Purchase Plays 

You can purchase all Deborah’s published plays on Amazon. 
For unpublished plays, please apply for scripts and rights to: 
Giles Smart at UNITED AGENTS 
Assistant - Lee Byrne 

Produced and Published works 

Produced and Published works 

Pride and Prejudice (2021) 

A joyous adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic love story. 
By Deborah McAndrew 
Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, Chester 
Summer 2021 

The D Road (2019) 

Deborah’s Potteries comedy, THE D ROAD was produced by Claybody Theatre and presented at Spode Works, Stoke in October 2019. 
Directed by Conrad Nelson 
Designed by Dawn Allsopp 
Lighting Design by John Slevin 
Producer Helen Slevin 
At The Theatre ★★★★ 
The Stage ★★★ 
"Another superb drama by Claybody Theatre" – The Sentinel 

Peter Pan (2019) 

Deborah’s New Adaptation Of Dickens’ PETER PAN Was Commissioned By Hull Truck Theatre And Produced In December 2019. 
Directed by Mark Babych 
Designed by Ciaran Bagnall 
Music by John Biddle 
The Stage ★★★★ 
The Reviews Hub ★★★★ 
The Guardian ★★★ 

Hot Lane (2018) 

A new play by Deborah McAndrew. A tale of passion and betrayal in the 6 Towns. Published by Claybody Theatre. 
Directed by Conrad Nelson 
Designed by Dawn Allsopp 
Lighting by John Slevin 
Autumn 1956. The dance halls are full, the nights are drawing in, and a mysterious woman returns to the Potteries after many years away. Her presence reopens old wounds, and stirs secret desires. But why did she leave so suddenly thirteen years ago… and why has she now come back? 
Produced by Claybody Theatre Company in November 2018 at Spode Works, Stoke-on-Trent. 

They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay (2018) 

By Dario Fo. Adapted by Deborah McAndrew. 
Directed by Conrad Nelson 
Designed by Jessica Worrall 
Lighting by Douglas Kuhrt 
Opening venue: York Theatre Royal – 5-13 October 2018 National tour: 16 October –2 Dec 2018 
Northern Broadsides and York Theatre Royal join forces to stage They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay!, Deborah McAndrew’s new adaptation transposed to Brexit Britain of Dario Fo’s political satire of civil disobedience Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay! 

The Chester Mystery Plays (2018) 

Deborah created the script for the Chester Mystery Plays 2018. 
Directed by Peter Leslie Wild 
Designed by Dawn Allsopp 
Musical composition & direction by Matt Baker 
Movement directed by Cariad Morgan 
This set of plays based on Hebrew and Christian Scripture and apocryphal religious stories were first performed in Chester in Medieval times by the various craft and merchant Guilds of the city. Banned in the late 16th Century as a result of the Reformation, the plays were revived in 1951 and are now performed every 5 years. The acting, singing, and musical company comprises volunteers from Chester and its surrounding area, supported by a professional creative and production team. 
Deborah has crafted 24 individual plays into one seamless script telling the story of God and Humanity from Creation to Doomsday. 
"Utter clarity is the hallmark of this epic community production, with 250 actors involved, half of them children. It is simply magnificent." - The Church Times 
The Stage ★★★★ 
We Are Chester ★★★★★ 
Chester Chronicle ★★★★★ 
Northern Soul ★★★★ 

Hard Times (2018) 

Published by Methuen Drama. Deborah’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ HARD TIMES was commissioned by Northern Broadsides Theatre Company, and opened at The Viaduct Theatre on Friday 16th Feb 2018. 
Directed by Conrad Nelson 
Designed by Dawn Allsopp 
Published by Methuen 
The Observer ★★★★★ 
The Stage ★★★★ 
North West End ★★★★ 
The Reviews Hub ★★★★ 
The Yorkshire Post ★★★★ 
The Guardian ★★★ 
The Times ★★★ 
Yorkshire Times ★★★ 

A Christmas Carol (2017) 

Deborah’s new adaptation of Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL was commissioned by Hull Truck Theatre and produced in December 2017 and 2022. The production was remounted at Leeds Playhouse in 2018, and online in 2020. 
Directed by Amy Leach 
Designed by Hayley Grindle 
Music by John Biddle 
Yorkshire Post ★★★★★ 
York Press ★★★★★ 
The Stage ★★★★ 
The Reviews Hub ★★★★ 
Production shots © Andrew Billington 
For script contact Giles Smart

Dirty Laundry (2017) 

