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Torben Betts

TORBEN BETTS

  (1968 - )

Nationality:    English
email:    n/a     Website:    Click here

Literary Agent:    Independent Talent Group Limited  

Torben Betts read English Literature & English Language at the University of Liverpool before training and working as an actor. Works include: The Unconquered, Best New Play 2007 Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland (Tron/Traverse/Arcola/Brits-off-Broadway); A Listening Heaven, nominated for Best New Play at the 2001 TMA Awards (Edinburgh Royal Lyceum); Lie of the Land, nominated for Edinburgh Fringe First Award, 2008 (Edinburgh Pleasance/Arcola); Clockwatching (Orange Tree Theatre); The Company Man (Orange Tree Theatre); The Biggleswades (Southwark Playhouse); Five Visions of the Faithful (Edinburgh Festival); The Lunatic Queen (Riverside Studios); The Error of Their Ways (HERE Arts Center, New York); The Swing of Things (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough), Muswell Hill (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, Park Theatre, London) and Invincible (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, St James Theatre London).

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below is a list of Torben Betts's plays - click on a Play Title for more information

        Art Of Being Alone, The         Beyond the Ocean Sea         Biggleswades, The         Clockwatching         Company Man, The         Error Of their Ways         Five Visions Of the Faithful         Get Carter         Her Slightest Touch         I Am the Knife         Incarcerator         Invention Of Morality, The         Invincible         Last Days Of Desire, The         Lesson In Arbitration, A         Lie Of the Land         Listening Heaven, A         Lunatic Queen, The         Misfortune Of Martha Mcleod         Mummies And Daddies         Muswell Hill         National Joke, The         Optimist, The         Seagull, The         Silence And Violence         Spurning Comfort         Swing Of Things, The         This Is Glorious         Trough, The         Unconquered, The         What Falls Apart         What the Butterfly Said



Art Of Being Alone, The

Synopsis:
a beggar is convinced that she is the Virgin Mary who has been 'rogered by the Holy Spirit'.
Joe McCallum, What's On

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
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Music:
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Genre:
short play

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Beyond the Ocean Sea

Synopsis:
This autumn, the Traverse is launching a new season of Friday lunchtime theatre and discussion. Feed your body, mind and soul as leading actors perform a new full-length play, script-in-hand, or playwrights discuss the most pertinent issues in theatre today.

Notes:
part of the Dough Is Rising

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Biggleswades, The

Biggleswades, The
a savage metaphor of a mindless, isolationist modernity

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:

Music:
-

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Genre:
absurdist tragi-comedy absurd

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Clockwatching

Clockwatching
a despotic man descends into helplessness as his servile wife falls seriously ill.

Notes:
First play to be produced for the SJT And Orange Tree's theatre-in-the Round project

1st Produced:
Orange Tree, Richmond, UK >>>     28 Mar 2001

Organisations:
-

1st Published:

Music:
-

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Genre:
Domestic Tragedy

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Company Man, The

Company Man, The
a dying woman's last night is marred by the conflict between her accomplished yet emotionally damaged husband and their deeply troubled son.

Notes:
written 2006

1st Produced:
Orange Tree, Richmond, UK >>>     05 Oct 2010

Organisations:
-

1st Published:

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Error Of their Ways

Error Of their Ways
From a playwright rated by Alan ayckbourn and Howard Barker to be the most exciting new voice in British theatre comes a shattering re-imagining of life as we live it now, set in the context of a bloody revolution. Witness to a brutal political assassination, we are introduced to a society fractured by a lack of belief in anything meaningful, in which everyone has something to protest against. This skewed world spins giddily between the surreal, the mundane and a ghastly graphic reality. Powerful poetic language, raw emotion, dark humour and big uncomfortable ideas build a fast moving story of 'quite shattering impact' (the Guardian).

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
HERE Arts Center, NY >>>     01 Aug 2007

Organisations:
TaLR 2007

1st Published:
Oberon Books, London >>>, 2007   978-1840028010

Music:
-

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If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Five Visions Of the Faithful

Five Visions Of the Faithful
a group of short plays examining the link between religion and cruelty

Notes:
the Invention of Morality; What the Butterflies Said; I Am the Knife; the Art Of Being Alone; A Lesson In Arbitration

1st Produced:

Organisations:
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1st Published:

Music:
-

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Genre:
Five Short Plays

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  Numerous parts but could BF done with seven actors (and child)

Further Reference:

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Get Carter

Synopsis:
I've got a story for you. Involves blue films, a killing, bent cops, drugs and a friend of a couple of people you've been trying to wrap the fish and chips in for a long time now. The man who was killed was called Carter.' A dark and stylish new adaptation of the classic Newcastle -noir thriller. Jack Carter is back home for the first time in years. He's back to bury a brother who hated him, in a town he swore he was never going to see again. He wants to pay debts, settle scores and discover who killed his brother. As the local underworld closes ranks Jack's bosses back in London find out that Jack has had his fingers in the till, and other places they shouldn't have been. Jack plays a deadly game of cat and mouse as everyone tries to GET CARTER. Unless he gets them first. Ted Lewis's novel is a classic of British Crime fiction. Set in a hard and uncompromising 1960's Newcastle rife with crime, sex, gambling and violence, this adaptation tells the story made famous by the 1971 film starring Michael Caine.

