Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs)

Bristol Old Vic
25 October

Sleek as a cat, Macheath,
a silver-tongued hipster,
a hit-man, a thief,
dancing the night away
at his own wedding,
leaving his bride 
on her suitcase, slowly slipping 
from her sunny dreams
into the freezing, foaming sea
not far beneath.

Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) ran at the Kneehigh Asylum, 
Liverpool Everyman and Bristol Old Vic in 2014

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Stop Press - publication announcement!

Happy National Poetry Day! 

I'm thrilled to announce that the first Haiku Review publication is on its way. 'Theatreland', a collection of poems inspired by theatre, will be published by Indigo Dreams in 2015.

Watch this space - more information coming soon!

Sophie x

Monday, 29 September 2014

Great Britain

Theatre Royal Haymarket 
26 September

She's a page one whip,
making the headlines,
going out teeth and tits
for the perfect pitch.

She knows the game,
laying down lies and sex
to break a story
and some hapless neck.

Great Britain is playing at the Theatre Royal Haymarket 
until 10 January 2015

As You Like It

Southwark Playhouse
25 September 

Where first the snow fell
now there flutters spring,
bursting in flower and song,
falling in floods of green;

a flurry of lovers sigh
beneath the trees,
barely aware that they
are not all as they seem.

As You Like It runs at the Southwark Playhouse until 18 October


Phoenix Theatre
6 September

There are boys like this,
silent and strong,
better in song than speech,

better in love than grief,
lugging their hearts along
with them like rocks

and wishing they were light.
Wishing for gentle words
and easy flight

to carry them away
above the sea, but scared
they'll fall onto the rocks beneath.

Once is playing at the Phoenix Theatre 
Currently booking until 4 July 2015

Monday, 18 August 2014

Made in Dagenham

Usually Haiku Review is just about shows I have seen, but I'm excited enough about this one to let you know about it in advance. Made in Dagenham thrilled me as a film, and I can't wait to see it onstage - as a musical - directed by Rupert Goold.

Here's a taster. Watch out for the feminist mining strike poem in due course.

Made in Dagenham opens on 5 November at the Adelphi Theatre.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014


Hampstead Theatre
12 July

Down pit you're dark as death
and hot as hell, sweltering, swearing
in relentless pitch,
up to your waist in water,
rubble, grit, coal in your eyes
and lungs, coal in your shit.
You hold the picket line
against all odds, fighting for what
you know to be man’s right;
brought to your knees for scraps
you rage and weep, as all 
you ever worked for slips from sight.

Wonderland runs at Hampstead Theatre until 26 July

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Shakespeare in Love

Noel Coward Theatre
10 July

Playwright of the river,
drinking with whores
and mongrels
in a backstreet tavern;

Poet of Cheapside,
pressing love
onto a page
with a sigh of ink.

For all your words
was there a girl
who would have been a boy
to tread the boards with you,

a girl whose heart you met
like twin souls on the stage,
before she was 
forever wrenched away?

Shakespeare in Love runs 
at the Noel Coward Theatre 
until 25 October 2014

Sunday, 6 July 2014

The Kindness of Strangers

Southwark Playhouse
4 July

2 am, the roads are quiet now
but for the drunks
in yellow moons of light
on corners,
and a tawny coated fox,
light-pawed on the pavement,
padding home.
We cruise the slick black roads,
headlights on windows,
waiting. Tea, chat, radio.
Waiting in silence
for the bells, blue lights
and speeding, stretchers, doorbells
and a woman scared, a child
crying on the stairs,
clutching the dog,
afraid to look
at breath, blood, sick. We know.
Hold hands, lift him into the van
and drive him back through thin,
fine-falling rain.
Dawn on the river.
Back to the hospital. Out again.

The Kindness of Strangers by Curious Directive 
runs at the Southwark Playhouse until 16 July


Monday, 30 June 2014

Adler and Gibb

Royal Court Theatre
24 June

You broke the locks
and forced your way into a world
where you are not wanted.

