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Theatre503 Announces Six World Premieres

Learn more about the lineup here!

Theatre503 has announced its programme until June 2023, featuring six world premieres by outstanding debut playwrights. Two brand new Theatre503 productions open alongside co-productions with emerging and established theatre companies and producers, including plays by writers discovered through the Theatre503 International Playwriting Award and 503Five alumni, plus 503Studio Masterclasses.

  • 503Studio's Autumn Writers Programme offers Masterclasses from leading playwrights who started their careers at Theatre503 including Alice Birch, Jon Brittain, Bene Lombe, Lou Ramsden, and Joel Tan + acclaimed writers including Tyrell Williams (winner of The Stage Debut Awards Winner 2022) and Stephen Beresford (Bafta Award winning writer of the movie Pride).
  • 2022 at Theatre503 concludes with the premiere of Matthew Gabrielli's Zombiegate, co-produced by Ameena Hamid, and a selection of short runs including Yellow Coat Theatre Company's Pass It On.

  • Debut plays from 503Five writers Zak Zarafshan with Theatre503's production The Boys Are Kissing, and Mahad Ali with Relentless Theatre co-production My Brother's Keeper - two writers following in the footsteps of celebrated 503Five alumni including Yasmin Joseph and Ross Willis.

  • Theo Chester's debut play Stray Dogs is presented in a co-production with Cindy McLean-Bibby, whilst Cardboard Citizens, Alphabetti Theatre and Theatre503 bring Vinnie Heaven's first play Faun to the stage.
  • Maureen Lennon's Helen - shortlisted for the 2020 Theatre503 International Playwriting Award - is staged in a Terrain and Theatre503 co-production.
  • Zoe Ashford Cooper's for unknown reasons joins the list of 2020 Theatre503 International Playwriting Award finalists to have their play produced by Theatre503, directed by Artistic Director Lisa Spirling.

Lisa Spirling, Artistic Director: "Since re-opening our doors in September 2021, we have been busy doing all we can to support writers and artists at this vital early stage of their careers - this includes ongoing dramaturgical support of over 50 writers, eliminating hire fees, the first steps towards building the 503Studio at Nine Elms, establishing a repeatedly sold-out programme of online courses and masterclasses with 25% offered as free bursary places, and currently reading over 1400 plays from 49 countries for the 2023 Theatre503 International Playwriting Award.

We are honoured to be working with such brilliant theatre companies, and to be able to share the fruits of our communal labours - staging the plays of extraordinarily talented writers that 503 has discovered and nurtured over recent years through initiatives like the 503Five, and the Playwriting Award. It's exciting to look forward to such an exhilarating line up of productions - and beyond to a year in which our plans, including those for the 503Studio at Nine Elms and accessibility for our home above the Latchmere pub, will take shape."

503Studio presents


11 October - 12 December 2022

The final 503Studio Writers Programme for 2022 includes masterclasses with Theatre503 alumni Alice Birch (Normal People, Anatomy of a Suicide), Jon Brittain (Olivier Award, Rotterdam), Bene Lombe (Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Lava), Lou Ramsden (Breed), Joel Tan (陈文传 No Particular Order), alongside acclaimed writers Stephen Beresford (Pride, The Southbury Child), and Tyrell Williams (The Stage Debut Award, Red Pitch).

Ameena Hamid Productions and Theatre503 present

ZOMBIEGATE by Matthew Gabrielli, Directed by Julian Bruton,

1-19 November 2022 (Press Night: Tue 8 November)
Sophie and Jamie have just been cancelled, a misplaced selfie has gone viral, and the pair have been accused of mocking a dead child. But their troubles are only just beginning as the real and digital world collide and their lives and friendship are ripped apart by algorithms, online mobs and an obsessive troll called Mr Punch.

Zombiegate is a witty and empathetic debut play which attempts to get behind the headlines and hashtags of internet trolls, scrutinising mob mentality, myths around cancel culture and asking us to empathise with people we find it hard to agree with. Zombiegate was a winner of Theatre Royal Haymarket's Masterclass Pitch Your Play 2018.

Yellow Coat Theatre Company and Theatre503 present

PASS IT ON by Writers from the Yellow Coat Theatre Company Collective

29 November - 3 December 2022

Pass It On. Let them know. No one left behind.

Women and non-binary people of this world survive on a network of unheard conversations. Secrets passed from mothers to daughters, between friends, to colleagues, in the passing glances with strangers. What are these words? What happens when we amplify them? What would it mean to put them on stage?

Yellow Coat Theatre Company share a showcase of emerging writers, performers, and directors.

Theatre503 presents

THE BOYS ARE KISSING by Zak Zarafshan, Directed by Lisa Spirling

17 January - 4 February 2023 (Press Night: Tue 24 January)

When two 9-year-old boys kiss in the school playground of a small town, two sets of parents are told to "do something about it" - but neither of them are entirely sure what.