Published by Claybody Theatre. Deborah’s Potteries drama, Dirty Laundry, was produced by Claybody Theatre and presented at Spode Works, Stoke 11-21 October 2017. 
Directed by Conrad Nelson 
Designed by Dawn Allsopp 
Lighting Design by John Slevin 
Reuben Moth is dying… 
His daughter, Nora, does her best to keep him clean and comfortable, but Stoke-on-Trent in the 1950s is not a clean or comfortable place – and Rueben Moth is not at peace. 
In his final fever he calls out the name Emeline time and again. Nora wonders who this mystery woman could be. And why is Reuben suddenly receiving important visitors? 
What secret have they all been keeping for almost twenty years? And why must it never come to light? 
‘Gripping…’ ‘Brilliantly acted…’ ‘Skilful writing…’ 
‘Stoke is lucky to have this site-specific piece… if it is possible for you to visit, you will not be disappointed.’ 
‘Under Conrad Nelson’s clear direction, Rosie Abraham’s Nora and Angela Bain’s Frances are powerful linchpin characters in this atmospheric drama.’ 
‘Thought-provoking, intriguing and rich with humanity’ 
‘Colourful, funny, dramatic and asks some tough questions about environmental issues still relevant today.’ 
Production Shots by Andrew Billington 

Anna of the Five Towns (2017) 

Deborah’s new adaptation of this classic novel was commissioned by the New Vic Theatre as part of celebrations to mark 150 years since the birth of the novelist Arnold Bennett. 
The play was directed by Conrad Nelson, and opened at the New Vic Theatre on Friday 26th May 2017. 
"…atmospheric, dramatic (especially the ending) and clearly assembled with lots of love." 
For script contact Giles Smart

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (2017) 

Deborah’s new adaptation of Anne Bronte’s passionate novel was a co-production between Bolton Octagon Theatre and York Theatre Royal, directed by Elizabeth Newman. 
"19th-century classic still packs an emotional punch for a modern audience" 
For script contact Giles Smart

Cyrano (2017) 

Deborah’s new adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac for Northern Broadsides and The New Vic Theatre toured nationally in Spring 2017, directed by Conrad Nelson. 
Cyrano is published by Methuen. 
Northern Broadsides sniff out a winner 
McAndrew’s script is at turns epic and intimate, funny and profound and seriously beautiful.’ 
‘McAndrew’s masterly adaption… is much more than just gluing on a comedy nose.’ 
‘… fabulously witty entertainment’ 
‘… comedy, romance and a real emotional punch’ 
‘Both heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal measure’ 
‘McAndrew’s hilarious adaptation…’ 
‘I know it’s only February but already I think I might have seen the show of the year.’ 

One of Each (2015) 

Produced and toured nationally by MIKRON THEATRE COMPANY 2015. 
Storms at sea, saucy secrets and sibling rivalry… 
Writer & lyricist by Deborah McAndrew 
Composer by Rebekah Hughes 
Directed by Chris Honer 
Sir Caspian Delamere is a man on a mission, to find the finest Fish and Chips in Britain. He’s narrowed it down to two seaside vendors – finalists for his GOLDEN FISH-FORK award. 
By coincidence The Pickled Egg and The Silver Darling are rival establishments run by twins, Roderick and Annette Whale. Unable to agree on the best way to cook this iconic dish, they went their separate ways years ago, and now they find their food and their philosophies in direct competition for the coveted GOLDEN FISH-FORK. 
Which portion will prevail? Rod’s old fashioned, homely style? Or Nettie’s high-tech twist on tradition? Their story is covered by unscrupulous journalist, Meriel Hacker, and she is after a scoop. So what will she do when she hooks a much bigger fish than she ever expected…? 
A savoury tale about the British National Dish. 
Hot, salty and wrapped in newspaper! 
‘Mikron’s minimalist study of a British dietary staple is a joy.’ 

