A View From Islington North – meet the writers
Meet the writers contributing to A View From Islington North – our new show featuring imaginative, provocative and hilarious political satires (with a little music too).
Alistair is a political satirist whose work spans theatre, television, radio and publishing. His stage plays include Feelgood, Caledonia, King of Hearts, The Nose, Follow My Leader and (opening in Chichester this summer) Fracked. He speaks French, German and Russian and has translated plays by Nikolai Gogol, Bertolt Brecht, and Max Frisch, as well as two operettas: Die Fledermaus and La Vie Parisienne. Television writing includes the satirical films A Very Social Secretary and The Trial of Tony Blair. He is the author of several humour books, and the novel A Planet for the President. He lives in London.
Billy Bragg has been a fearless recording artist, tireless live performer and peerless political campaigner for over 30 years. Among the former Saturday boy’s albums are his punk-charged debut Life’s a Riot With Spy Vs Spy, the more love-infused Workers Playtime, pop classic Don’t Try This At Home, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee-timed treatise on national identity England, Half-English, and his stripped-down tenth, Tooth and Nail, his most successful since the early 90s. The intervening three decades have been marked by a number one hit single, having a street named after him, being the subject of a South Bank Show, appearing onstage at Wembley Stadium, curating Leftfield at Glastonbury, sharing spotted dick with a Cabinet minister in the House of Commons cafeteria, being mentioned in Bob Dylan’s memoir and meeting the Queen. At their best, Billy’s songs present ‘the perfect Venn diagram between the political and the personal’ (the Guardian).
Caryl’s previous productions by Max Stafford-Clark are Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Cloud Nine, (Joint Stock) Top Girls, Serious Money, Ice Cream, (Royal Court) and Blue Heart (Out of Joint.) Other plays include Owners, Fen, Mad Forest, This is a Chair, Far Away, A Number, Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?, Seven Jewish Children, Love and Information, Here We Go and Escaped Alone. Music theatre includes Lives of the Great Poisoners, Hotel and A Ring a Lamp a Thing, all with Orlando Gough. Tickets are Now on Sale was produced by Offstage, 2015.
Stella’s short play Game was commissioned by Fishamble Theatre Company and premiered at the Project Arts Centre, Dublin. Full length plays include Duck (Out of Joint and Royal Court with runs at the Edinburgh Festival and Peacock Theatre, Dublin); O Go My Man (Out of Joint and Royal Court), the joint winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Award, 2007; Catch (Royal Court, written with four other female playwrights); Dreams Of Violence (Out of Joint and Soho Theatre); Bang Bang Bang (an Out of Joint/Royal Court Co-commission) and This May Hurt A Bit about the National Health Service (Out of Joint and Octagon Theatre Bolton; St James Theatre London). Stella’s new version of George Farquhar’s first play Love and a Bottle was developed as part of the LAMDA Long Project. In October 2015 Ballet Ireland performed her adaptation of Coppelia. Radio plays include Sweet Bitter and Julia Roberts Teeth.
David is a playwright and film-maker. He has written over thirty stage plays which include Plenty, Pravda (with Howard Brenton), The Secret Rapture, Racing Demon, Skylight, Amy’s View, The Blue Room, Via Dolorosa, Stuff Happens, South Downs, The Absence of War, The Judas Kiss and The Moderate Soprano. For film and television he has written twenty-five screenplays which include Licking Hitler, Dreams of Leaving, Saigon: Year of the Cat, Wetherby, Damage, The Hours, The Reader, and the Worricker Trilogy: Page Eight, Turks & Caicos and Salting the Battlefield. His first work of memoir The Blue Touch Paper was published last year. In a millennial poll of the greatest plays of the 20th century, five of the top 100 were his.
Mark was born in Haywards Heath, West Sussex in 1966. He studied Drama and English at Bristol University. His first play Shopping and Fucking was produced by Out of Joint and the Royal Court Theatre in 1996. Subsequent plays include Faust Is Dead and Handbag (both Actors Touring Company), Some Explicit Polaroids (Out of Joint at the Ambassadors Theatre), Mother Clap’s Molly House and Citizenship (both National Theatre), Pool No Water (Frantic Assembly at the Lyric Theatre) The Cut (Donmar Theatre) and Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat (Paines Plough) and Over There (Royal Court). From 2012 to 2014, Mark was playwright in residence for the Royal Shakespeare Company, producing a new version of Brecht’s Galileo and a new play Candide inspired by Voltaire (both Swan Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon). Mark’s work in music theatre includes a new English version of Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea with additional material by Michael Nyman (King’s Head), Ten Plagues, a song cycle for Marc Almond with composer Connor Mitchell (Traverse Theatre) and Elysium with composer Rolf Wallin for the Norwegian Opera. Mark is the co-creator of the ITV sitcom Vicious.