs at The Traverse Theatre until 25 August

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Dark Vanilla Jungle (Edfringe)

Pleasance Courtyard
17 August

So young, her dreams like fog
over her eyes; the world above
so high, but where she stands,
nothing but heartbreak and blood.

Dark Vanilla Jungle runs at Pleasance Courtyard until 26 August

Superhero Snail Boy (Edfringe)

Bedlam Theatre
19 August

The boy with superpowers cannot sleep,
throws plates and forcefields, throws caution
to the winds and dares at last to make a leap
for friendship, happiness and chocolate cake.

Superhero Snail Boy runs at Bedlam Theatre until 24 August

Kubrick3 (Edfringe)

Pleasance Courtyard
17 August

Crazy Conway, caught
insance, in love with fame, lies,
sex, mints, a new name.

Kubrick3 runs at Pleasance Courtyard as part of The Edinburgh Festival Fringe until 26 August

Monday, 12 August 2013

The Same Deep Water As Me

Donmar Warehouse
8 August

Swindling, swearing, sweat, 
a call to arms,
a trip to Greggs, 
an old, lost love
remembered and a host
of bloody new regrets.

The Same Deep Water As Me runs at the Donmar Warehouse until 28 September

Friday, 9 August 2013

Josephine and I

Bush Theatre
7 August

The dancing girl, 
dancing from street 
to stage, all skin 
and knees and teeth; 
till dollars turn 
to diamonds 
beneath her feet. 

Josephine and I runs at the Bush Theatre until 17 August

Monday, 5 August 2013


Shakespeare's Globe 
4 August

The trumpet sounds,
calling the heart
and stirring up the sense;
and stories flutter, bawdy
and bloody, glittering life
and bright with risk of death.

Gabriel runs at Shakespeare's Globe until 18 August

Sunday, 28 July 2013

The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable

Temple Studios
26 July

Here in the gloom you float through trees
and down abandoned streets,
looking through windows,
nothing to stop you looking
for a stolen kiss or catching a glimpse  
of a knife blade in the dark.

They know they are watched,
used to an eye always
on the back of the neck,
used to the mask they wear,
the smile set, lipstick in place.
They are used to this, to wooden walls

and doors that lead on anywhere,
to labyrinths instead of houses,
rooms of dresses that are not their own.
Used to the clothes that turn them
into other people, and the taste
of a script as it clings to the back of the throat.

The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable runs at Temple Studios until 30 December 2013

Monday, 22 July 2013


NT Live
20 July

A church of mud
with high walls shadowy
and full of spirits,
battle blood that clings
to hands and face
and in their bloody dreams
the stuff of fear wailing
sleep no more.

Macbeth ran from 3 - 20 July at St Peter's Church, Manchester,
as part of the Manchester International Festival 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013


Unicorn Theatre
9 July

The Lionboy
with shaking heart
and brave brown eyes
races around the world

on circus boat and air balloon;
a cat-speaker whose tongue
knows how to purr and mew
and speak with lions.

Down river, desert,
mountainside he is pursued,
a red foot enemy hot on his tracks
and growing close.

Lionboy by Complicite runs at the Unicorn Theatre until 21 July

Monday, 8 July 2013

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Lyric Theatre
6 July

It’s a beautiful day
for a walk in the woods
and a swim in the river
and play in the snow,

and a hunt for a bear
through the high and the low,
till the moment it’s there
and then run away home!

We're Going on a Bear Hunt runs at 
the Lyric Theatre until 1 September 2013

Thursday, 4 July 2013


Young Vic
3 July

We start with darkness,
sleep or not sleep, lights
that leap and follow,
full of magic,

moonlight casting beams
like scattering snow,
a yellow moonrise
in a dark bedroom. 
Brilliant runs at the Young Vic until 13 July

Tuesday, 2 July 2013


Royal Court
30 June

Here are the lives of pigeons
squabbling in shit, tripping
from pill and spraypaint highs
to bloody gutter in an instant.

Pigeons ran from 25 - 29 June as part of Weekly Rep at the Royal Court

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Monkey and Crocodile

Greenwich + Docklands International Festival
23 June

Over the river, 
high in the trees, the monkey
swings and somersaults;

below the green-eyed
crocodile glides, hungry
for love and apples.

Monkey and Crocodile by Metta Theatre is on tour until 21 July

Wednesday, 5 June 2013


Duchess Theatre
28 May

The attic, evening.
The violin upon your shoulder
perched, eliciting music.

Here is the bow aloft,
just as you hold your expectation:
high, on the edge of sound;

and here disappointment
like a splinter of the violin
upon your tongue.

Hymn runs at the Duchess Theatre until 15 June

Monday, 3 June 2013

Cocktail Sticks

Duchess Theatre
28 May

Going back, the house
is quiet, dusty,
full of unlived dreams.