An August Bank Holiday Lark (2014) 

Published by Methuen Drama. UK THEATRE AWARDS winner – BEST NEW PLAY 2014. 
Northern Broadsides Theatre Company marked the centenary of the start of the First World War with the world premiere of Deborah McAndrew’s moving new play An August Bank Holiday Lark. 
Directed by Barrie Rutter, the co-production premiered at The New Vic Theatre on 7 February 2014, before embarking on national tour until 14 June. 
Taking its title from a line in Philip Larkin’s poem MCMXIV, An August Bank Holiday Lark explores the impact of the First World War on a rural community in East Lancashire. 
It’s idyllic summer in 1914 and everyone in the village of Greenmill is excited about Wakes week; a rest from field and mill and a celebration of the Rushbearing Festival with singing, courting, drinking and dancing. The looming war barely registers … but it will. 
Through the lens of traditional rural life, the play follows the stories of the people of the village and witnesses their personal transformations as they face change and loss with courage and humanity. 
The Observer ★★★★★ 
'…vibrant, entertaining and meaningful.' 
The Guardian ★★★★ 
'This lyrical, beautifully constructed first world war drama is a reminder not only of lives lost, but of the traditions that made those lives worth living.' 
The Times ★★★★ 
'This wonderful new play… McAndrew delineates a host of characters with dexterity and tenderness…' 
The Telegraph ★★★★ 
'Deborah McAndrew’s poignant, warm-hearted drama gives a fresh approach on the centenary commemorations of the First World War.' 
The Public Reviews ★★★★ 
Whatsonstage ★★★★ 
The Independent 
'A deeply moving spectacle.' 
British Theatre Guide 
'Excellently written, superbly staged and well acted.' 
Virtual Shropshire 
'This show is so good, people are already booking to see it twice.' 
Native Monster 
'Vivid entertainment.' 
Production Photogaphy by Nobby Clark

Till The Cows Come Home (2014) 

Produced and toured nationally by MIKRON THEATRE COMPANY 2014 
The coolest quest ever undertaken 
Writer & lyricist by Deborah McAndrew 
Composer by Conrad Nelson 
Musical director by Rebekah Hughes 
Directed by Olwen May 
Harvey Granelli is fed up working for Thistledale Council. He followed his miserable mother into local government, but he has more in common with his Italian father – part-time playboy and one-time ice-cream maker, Romeo. 
Inspired by a dream of his long dead dad, Harvey finally finds the courage to follow his heart. But when he whips up a gelato from Papa Granelli’s recipe book it just doesn’t taste the same. Times have changed; the way our food is produced has changed… 
Harvey now has a choice. He can make an inferior product, or he can source the very best ingredients and make the finest ice-cream in the world. His quest will take him to the corners of the earth – from Thistledale to Tuscany: from Bridlington to Brazil. 
But can Harvey really recreate a taste from the past? Will he return in time to prevent his faithful girlfriend Maud surrendering to the charms of another man? And why is he being followed? 
A farm-fresh, full-fat, fair-trade fable about the nation’s favourite food! 
‘… the cream of outdoor summer theatre. Irresistible.’ 

Ugly Duck (2013) 

With director, Conrad Nelson, Deborah has founded a new theatre company based in The Potteries, called CLAYBODY THEATRE. 
Directed by Conrad Nelson 
Designed by Dawn Allsopp (2013) & Sue Condie (2014) 
Lighting by Jo Dawson 
Art by Rob Pointon 
This new company’s inaugural production, UGLY DUCK, was performed as a site-specific piece at the BURSLEM SCHOOL OF ART Wed 13 – Sat 16th November 2013. The play then transferred to mac birmingham for performances in the FOYLE STUDIO as part of Capital Theatre Festival. 
The play was recently remounted for the New Vic Theatre: 3rd -13th September 2014. 
Art and life and art… 
Stoke bloke Dennis Hancock wouldn’t win any beauty competitions. A life long Port Vale fan, Dennis is rapidly decining in middle age and slowly sinking into the ranks of the long-term unemployed. 
In desperation he answers an advertisement in the local paper for an artist’s Life model. But when troubled young artist, Kat Drosdzowski begins to paint him, Dennis finds himself exposed in more ways than one… 
Rachel Austin (Kat) 
Philip Wright (Dennis) 
James Masters (Mark) 
Susan Twist (Drina) 
‘Breathlessly brilliant…’ 
‘Finely crafted and packs an emotional punch.. ‘ 
‘Poignant and funny…’ 

The Grand Gesture (2013) 

Published by Methuen Drama. Presented by Northern Broadsides in partnership with Harrogate Theatre 
Adapted by Deborah McAndrew from The Suicide by Nikolai Erdman 
Directed and Composed by Conrad Nelson 
Yorkshire Post ★★★★★ 
‘…There is an abundance of comedy, but once again what elevates McAndrew’s scripts are the moments, as there was at the denouement of A Government Inspector, where the rest of the production melts away and we’re left with a man on stage speaking from the heart.' 
Plays to see ★★★★★ 
‘…one of the funniest, cleverest, most moving and thought-provoking nights at the theatre you will find anywhere… McAndrew’s adaptation is a joy.’ 
Observer ★★★★ 
‘…banned Russian play from the 1920s is given a northern spin in this powerful adaptation.’ 
Whatsonstage ★★★★ 
‘… bold, ingenious and inventive.’ 
Times ★★★ 
‘… lively and immensely likeable.’ 