Notes:
Based on the novel JACK'S RETURN HOME by Ted Lewis

1st Produced:

Organisations:
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1st Published:
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Music:
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Genre:
thriller

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Her Slightest Touch

Synopsis:
Two strangers with nothing in common apart from their shyness. He's a failing salesman and old enough to be her father. What does he want from her? He thought he knew, but now he's not so sure. He starts to open up his world to her and she shares her secret. Can they find comfort in each other, even in these strangest of circumstances?

Notes:
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1st Produced:

Organisations:
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1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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I Am the Knife

Synopsis:
a whisky sodden priest has been sent to persuade a political prisoner (the self described Knife of the title) to compromise his principles in exchange for freedom.
Joe McCallum, What's On

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
short play

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Incarcerator

Incarcerator
a modern-day revenge tragedy, written largely in rhyming couplets, and straight out of Jacobean Drama

Notes:
a Time Out Critics choice At both the White Bear And Battersea Arts Centre

1st Produced:

Organisations:
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1st Published:

Music:
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To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Verse Drama

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Invention Of Morality, The

Synopsis:
Two security guards watch the animalistic ruttings on earth from some Olympian control room. they are no better than the mortal beasts they oversee.
Joe McCallum, What's On

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
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1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
short play

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Invincible

Synopsis:
The recession is biting hard and so Emily and Oliver have decided to downsize and shift their middle-class London lifestyle to a small town in the north of England. They want to live and to work and to raise their two young children in a friendly community, among what Emily terms ?real people', away from the cold anonymity of the city. So these left-leaning, well-educated people have invited over two of their new neighbours in an attempt to break the ice. Tonight Alan and Dawn are to be offered olives, anchovies and are to be introduced to Karl Marx and abstract art. As classes and outlooks collide, the scene is set for a meeting which will have consequences as hilarious as they are tragic.

Notes:
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1st Produced:

Organisations:
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1st Published:
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Music:
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To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Last Days Of Desire, The

Last Days Of Desire, The
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Lesson In Arbitration, A

Synopsis:
Pontius Pilate has to choose between sentencing a Comedian and a Terrorist.
Joe McCallum, What's On

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
short play

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Lie Of the Land

Lie Of the Land
away from the city, with its holes in the road, suicide bombers and fresh morning vomit, husband and wife go rural. Savagely funny poetic Drama by Torben Betts - winner, Best New Play, Scottish theatre awards 2007.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
Pleasance & adam Barnard

1st Published:
Oberon Books (aug 2008) >>>    978-1840028775

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Play/Drama 60 min

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  voiceovers

Further Reference:

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Listening Heaven, A

Listening Heaven, A
a very conservative english family's inability to grieve for their dead eco-warrior son.

Notes:
the play has been translated into German, French And Finnish, nominated As TMa Best New Play 2001

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Domestic Tragedy

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Lunatic Queen, The

Lunatic Queen, The
at the turn of the sixteenth century the two most powerful people on the planet, Queen IsabElla of Castile and King Ferdinand of aragon are making plans to expand their empire. they are plundering the riches of the New World, removing all Jews and Moors from their territories and waging war on the infidels in the east. at home they seek to assert the dominance of Spain by marrying their daughters to various princes of europe. One such daughter is Juana, a young woman full of religion and passion. Why, however, is she mad? Though set during the Golden age of Spain, the Lunatic Queen is both brital and contemporary satire and classical revenge tragedy, as it tells the story of Juana's two servants who seek vengeance on a system which has victimised them.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Riverside, London >>>     26 Feb 2005

Organisations:
Monika and Herrand von Trauttmansdorff (in association with Shadow of the eye Productions)

1st Published:
Oberon Books, London >>>, 2005   978-1840025309

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  3            Other:  doubling

Further Reference:

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Misfortune Of Martha Mcleod

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Mummies And Daddies

Mummies And Daddies
a brutal yet hilarious insight into consumerism as a marketing man and friends gather to celebrate the last summer of the 20th century.