A sherry bottle
on the kitchen shelf,
a woman’s magazine.

These were the things
of your ambition:
parties, fitting in;

but now, without the hope
you had in them,
they are nothing.

Cocktail Sticks is performed as part of Untold Stories, which runs until 15 June at the Duchess Theatre

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Merrily We Roll Along

Harold Pinter Theatre
27 May

New York, the grey and glittering,
rooftops at dawn,
the edge of everything.

Later we drank champagne,
blue sky, success, and looked around
at all we had and all we'd lost.

Merrily We Roll Along is now booking until 27 July

Monday, 27 May 2013

Sappho …in 9 fragments

Rose Theatre, Bankside
26 May

Within this tangled web
of ropes and legs,
a woman lithe
upon her spider’s bed;

her words dispelled
in cursory fragments,
she clings to history
on broken threads.

Sappho 9 fragments runs at the Rose Theatre until 2 June

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Something Very Far Away

Unicorn Theatre
22 May

We loved, and felt the rush of stars and space
on hilltop and park bench, our fingers locked
and bodies bent for every utterance.

She was my light and sky and all my happiness,
her every glance and kiss
a lovely lesson in what courtship is;

and now she’s gone I’d give up time and space
for one last glimpse, a final sight of her
across the universe, so very small, so very far away.

Something Very Far Away runs at the Unicorn Theatre until 2 June

Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Low Road

Royal Court
11 May

A penny-poaching, swaggering,
penny-feather-in-his-hat rapscallion, Jim.
A brothel foundling, raised on whores
and honey, out for a gentleman.

Luckless and naked, scaredy cat he swims
in free trade seas, trading in time and sex,
freedom and finery; for here money’s king
and there’s no place in sanity for charity.

The Low Road ran at the Royal Court until 11 May

Friday, 10 May 2013

Mies Julie

Riverside Studios
8 May

Red wine, her father's best.
Red cotton dress, glaring
upon her breasts.
Their evening lust
burning down walls
and spilling blood.

Their fingers worn

upon a bruise red floor,

beneath which history

and hate will beat
and lay to rest
all hope of love.

Mies Julie runs at Riverside Studios until 19 May

Tuesday, 23 April 2013


Battersea Arts Centre
18 April

His fingers fly, dark eyes
fixed on the distance:
the guitar his accomplice.

Red velvet dress, red wine,
and a woman enchanted;
the guitar is his promise.

Orpheus, by Little Bulb, runs at the BAC until 11 May

Friday, 12 April 2013


The Shed at The National Theatre
10 April

Table of love and hope.
A wedding gift

of scars. A leopard's claw.
A line of ink, urine

or blood. The weight
of age and family.

A wooden board, heavy
with stones and stories.

Table runs at The Shed until 18 May

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Blown Away

Polka Theatre
6 April 

Like fireflies above a sleeping world, 
star-lit, soaring, playing 
above the city and the sea, sliding 
down red rooftops and dancing 
over distant green meadows. 

Retreat to pillowy soft clouds
and hide and seek and taste 
your favourite flavour in the wind, 
chocolate and butterscotch 
bursting upon your tongue. 

Blown Away by Birdsnest Theatre
is on tour until 20 April

Above Me The Wide Blue Sky

28 March
Young Vic

The sky is quiet now the birds have gone,
the fields green and bare without flowers.
The path is there beneath a line of trees,
but where the silver fish flashing the stream?

Above Me The Wide Blue Sky by Fevered Sleep 
ran from 7 - 28 March at the Young Vic

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Bristol Old Vic
30 March 

A pagan place this, all hardwood 
and leather, lightbars falling
from the ribs of trees;

and here are flowers, purple
and pregnant, trailing love streamers
upon an airy sea.


A Midsummer Night's Dream runs at the Bristol Old Vic until 4 May

Friday, 22 March 2013

Steptoe and Son

Lyric Hammersmith
20 March

Step to it son,
spinning your song
and dance upon
this cart heavy
with scrap; dreaming
beneath the moon,
a ticking clock,
an old, chipped plate.

Pour us a drink,
stay in and let
the world spin by
the two of us;
forget the girl
who glows in your
desperate dream
of her embrace.
Steptoe and Son runs at the Lyric until 6 April

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Little Sunshine, Little Rainfall

Tara Arts
9 March 

Quiet, the garden 
where the green-eyed frog watches
the moonlit pool,

until a red fox,
whirling his tail, stirring
the trees and breaking

branches, lands, light-pawed
and hungry, full of mischief,
asking for trouble.

Little Sunshine, Little Rainfall, by A Thousand Cranes
is on tour until 4 August