Five short plays from acclaimed playwright Steve Waters, all of them deeply personal accounts of his attempts to make sense of twenty-first-century Britain and an ever-changing world.
From the migrant crisis in Europe to climate change and the increasing urbanisation of our green spaces, Waters turns his sensitive, thoughtful eye to the complex and challenging issues that face us today, moving from the personal to the political, and from the local to the global.
Out of Your Knowledge explores our changing attitudes towards the landscape as Waters retraces the journey of John Clare, the nineteenth-century English poet who escaped his lunatic asylum in Essex and walked for over a hundred miles to reach his home village.
Told by a woman killed in a cycling accident, Death of a Cyclist is a poignant, bleakly comic monologue that imagines the moments after death, and our struggle to come to terms with the biggest shock of all.
Set against the low hum of the War on Terror, Why Can't We Live Together? is a kaleidoscopic vision of our times through the lives of one man and one woman.
In a Vulnerable Place is a monologue documenting Waters' own journey from the Norfolk Broads to the steppes of Mongolia to explore, first hand, what is happening to the natural world and the human heart.
Finally, The Play About Calais, based on Waters' own visit to the 'Jungle' refugee camp in Calais and the people he met along the way, is an attempt to make sense of one of the most complex and divisive issues of our times.
This collection is available only as an ebook. The five individual plays are also available as separate ebooks.
Steve Waters is a playwright whose plays include Limehouse (Donmar Warehouse, 2017); Temple (Donmar Warehouse, 2015); Why Can’t We Live Together? (Menagerie Theatre/Soho/Theatre503, 2013); Europa, as co-author (Birmingham Repertory Theatre/Dresden State Theatre/Teatr Polski Bydgoszcz/Zagreb Youth Theatre, 2013); Ignorance/Jahiliyyah (Hampstead Downstairs, 2012); Little Platoons (Bush Theatre, 2011); The Contingency Plan (Bush Theatre, 2009); Fast Labour (Hampstead, in association with West Yorkshire Playhouse, 2008); Out of Your Knowledge (Menagerie Theatre/ Pleasance, Edinburgh/East Anglian tour, 2006-8); World Music (Sheffield Crucible, 2003, and subsequent transfer to the Donmar Warehouse, 2004); The Unthinkable (Sheffield Crucible, 2004); After the Gods (Hampstead Theatre, 2002); and English Journeys (Hampstead Theatre, 1998).
His writing for television and radio includes Safe House (BBC4), The Air Gap, The Moderniser (BBC Radio 4), Scribblers and Bretton Woods (BBC Radio 3).
He ran the MPhil in Playwriting at Birmingham University between 2006 and 2011, and now runs the MA Creative Writing: Script at the University of East Anglia. He is the author of The Secret Life of Plays, published by Nick Hern Books.