Notes:
the play was developed At the Orange Tree theatre, Richmond And was shortlisted for the Verity Bargate Award 2000

1st Produced:
National Theatre Studio, London     1999

Organisations:
-

1st Published:

Music:
-

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Genre:
Domestic Tragedy

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Muswell Hill

Muswell Hill
One night in January 2010 an earthquake in Haiti leaves around a hundred thousand people dead and almost two million homeless. Meanwhile, somewhere in a leafy north London suburb, a group of six individuals convene over avocado and prawns, followed by monkfish stew. they struggle with worries over their mortgages, their mobile phone tariffs, their Facebook friends, their careers, their love lives, their diets, their holiday plans and whether or not any of them will be able to make any lasting impression on history. Muswell Hill, another comedy of acute social embarrassment from this award-winning playwright, is the third of Torben Betts' plays to be premiered at the Orange Tree.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Oberon Books (2012) >>>    978-1849431378

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
comedy

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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National Joke, The

National Joke, The
Will the Prime Minister give Rupert the political prize he's been hoping for? How much more can Olivia take of her mother Mary and her withering put-downs? Will Charlie get off her phone for long enough to listen to anyone, let alone her boyfriend? Home truths emerge and a reputation could tumble as Rupert St John-Green MP and three generations of women gather in the family garden to watch a total solar eclipse. A searingly funny contemporary look at one family and at Britain today.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Oberon Books (2016) >>>    978-1783198269

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Optimist, The

Optimist, The
Set on Guy Fawke's Night the Optimist concerns a Government Defence Minister who must face up to the consequences of the choices he has made, both professionally and personally.

Notes:
commissioned by Alan Ayckbourn And the Stephen Joseph theatre in April 2002

1st Produced:
Unproduced    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Seagull, The

Seagull, The
As guests assemble at a country house for the staging of an avant-garde open air play, artistic temperaments ignite a more entertaining drama behind the scenes, with romantic jealousies, self-doubt and the ruthless pursuit of happiness confusing lives, loves and literature.

Notes:
Original Playwright - Anton Chekhov

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Oberon Books (2015) >>>    978-1783198993

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  7            Female:  5            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Silence And Violence

Silence And Violence
an examination of the artist's quest for self-expression in the Philistine state, set against a background of genocide

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
aces and eights

1st Published:

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Political Satire

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Spurning Comfort

Synopsis:
a couple wake one morning to find that their love has died overnight and so must embark on a desperate journey to locate their missing emotions.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Didsbury Studio Theatre And Oldham Coliseum Studio     1998

Organisations:
Rocket Theatre Company

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Satire One act

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Swing Of Things, The

Swing Of Things, The
Betts's pnncipal subject is the toe-curling awkwardness inspired by social embarrassment and personal failure. Downcast spinster Ruth, who has not seen anyone - including herself in a mirror - for quite some time, invites a group of former school friends to a reunion. Timorous mother-of-three Lindsay arrives with bullish husband Mark, a simmering sack of resentment whose dreams of a football career ended with Leyton Orient reserves. then Ruth, the high-flyer of the bunch, breezes in with Claude, a French international star, on her arm. It is as if Beverly's get-together in abigail's Party has been brought to a standstill by the sudden arrival of Thierry Henry. Mark is first awestruck, then furiously jealous as Claude casts approving glances at his wife, who in turn contemplates a wild, liberating fling with Steve, the gentle Gulf war veteran who lives next door. With the action confined to Ruth's poky kitchen and yard, Betts's game-plan is to put together a toxic combination of couples and watch the sparks fly.
- alfred Hickling, Guardian

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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This Is Glorious

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Trough, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Kuwait International Theatre Festival     2002

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Unconquered, The

Unconquered, The
One day you will say something from the heart, a truth forced raw and screeching from the howling depths of your soul. Powerful poetic language, dark humour and provocative ideas build a fast moving story around a fiercely intelligent young girl and her relentless refUSAl of the establishment. When suddenly a people's revolution breaks out and a mercenary soldier intrudes the family home, the conflict between the regime and the unconquered girl is revealed.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
Stellar Quines Theatre Company

1st Published:
Oberon Books, London >>>, 2007   978-1840027235

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
no interval Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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What Falls Apart

What Falls Apart
May 2015: The most important General Election for a generation. All is not well for Tom Savage, an ex-Labour minister parachuted into a safe North East constituency, trying to win hearts and minds as well as an Election. Wrestling with a heady cocktail of mid-life crisis, growing dependency on alcohol and the consequences of his Government's policies in Iraq, Tom finds himself in a Tyneside hotel bar at midnight with a newly-teetotal barman and a 'criminally attractive' woman. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty. . .

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Oberon Books (2015) >>>    978-1783194971

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
tragi comedy

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
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What the Butterfly Said

Synopsis:
an idealistic Victorian doctor fighting 'the devil of disease' is persuaded to rekindle a lustful liaison with his sister-in-law.
Joe McCallum, What's On

Notes:
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1st Produced:

Organisations:
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1st Published:
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Music:
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To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
short play

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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