Amira is sending inclusive children's books to the school library, whilst her wife Alice dreams of a kitchen island. Sarah is trying her best not to upset Leanne and the Mum WhatsApp group, and her husband Pete just really wants to do the right thing - as soon as he can work out what that is. Luckily, here to guide our helpless humans are two cherubic winged guardians of the gays, summonsed to attend to a disturbance in the queer atmos and intervene only where strictly necessary... but where's the fun in being an ethereal being if you can't drop in and cause a scene wearing latex?

A high camp comedy about angelic intervention, children's birthday parties gone sour, and whether it ever really is "just about the children", The Boys Are Kissing is written by 503Five 2019-20 alumni Zak Zarafshan and directed by Theatre503's Artistic Director, Lisa Spirling.

Relentless Productions and Theatre503 present

MY BROTHER'S KEEPER by Mahad Ali, Directed by Rob Awosusi

14 February - 4 March 2023 (Press Night: Tue 21 February)
Two refugee brothers. A small British town hostile to immigration. My Brother's Keeper charts a story of love, pain and learning in building community.

Refugee brothers Aman and Hassan are dispersed to live in a British seaside town. In desperate need of business, hotelier Bill Bradley and his son Aidan agree to house them but face animosity from their community for doing so. As Aidan takes Aman under his wing and they draw ever closer, they soon learn the utopia they create for themselves in the hotel is no match for the real world and must confront the hostile climate they live in.

My Brother's Keeper explores the politics of immigration, religion and sexuality as a small British town tries to find its place at a time of great change in the world.

Relentless Productions is a new theatre company founded by Layla Madanat and Mahad Ali. It aims to bring diverse stories to the stage that challenge, provoke thought and motivate action on issues pertinent to the times we live in. Whilst providing a platform for creative talent from underrepresented backgrounds to thrive.

Cindy McLean-Bibby and Theatre503 present

STRAY DOGS by Theo Chester, Directed by Tommo Fowler

14 March - 1 April 2023 (Press Night: Tue 21 March)

It's been a harsh winter, the people of the town starve while the rich hoard gold and grain. To keep the peace, the powers that be have done what they always do: make ample use of Jacob. He cures the sick, fixes broken bones, sews up wounds. He also tortures those accused of stealing food and chops off their heads.

But Jacob thinks he can keep the peace better if he stops taking heads. All he needs now is to get the town's blessing to heal full time, making his community a better, more humane place. But he's not the only one with plans: his wife, Hilde, and Ana, one of the town's elite, are pushing for more radical solutions that risk tipping the balance in dangerously uncertain ways.

Stray Dogs is a visceral, epic play that asks how we can create a better future when things are so very awful.

Cardboard Citizens and Alphabetti Theatre present

FAUN by Vinnie Heaven

18 - 29 April 2023

Ace is on their final sofa option. Ace has, so far, been on twelve sofas. To keep a sofa requires you to act small, smiling, and polite. Stay tidy, stay quiet, and if it ever makes you want to scream, push it right down. But no one is perfect and eventually everyone messes up - which would be a lot easier for Ace if they weren't also growing fluffy ears, velvety horns and a tiny tail! It turns out people pleasing has a price and the only place left for Ace is the forest...
A fast-paced comedy, full of heart, pan pipes, youthful ridiculousness, and queerness!

Cardboard Citizens creates theatre with, for and about citizens with lived experience of poverty, inequity and homelessness. The company uses theatre, art and training to empower individuals to make change in their own lives, and in their communities.

Terrain and Theatre503 present

HELEN by Maureen Lennon, Directed by Tom Bellerby

9 - 27 May 2023 (Press Night: Tue 16 May)
Helen is forty when she loses her husband. Becca is fifteen when her Dad dies. Then it's just the two of them, what do they do next?

Maureen Lennon's play, shortlisted for the Theatre 503 International Playwriting Prize, unfolds through snapshots of their relationship over the next forty years. Joys and traumas, laughs and arguments. Exploring the thread which binds them together and the different ways they damage and save each other. A play about love, grief, and two women up a hillside with ashes stuck to their trouser leg.

Terrain is a new company dedicated to promoting Northern artists and the stories they tell. The company looks to celebrate the contemporary narrative landscape of the region and ensure brilliant plays get in front of audiences.

Theatre503 presents

FOR UNKNOWN REASONS by Zoe Ashford Cooper, Directed by Lisa Spirling

6 - 24 June 2023 (Press Night: Tue 13 June)

In a small West Australian town, Brian Clark, bakery assistant, meets John Addison, funeral home proprietor and infomercial star; a chance meeting that seems perfectly ordinary, until it isn't. The two men begin bumping into one another in the unlikeliest of places, neither one of them remembering how or when they arrived. As their connection grows stronger and increasingly stranger, Brian's family struggles to understand and come to terms with the unfolding mystery.
for unknown reasons is an extraordinary and fantastical exploration of the human experience of time, reality, and our need for connection.


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