Deep in the woods,
a house that once was love
and now is nothing.

Leave us alone here, the house
we built, the little bird
we grew, like trees

that creep now on the kitchen floor,
all gone. The work torn up.
Nothing to steal anymore but scraps;

nothing is left of her
but memories of wild, woodsy love
and mouldered bones.

Adler and Gibb runs at the Royal Court until 5 July

Wednesday, 11 June 2014


Union Theatre
7 June

She is old now, slowing down
and losing sight of things
like where the fine lines lie
between duty and friendship,
love and artifice; picking at holes
in what was motherhood,
and leaving tatters
where a queen once stood.

Lear runs at the Union Theatre until 28 June

Thursday, 22 May 2014


V&A Tunnel Theatre
15 May

Dormice are a comfort 
you know, and who can say
that soldiers do not dream
of them and think of stories
they heard long ago,
as the war goes on, 
bombs fall, and loving sons 
turn into telegrams

Monday, 19 May 2014

Wolf Hall & Bring Up the Bodies

Aldwych Theatre
17 May

Katherine: face of an angel,
niece of an emperor,
hard as nails. She will not bend
like a sapling, though
she is dragged of her queenship
and left out to die like a dog.

Anne, dancing in yellow
on her grave: a virgin bride,
eye like a hawk, a mouth full of serpents.
Maybe a step too far, maybe a bed
or guilty door that leads her at last
to the headsman.

Jane, a dormouse creeping
into conversation: quiet, sweet,
with skin and will like thick, rich cream,
and on her cheek a blush
that is like nothing more than a pink rose,
thorns carefully plucked.
Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies run 
at the Aldwych Theatre until 6 September 2014

King Charles III

Almeida Theatre
16 May

Trouble at Whitehall
as a wilful king
steps in to stop
the well oiled wheels
of the state.

Trouble at home
as he exerts his right,
pissing off people,
and Kate.

King Charles III runs at the Almeida until 31 May

Friday, 9 May 2014


Gate Theatre, Notting Hill
5 May

Slow as forever,
this white knuckle ride
of war wavers
above a stone grey desert:
like a god's eye
in a far off sky,
picking its prey
in stone cold distance.

Grounded runs until 30 May

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Comedy of Errors

10 April
Théâtre de Marseilles, La Criée

In Ephasus confusion reigns
high as a house,
dinner and ducets fly, and men
with better reputations rage
to get their hands upon
a rope, a ring, a golden chain
to hang about the neck
of some broad amazon;
whilst in the streets, gaudy
and bright, their women rush
to light over a pair of brothers,
pretty enough, lost once at sea
and now, it seems, the same
in face, fate, dress and name.

The Comedy of Errors by Propeller is on tour until 29 June

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Big Meal

Ustinov Studio
5 April

Long enough, this life,
racing from love and sex
to all the things
she never thought
would come after:
grandchildren, grief,
age creeping up on her,
a girl waiting at tables
long ago, and the boy
who smiled,
bought her a drink,
began it all.

The Big Meal ran at the Ustinov Studio, 6 March - 5 April

Friday, 21 March 2014

Rift Zone

New Diorama Theatre
18 March

We meet in a void,
a mythic place
where two plates meet.

Born of an egg, I was
unwound into the cold
and left out in the street

to be discovered. You,
across the ocean, grew up
in a land of mountains;

you were bound to be

Rift Zone by Night Light Theatre runs at New Diorama until 5 April

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


National Theatre
9 March

Here he is, a voice
on thin black tape,
a quiet web of long lost love,
all but forgotten but
for this delicate link of sound
between the story
and the present moment.

Daniel Kitson performs Analog.Ue at the National Theatre until 20 March

Saturday, 1 March 2014

I Do

Hilton London Docklands Riverside
28 February

Between the rumpled sheets
and rose petals, the running

in and out with messages
and revelations,

all the secrets, sex, 
hairdryers, hats, beginnings 

and endings, it is hard to say
who is the happiest, if any.

