Jessica Swale

Jessica Swale is a writer and director, and the Artistic Director of Red Handed Theatre Company.

Her first play, Blue Stockings, premiered at Shakespeare's Globe and won her a nomination for Most Promising Playwright in the Evening Standard Awards 2013. Other plays include Nell Gwynn and Thomas Tallis (both Shakespeare's Globe); All's Will That Ends Will (Bremer Shakespeare Company); adaptations of Far from the Madding Crowd, Sense and Sensibility (Watermill Theatre), The Secret Garden (Grosvenor Park) and The Jungle Book (UK tour 2017 & 2018); and an original play, The Mission, about illegal adoptions in the 1920s.

She has directed a number of award-winning productions for Red Handed, which is dedicated to creating new work and rediscovering forgotten plays. Recent productions include The Rivals starring Celia Imrie, the London premiere of Palace of the End by Judith Thompson, and the first major revival of Hannah Cowley's The Belle's Stratagem, which won her a nomination for Best Director at the Evening Standard Awards.

Other direction includes Bedlam (Shakespeare's Globe); Sleuth (Watermill); Fallen Angels (Salisbury Playhouse); Winter (TNL, Canada); The Busy Body, Someone to Watch Over Me (Southwark), The School for Scandal (Park Theatre); and productions at RADA and LAMDA. She was Max Stafford-Clark's Associate Director at Out of Joint from 2007–2010.

She is an associate artist with Youth Bridge Global, an international NGO which uses theatre as a tool for promoting social change in war-torn and developing nations.

She has written three titles in Nick Hern Books' popular Drama Games series: Drama Games for Classrooms and Workshops, Drama Games for Devising, and Drama Games for Rehearsals.

Jessica Swale
Drama Games for Classrooms and Workshops
Drama Games for Devising
Blue Stockings
Drama Games for Rehearsals
Nell Gwynn
Jessica Swale's Blue Stockings
The Jungle Book
The Playhouse Apprentice

Tara Swart

Dr Tara Swart is an executive coach with a background in psychological medicine and neuroscience. She has written widely for journals of neuroscience and coaching.

An Attitude for Acting

Sophie Swithinbank

Sophie Swithinbank is a playwright whose work includes: Surrender (Arcola Theatre, London, & Summerhall, Edinburgh, 2024); Bacon (Finborough Theatre, London, 2022; winner of Soho Theatre's Tony Craze Award); Circle Game (Oxford School of Drama, shortlisted for the Phil Fox Award 2020); Even In Arcadia (longlisted for the Verity Bargate Award); The Fellowship (Picturedrome, University of Northampton); Where There Is Smoke (National Theatre Learning); Come Inside (Bush Theatre, London) and The Superhero (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith).

She teaches Playwriting at the University of Northampton.


J.M. Synge

John Millington Synge (1871–1909) was an Irish playwright, poet, prose writer, travel writer and collector of folklore. He was a key figure in the Irish Literary Revival and was one of the co-founders of the Abbey Theatre. He is best known for his play The Playboy of the Western World, which caused riots in Dublin during its opening run at the Abbey Theatre.

The Playboy of the Western World