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Jessica Swale

JESSICA SWALE

  

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

Literary Agent:    Macnaughton Representation  

Jessica Swale is the Artistic Director of Red Handed Theatre Company, and works as a freelance director, writer and practitioner. She trained at Central School of Speech and Drama, after studying Drama at the University of Exeter. Jessica has directed a number of award-winning productions and world premieres for Red Handed, which is dedicated to creating new work and rediscovering forgotten plays. Red Handed's recent productions include the Rivals starring Celia Imrie, the London premiere of Palace of the End by Judith Thompson, and the first production of Hannah Cowley's the Belle's Stratagem in over one hundred and fifty years, which won her a nomination for Best Director at the Evening Standard Awards, and the play several nominations for Best Off-West End Production. Jessica has worked on new plays in Britain and abroad, having initially worked as Associate Director at Out of Joint with Max Stafford-Clark. Recent work includes Nell Leyshon's Bedlam at Shakespeare's Globe, their first play by a female writer, premieres at the Arcola, UK tours for A Single Leaf, and a residency at Theatre Newfoundland, Canada. Jessica has also directed at drama schools, including RADA, LAMDA, Guildhall, Oxford School of Drama and East 15. Alongside working in the professional Theatre, Jessica works regularly in community 'settings. She is currently involved in creating new plays with Vita Nova, Bournemouth, and is a director of Youth Bridge Global, an international NGO which uses Theatre as a tool for promoting social change in war-torn and developing nations. As such, she has lived in the Marshall Islands and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, directing Shakespeare productions including the Comedy of Errors, Much Ado About Nothing and the Tempest. Her books include Drama Games for Classrooms and Workshops and Drama Games for Devising, both published by Nick Hern Books.

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

        Blue Stockings         Far From The Madding Crowd         Mad Kings and Englishmen: History hung, drawn and quartered! Part 1 - History Begins         Nell Gwynn         Secret Garden, The         Sense and Sensibility         Thomas Tallis



Blue Stockings

Blue Stockings
A moving, comical and eye-opening story of four young women fighting for education and self-determination against the larger backdrop of women's suffrage. 1896. Girton College, Cambridge, the first college in Britain to admit women. the Girton girls study ferociously and match their male peers grade for grade. Yet, when the men graduate, the women leave with nothing but the stigma of being a 'blue stocking' - an unnatural, educated woman. they are denied degrees and go home unqualified and unmarriageable. In ?Blue Stockings?, Tess Moffat and her fellow first years are determined to win the right to graduate. But little do they anticipate the hurdles in their way: the distractions of love, the cruelty of the class divide or the strength of the opposition, who will do anything to stop them. the play follows them over one tumultuous academic year, in their fight to change the future of education.

Notes:
Shakespeare's Globe, London, 24 Aug 2013

1st Produced:
Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art, London     18 Oct 2012

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:  11-16            Female:  8-9            Other:  can be played by 12 actors

Further Reference:

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Far From The Madding Crowd

Far From The Madding Crowd
Hardy's much loved tale is both a thrilling romance and a joyous celebration of English rural life. When Bathsheba Everdene inherits a farm from her uncle, no-one expects her to take on its management herself. But our spirited young heroine will not be deterred and takes up the mantle with vigour. Yet, whilst she rises impressively to the challenges of sheep farming, it is the trials of the heart that threaten to undo her. Caught between a pair of suitors, the kind and dependable shepherd Gabriel Oak and the prosperous eligible bachelor William Boldwood, her choice seems hard enough, then the dashing Sergeant Troy appears over the horizon, with a swagger in his step and a dangerous secret in his past. Who will she choose? And will she realise the disastrous consequences of a wrong choice before tis too late?

Notes:
adapted from the novel by Thomas Hardy

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:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Mad Kings and Englishmen: History hung, drawn and quartered! Part 1 - History Begins

Synopsis:
What a marvellously silly potting of history is Mad Kings and Englishmen. This new comedy by Jessica Swale is served in two snack-sized pieces in the Bridewell theatre's regular lunchtime slot -Part 1 - History Begins and Part 2 - History Continues - and with each lasting 45 minutes they are just the business for taking your mind off whatever is lurking in the in-tray. Inspired by Dickens' A Child's History of England, an educational set text for many years (yawn, yawn) Mad Kings and Englishmen owes more to the 'Horrible Histories' school of thought. the cast, whose improvisations form the basis of this romp through the millennia, are talented and energetic, singing, rapping, wearing daft wigs and swapping indeterminate accents in an irreverent and hilariously inaccurate rendition of what we are taught at school. the audience is guided, if anything as conventional as that could be said to occur, by James SAnderson with fatherly and benevolent tone in the occasional persona of Dickens telling historical bedtime stories to his son, played by bear-hugging Ronan McMahon (who must have been taking 'moaney voice' lessons from children of my own acquaintance). there is a big dollop of interference in the proceedings from Mrs Grubb, and Harriet Usher comes up with the goods as this archetypal Dickensian old bat as well as her many other parts.
- Sandra Giorgetti , British theatre Guide