I Do by Dante or Die runs at the Hilton London Docklands Riverside 
until 9 March. Presented by the Almeida Theatre

Friday, 28 February 2014

The Mistress Contract

Royal Court
26 February

There is a glass house
in the desert where
they carve their own
contract of coupling,
and the terms
of compensation;
sit there in the dark,
drink wine, make love,
safe in the strictures
of their love evasion.

The Mistress Contract runs at the Royal Court until 22 March

Tuesday, 25 February 2014


Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
24 February 

Here are time’s whippet fingers
running on, lifting the boy
who lies beneath the bowing oak tree
casting rhymes;
he barely breathes
before she has him by the ankles,
twirling his stockings,
barely a breath or rosebud kiss
upon his lover’s cheek,
a rush of ice beneath his feet
as he sweeps down the frozen river
to the sea, before
the last few seconds of the century
usher him on, a woman now,
learning the artfulness
of her own body
and the tricks that time may yet
have up her sleeve,
tugging her bodice, pulling her up
and on, into a circle, spinning,
lamp-lit, and the stark realisation
of the present moment.

Orlando runs at the Manchester Royal Exchange until 22 March

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Ellen Terry with Eileen Atkins

Sam Wanamer Playhouse, Shakespeare's Globe
16 February

By golden candlelight
they tumble out: 
women of heart and wit;
weedy Ophelia, Viola pale,
cleverest Portia,
Beatrice strong as steel.

Ellen Terry with Eileen Atkins ran in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe from 11 January - 13 February

The Robbers

New Diorama
15 February
Bandits and shoe-boozers,
burning brains and writing up
the body count.

 Robbers by The Faction runs at New Diorama until 22 February

Saturday, 15 February 2014


Polka Theatre
12 February

By night they go,
girl and gorilla, hat
and coat, into a city
of glittering windows,
tree tops, picnics
of cherries
and moonlight.

Gorilla runs at the Polka Theatre until 15 February

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The Hotel Plays

The Langham
12 February
Pink Bedroom
Pale pink, this love nest
where love has wallowed, waited,
and wasted away.

Green Eyes
Drink from the bottle,
try to understand the cuts
on her legs, the lies.

She is at anchor,
washed up on pillows, wearing
her fate on a finger.

The Hotel Plays by Defibrillator Theatre 
run at the Langham Hotel until 9 March

Monday, 10 February 2014

Brand New Ancients

Southbank Centre
29 January

Thursday, the sky is heavy
and the river slow;
two brothers kick up dust
and waste their time
as they grow up like gods
down on the streets,
strangers to themselves,
spinning their stories.

Brand New Ancients by Kate Tempest is now on a national tour until 20 April

Friday, 10 January 2014


New Diorama Theatre
7 January 2014

In Elsinore a brooding
boyish prince, flippant
and fey, fumbles with

murder, on his knees
before a flickering
once-was king and father.

Hamlet by Faction Theatre runs at the New Diorama until 22 February

Thursday, 2 January 2014

The Elephantom

The Elephantom
The Shed, National Theatre
31 December

Over and on they rush,
toothbrush and toast, without
a second spare for their
so-hopeful little girl, the star
she won at school or all the stories
that she always longs
to tell. How often is it thus,
that in the gaps their parents
fail to fill, a child builds
an airy elephant, cloud-like
and blue, a secret friend,
a mischievous, messy foe?

The Elephantom runs at the National Theatre Shed until 11 January

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens Museum
21 December

In Dickens' house, in long black coat
and hat, at Christmastime
by flickering candlelight, old Scrooge,
the miser, meets his moaning match,
and learns to set his mean old world aright.


New Diorama Theatre
20 December

Within the wood, traces
of the past that you
would rather leave behind.

Gizmo Love

Gizmo Love
New Diorama Theatre
20 December

Everything I write
is about wanting her
more than anything.