Beyond The Veil (2013) 

Produced and toured nationally by MIKRON THEATRE COMPANY 2014 
Writing & lyrics by Deborah McAndrew 
Composer Conrad Nelson 
Musical direction by Rebekah Hughes 
Directed by Adam Sunderland 
DCI Mark Starkey thinks he’s got a quiet patch in sleepy Thistledale, but all that is about to change dramatically when there’s a sudden, unnatural death on the local allotment… 
The grisly discovery down by the beehives is only the beginning for Detective Starkey. To unmask the murderer he must first uncover an altogether less savoury side of life in Thistledale; the bitter grudges, thwarted passions and murky pasts. 
And then there are the bees. 
The life of the honeybee might be described as one of great sweetness and harmony, punctuated by sudden, desperate, acts of violence. The same could be said for Thistledale. 
Detective Starkey soon realises that the more he knows about bees, the closer he gets to the killer! 

A Government Inspector (2012) 

Published by Methuen Drama. Presented by Northern Broadsides in partnership with Harrogate Theatre 
Adapted by Deborah McAndrew from the original play by Nikolai Gogol 
Directed and Composed by Conrad Nelson 
Nikolai Gogol’s biting satire on the corruption in Tsarist Russian public life makes an effortless translation to a small modern day Pennine hill town. 
Whatsonstage ★★★★★ 
The Guardian ★★★★ 
The Telegraph ★★★★ 
The Independent ★★★★ 
'…this campy, brassy update is very funny and very relevant.' 
Yorkshire Post 
'Four years ago Conrad Nelson and Deborah McAndrew worked together on Accidental Death of an Anarchist and they struck gold. It was a brilliant combination. It is a shame it has taken them so long to work together again – but it has absolutely been worth the wait.' 
The Stage 
'Updating Gogol’s satire of human greed and relocating it to an obscure Pennine town has such an impact that one wonders why Northern Broadsides has never done it before.' 
York Press 
'McAndrew is in mischief-making mood. Her sharp and tangy dialogue fizzes along, complemented by Nelson’s typically energetic direction…Nelson’s cast of 12 revels in both the broad physicality and verbal wit of McAndrew’s playful piece.' 
This Is Gloucestershire 
'If you’re feeling depressed, ask your doctor to write a prescription for a ticket to A Government Inspector.' 
The Telegraph 
'He spends the whole time in the pub and pays for everything on expenses – he must be from the Government, runs one typically whip-sharp line. A hoot.' 
'…the script awash with wonderful contemporary references to the expenses scandal, Cameron’s ‘Cornish Pasty fiasco’, government’s lack of accountability and abuse of power, and local authorities’ attempts to pull the wool over our eyes make this play seem both truly contemporary and relevant.' 
British Theatre Guide 
'Adapted with both vigour and sensitivity… a fine production that cares deeply about the message behind its exuberant comedy.' 
Backstagepass ★★★★ 
'Deborah McAndrew’s tight script weaves in some fantastic current references… but the piece has a timeless quality to it – it could’ve been set any time over the last 40 years and would have been as relevant.' 
Love Leeds Radio 
'Bold, bawdy and quite simply brilliant, it is an outstandingly good piece of theatre. Deborah McAndrew’s adaptation is sharp, witty and wonderfully northern.' 
The Music Guru Online 
'Hilarious and up to the minute.' 
Bournemouth and Southampton News 
'McAndrew elevates Nikolai Gogol’s tale of corrupt officials within a small Russian town to new satirical and geographical heights.' 
Southern Daily Echo 
'The jokes consistently hit the target with the accuracy of Kevin Sinfield’s boot.' 
Charles Hutchinson - York Press 
'Well worth inspecting.' 