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
Red Handed Theatre Company

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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Nell Gwynn

Nell Gwynn
The year is 1660. The Puritans have run away with their drab grey tails between their legs and Charles II has exploded onto the scene with a love of all things loud, French and sexy. On Drury Lane, a young Nell Gwynn is peddling her satsumas and wit with equal gusto but, little does she know who is watching. . .Nell Gwynn charts the rise of an unlikely heroine, from her roots in Coal Yard Alley to her success as Britain's most celebrated actress, and her hard-won place in the heart of the King. But at a time when women are second-class citizens, can her charm and spirit protect her from the dangers of the Court?

Notes:
follows the rise and rise of Britain's cheekiest orange seller, from her roots in the brothel on Coal Pan Alley to her success as Britain's first celebrated actress. West End: Shakespeare's Globe, London, 2015

1st Produced:
London: London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art     08 Jul 2014

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:
comedy

Parts:
Male:  7            Female:  5-7            Other:  doubling possible

Further Reference:
-

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Secret Garden, The

Secret Garden, The
When a garden's kept proper, all weeded and neat, that chases the wild away. But when it's left alone, for nature, who knows what secret things'd grow there.... In Jessica Swale's richly imagined adaptation of Hodgson Burnett's much loved classic, we follow the fortunes of Mary as her ice begins to that and her curiosity leads her on one of the greatest adventures in popular literature. It's 1910, and life for the spoiled young Mary Lennox is pretty easy. She spends her days luxuriating in the Indian sunshine whilst her aristocratic parents rule the Indian Raj. But when an unexpected twist of fate leaves Mary orphaned, she finds herself on her way to England to live with her distant Uncle in Misselthwaite Manor on the Yorkshire Moors. Misselthwaite is no place for children. Full of dark corners and strange night-time noises, Mary is certain there is more to Misselthwaite than meets the eye. But although she can't solve the mysteries alone, when her maid Martha offers the hand of friendship, Mary won't have it. Mistresses can't be friends with their servants. . .or can they? Will Martha melt Mary's frosty exterior? Will Mary uncover the source of the cries in the night? And will her curiosity lead her to solve the greatest mystery of Misselthwaite, the legend of the Secret Garden?

Notes:
Based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett

1st Produced:
Grosvenor Park Chester     11 Jul 2014

Organisations:
Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre Company

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:
outdoor site specific

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  7            Other:  with doubling

Further Reference:

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Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility
When their wealthy half-brother cheats them of their fortune, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood are left penniless. They are forced to leave the comforts of Norland Park and relocate to chilly Barton Cottage in Devonshire, but when John Willoughby, a handsome stranger, arrives one day with a rain-drenched Marianne in his arms, the sisters are convinced that their fortunes are changed forever. Eminently sensible Elinor pines for quiet, kind-hearted Edward Ferrars, but the impulsive Marianne loses herself in the idea of her hero on horseback, and for a girl who feasts on poetry and music, what else is there to do in Devon but dream of rescue?

Notes:
In Jessica Swale's delightful adaptation of Austen's dearly-loved classic, we follow the fortunes of Elinor and Marianne as they chase their dreams from Devonshire to London and back.

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:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  10            Female:  9            Other:  doubling possible

Further Reference:
-

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Thomas Tallis

Thomas Tallis
A specially commissioned piece about the celebrated English composer Thomas Tallis, following his life through the four Tudor monarchies of the Reformation. These bespoke performances will feature an interwoven musical score of Tallis's most luminous works sung by select members of The Sixteen. Tallis thrived as a composer within the most famously tumultuous chapter in English history, and successfully adapted his music to the rapidly changing religious winds of his royal patrons from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I. Tallis' religious and political convictions remain obscure and his astonishing works offer the only insight.

Notes:
piece by Jessica Swale with music performed and written by The Sixteen. The Sixteen is recognised as one of the world's greatest ensembles, they have cultivated a unique reputation for performing early English polyphony, masterpieces of the Renaissance and a diversity of 20th and 21st-century music under conductor and founder, Harry Christophers

1st Produced:

Organisations:
The Sixteen

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:
piece

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  1            Other:  with doubling. Singers

Further Reference:

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