Neat 16 Festival

At the Nottingham Playhouse

For two weeks, the NEAT Studio goes into fast-forward European mode. Under the curation of director Susannah Tresilian, the Studio comes alive with a kaleidoscopic series of events. These include staged readings of never-before-seen- in-the-UK plays selected from all across Europe and performed by the in-house NEAT Ensemble, debates, workshops, Q+A sessions with international playwrights and more. Join in the fun and be immersed in the best that European theatre has to offer!


60 years on from ‘Angry Young Men’, Susannah Tresilian chairs a panel discussion about women in theatre today – what are the industry realities and what are we doing to change them?  A day discussing gender equality in theatre today – what are the industry realities and what are we doing to change them?  Are we angry, and if not, should we be?  What do women and men need to do to make the industry gender equal?  What will we commit to?

Joining us for the whole day, we have Imogen Butler-Cole, director of The What Works; and Dr Naomi Paxton, actor and specialist in suffragette theatre and gender studies.  Later for the panel discussion, we will be joined via Skype by Dijana Milosevic from the Serbian theatre company Dah Theater.

EUROPEANEAT 1 – Tuesday 24 May, 7:45pm
A staged reading of a Mihaela, The Tiger of Our Town by Gianina Cărbunariu (Romania) – a UK premiere performed by the NEAT Playhouse Ensemble, directed by Susannah Tresilian.

THE SYRIAN MONOLOGUES – Wednesday 25 May, 7:45pm
Staged readings of current personal testimonies from Syrian refugees in Jordan, with a live Q&A direct from Palestine.

We are thrilled that many of the monologues are being complemented by new works, written specifically for this event, by April de Angelis, Sara Pascoe, Hassan Abdulrazzak, Hannah Khalil, Barney Norris and Malu Halasa.

EUROPEANEAT 2 – Thursday 26 May 7:45pm
A staged reading of Against Love by Esteve Soler, translated by Hillary Gardner (Spain). A UK premiere of a caustic, witty and aching play that shines a light on love and asks us: are we for or against? Performed by the NEAT Playhouse Ensemble, directed by Susannah Tresilian.

Workshop: 2pm – 5pm – A unique opportunity for playwrights of all backgrounds and levels of experience to come together to discuss shared challenges, opportunities and differences of approaches to creating plays across Europe.

The workshop is led by Company of Angels’ Artistic Director, Teresa Ariosto and Scandinavian writers Henrik Szklany (Denmark) and Kristofer Grønskag (Norway), whose plays are being presented as part of the festival.

Performance: 6pm – The internationally-renowned Company of Angels take over the Studio to perform script-in-hand from a selection of brilliant Scandinavian drama, including:

  • 839 Days by Henrik Szklany – a struggle to survive in a lawless situation.
  • KINDER K by Kristofer Grønskag – a heart-wrenching question of human ethics.

DAY FOR CALAIS – Saturday 28 May
Workshops: 12pm – 7pm – Ariadne, a global organisation working with women who make social and political theatre to inspire change, runs a workshop on behalf of Good Chance Theatre in the Calais Refugee Camp. Belgian director Frédérique Lecomte, specialises in creating theatre in Congo, Burundi and Rwanda, as a means of powerful conflict resolution. Susannah Tresilianworked in Belarus with the Belarus Free Theatre, and together with the Vonnegut Collective, they will create a scratch performance around the themes of hope and home.

Performance: 7:30pm – A performance in solidarity with refugees in Calais, which includes the anthem created by workshop participants during the day and a new commission, DeadEnd/Safe Haven?, from Vonnegut Collective by Craig Farr on the theme of ‘world without borders’. Everyone is welcome to attend the evening performance.


Workshop: 11.30am – 5pm – A day discussing and informing ourselves on theatre around the world that inspires change.

Panel Discussion, 6:30pm – In a time of war, conflict, revolution and change, Susannah Tresilian chairs a panel discussion about theatre’s role on the world stage. Panellists include: Frédérique Lecomte, Artistic Director of Théâtre et Réconciliation, Zoe Lafferty, Associate Artist with the Freedom Theatre in Jenin, Lian Bell of Waking the Feminists in Ireland and Amy Reade from Good Chance Theatre in Calais.

NEAT SOLUTION – Monday 30 May, 7:45pm
Nottingham: we need you! What is happening to the UK? What is happening to Europe? As we inch towards an era-changing referendum, A Neat Solution allows the people of Nottingham to come and express themselves in front of an open mic.

EUROPEANEAT 3 – Tuesday 31 May, 7:45pm
A staged reading of Radio Culture by Maxim Dosko, translated by Andrew Walby . The UK premiere of a unique experience where the audience is immersed in the complexities of one man’s daily life. Performed by the NEAT Playhouse Ensemble, directed by Susannah Tresilian.

BREXITTHE WRITE CLUB RESPONSE – Wednesday 1 June, 7:45pm
Nottingham writers come together to write their responses to the EU Referendum.

  • DisFunctional Family by Richard Garton
  • Escape To Euroland by Ian Collison
  • Motherland by Kayleigh Phillips
  • Send Them Back by Keith Large
  • Stateless by Gary Berezin
  • UKexit by Hugh Dichmont

EUROPEANEAT 4 – Thursday 2 June, 7:45pm
A staged reading of Invisible by Tena Štivičić (Croatia). The UK premiere of a funny, moving and topical portrayal of a world in flux, exploring the many sides of migration. Performed by the NEATPlayhouse Ensemble, directed by Susannah Tresilian.

Friday 3 June, 2:30 – 4:30pm and 6 – 8pm
Professional actors and members of the audience are invited by Presence Theatre Company to share in the reading out loud of short European plays, never before heard in the UK.

These events are part of neat16.