Playwriting: An Artists’ and Writers’ Companion (2015)

A practical guide to playwriting technique, with an introduction by Rufus Norris, artistic director of the National Theatre and contributions from writers including Tom Stoppard, Lynn Nottage, Roy Williams, April De Angelis, Dennis Kelly and Timberlake Wertenbaker. Co-authored with Fraser Grace, published by Bloomsbury.

Blue Sky

Play text. A political thriller about extraordinary rendition (2012) Nick Hern Books

The Enchantment

Play text, English version of the play by 19th century Swedish writer, Victoria Benedictsson (2007) Nick Hern Books

This version of The Enchantment is included in 100 Great Plays for Women (2013), ed. Lucy Kerbel, Nick Hern Books

The Container

Play text, Five people are hidden inside the back of a container lorry hoping to find new lives in the UK. Winner of the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award. (2007)  Nick Hern Books

Contribution in My First Play (2013), Nick Hern Books


Guatemala Moon

In Guatemala, a young boy dreams of one day going to the moon. But when his village is burned down and all his family killed, his aspirations become a little more earthbound.

Second prize winner of the Asham Award 1999

Published in the anthology Reshape Whilst Damp edited by Carole Buchan, published by Serpent’s Tail.

What Katy Did

A scorned woman gets revenge on her novelist boyfriend by hacking his latest novel. Included in the 1994 anthology published by the Women Writers Workshop.

Sex and Sexuality

in Transforming Moments (1989) ed. Scarlett McGwire, Virago


Credits (various)

Freelance arts journalist and theatre critic for publications including The Independent, the Guardian, Time Out, Independent on Sunday, Evening Standard and What’s On in London.


All the world’s a screen

A lockdown diary

I was aware of the pandemic blowing in from the East sooner than some. The US university where I teach a theatre class closed its Shanghai campus at the end of January; its Florence campus followed in February. I was trying not to touch the hand rails in the Tube and washing my hands a lot by then. But I was still shocked when northern Italy went into lockdown.

Lockdown diary for the pop-up blog A Garden Among Fires, also published by Dodo Ink.

The name game

Why names in fiction matter

was sitting next to my first cousin watching a performance of one of my plays, and it wasn’t until halfway through that I realised I’d unconsciously named the belligerent, hypersensitive main character after her.

Published by Collected for the Royal Literary Fund 

A woman who can’t weep

On not crying

I realised that I could no longer cry one Wednesday afternoon as I tore around a department store, desperately trying to find Christmas presents at a time when it felt as if my life was falling apart. I didn’t have time to stop and cry, so I just carried on shopping with tears streaming down my face. Except they weren’t.

Published by Aeon.

The waves beneath

Flying to Toronto, 30,000ft above the Atlantic, I’m too high to see the waves beneath me, but I can imagine them. Seventy years ago, my mother made the same journey, altogether more slowly and perilously than me. She went by ship.

Published by Collected for the Royal Literary Fund

A very angry young woman

Sick? Who are you calling sick? What’s really sick is the reaction to my play, says Sarah Kane of Blasted.

“The most notorious playwright in Britain” Sarah Kane, sits drinking black coffee (she’s a vegan) and worrying what her parents are going to think of her play Blasted.

Interview with Sarah Kane published in The Independent.