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  • Date and time: Tuesday 13 June 2023, 4.30pm to 6pm
  • Location: Scenic Stage Theatre, School of Arts and Creative Technologies East, Campus East, University of York (Map)
  • Audience: Open to staff, students, the public
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

We are delighted to welcome playwrights Simon Stephens and Nick Payne, who will be in conversation together about all aspects of the playwriting craft. This will be a lively and informal event. Simon and Nick are both alumni of the University and both are generous and inspiring speakers. An evening of creative reflection, jokes and provocations with two of the finest writers with the gift of the gab! There will also be time for a Q&A, so come with your questions.

Simon will also be running a writing workshop earlier in the day (TWDP students only) - booking is essential and is on a first come, first served basis. 

About the speakers

Simon Stephens

Simon Stephens is one of the country’s most prolific playwrights. He is perhaps best known for his stage adaptation of the novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, for which he won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play. Stephens has staged close to three dozen plays over two decades, including the critically acclaimed Pornography (2007), Punk Rock (2009) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2012), which premiered at the National Theatre and later toured on the West End and Broadway. It went on to win seven Olivier awards, then the equal record for a single play.

Many recent works, including The Funfair (2015) and Fatherland (2017) have premiered in Manchester theatres. Stephens also currently works as Artistic Associate at the Lyric Theatre where his adaptation of The Seagull was produced in 2017 and he is Associate Playwright at the Royal Court, where he ran the Young Writers Programme for several years. 

Simon is an alumni of the University of York, where he studied History, and it was while here that he spent many hours in the Drama Barn as part of Drama Soc. Simon is Professor of Scriptwriting at Manchester Metropolitan University. 

Nick Payne 

Nick is a playwright and screenwriter who won the prestigious George Devine Award in 2009 with his play If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet. It was produced at the Bush Theatre in October 2009, directed by Josie Rourke and starring Rafe Spall. In 2012 it went to the Roundabout Theatre, New York, starring Academy Award nominee Jake Gyllenhaal and directed by Michael Longhurst.

Nick studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama and the University of York, making his debut at the Royal Court theatre in September 2010 with his comedy Wanderlust. In January 2012, Nick's play Constellations opened at the Royal Court Upstairs starring Rafe Spall and Sally Hawkins and directed by Michael Longhurst. Constellations transferred to the West End in November 2012 where it received universally glowing reviews. It also won the Evening Standard Best Play Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Play. In 2015 Constellations transferred to Broadway. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson, and directed by Michael Longhurst, it won outstanding reviews.

Jake Gyllenhaal carried on to star in Nick's play A Life, which ran at The Public Theater and on Broadway in 2019 and was nominated for several Tony Awards.

Nick also writes for film and TV. His debut series Wanderlust starred Toni Collette and Steven Mackintosh as Joy and Alan, a couple in search of ways to save their marriage. The show was produced by Drama Republic and directed by Luke Snellin, airing on BBC One in the UK and on Netflix for the rest of the world.

Nick adapted Julian Barnes's The Sense Of An Ending for BBC Films which was released in 2017 with Jim Broadbent starring and Ritesh Batra directing. He is currently developing film and television projects in the UK and the US.




Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible


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