Losing the Plot (2012) 

By Deborah McAndrew
Produced by Mikron Theatre Company – Now Touring 
Directed by Adam Sunderland 
Composer Conrad Nelson 
Musical Director Rebekah Hughes 
The gardeners of Thistledale Allotments are a rag-bag bunch of diggers and dreamers. Strong personalities frequently clash over the best treatment for mealy bugs, and the annual ‘Heaviest and Longest’ competition is always a time when old feuds and new flirtations threaten to undermine the fragile peace. 
Then Harvey from the Council pays them a visit and they realise that they must pull together, or forfeit their precious plot forever. But can they agree on a strategy? How will they convince Harvey of the vital role allotments have played in the life of the nation for centuries? What will they do when things inevitably get completely out of hand? 
Told with a rollicking mix of old music hall tunes and brand new songs, Losing The Plot is a story of love – between people and the land; between people and people; and between people and their giant vegetables. 
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian Theatre Guide 
'…the excellent Deborah McAndrew' 
The Oxford Times 
‘A sparkling and often witty script’ 

David Copperfield (2010) 

Adapted by Deborah McAndrew. Produced by Octagon theatre, Bolton – November 2010 
Directed by Elizabeth Newman 
Designed by Lucy Sierra 
Composer Conrad Nelson 
Musical Director Barbara Hockaday 
Charles Dickens’ ‘favourite child’ adapted for a family audience, with a nautical flavour and music inspired by English folk songs. 
The Times ★★★★ 
The Guardian ★★★★ 
City Life ★★★★ 
Lyn Gardner 
'A show that proves that Christmas entertainment can also be unexpectedly meaty and satisfying drama.' 
Alfred Hickling - The Guardian 
'Deborah McAndrew’s adaptation is not so much a children’s show as a drama about lost childhood.' 
Clare Brennan - The Observer 
'Deborah McAndrew adapts Dickens’s sprawling novel into a vivid and engrossing musical.' 
Alan Hulme - City Life 
'A superb piece of theatre for family audiences.' 

King Macbeth (2010) 

By Deborah McAndrew. Produced by Reveal Theatre Company – September 2010 
Directed by Robert Marsden 
Designed by Mila Sanders 
The real Macbeth ruled Scotland successfully for seventeen years, and was certainly not the bloody, ambitious tyrant portrayed in Shakespeare’s masterpiece. Few hard facts are known about him, but enough to imagine a very different story. 
Born at the turn of the first Millenium, Macbeth was almost certainly the illegitimate grandson of Malcolm II, King of Alba. His father, The Mormaer of Moray, was killed when Macbeth was just 15 years old – but due to the ancient custom of Tanistry, by which brothers and their offspring inherit land and wealth, Macbeth was left penniless. 
With nothing to depend on but his own martial and political skill the young Macbeth emerged as an impressive general, highly valued by the king. 
But Malcolm had plans for Alba, and ambitions for Macbeth’s vain and profligate cousin, Duncan; plans that threatened the stability and peace of this burgeoning nation. 
Eleven long years after the death of his father Macbeth is finally supported by the king in avenging his murder, and taking back Moray. Macbeth is happy at last, with an intelligent, pious new wife, Gruoch, and an adopted son. 
Only then does the king kill the kinsman of Macbeth’s new wife – by tradition the rightful heir to the throne. Faced with the depth of Malcolm and Duncan’s treachery, Macbeth must decide whether he will go on being a pawn in their political game; and what he will do when Duncan inevitably becomes king? 
Carefully researched and vividly imagined in verse and prose, King Macbeth seeks to discover the real story behind Scotland’s most famous king. 
Zita Collinson - The Sentinel 
'Thanks to McAndrew’s powerful script, Macbeth is transformed into a charismatic general… Macbeth, Duncan and Gruoch… historical figures who are every bit as intriguing and complex as Shakespeare’s more well known creations.' 

Oliver Twist (2009) 

Adapted by Deborah McAndrew. Recently produced by Hull Truck Theatre – 2018/19. First produced by Octagon theatre, Bolton – November 2009. 
Directed by Josette Bushell Mingo 
Designed by Dawn Allsop 
Composer Conrad Nelson 
Musical Director Rebekah Hughes 
Set over the course of one year, and framed between Christmases, this is a festive adaptation of Dickens’ masterpiece. The show has a musical blend of traditional carols, folk tunes and original songs. 
The Guardian ★★★★ 
The Stage ★★★★ 
The Reviews Hub ★★★★ 
North West End ★★★★★ 
The Independent ★★★★ 
'Deborah McAndrew’s new version of Oliver Twist reaches corners and characters which most adaptors of Dickens’s original tale overlook. The Independent' 

Accidental Death of an Anarchist (2008) 

By Dario Fo. Adapted by Deborah McAndrew. Produced by Northern Broadsides – September 2008 
Director Conrad Nelson 
Designer Dawn Allsopp 
Lighting Designer Richard G Jones 
Dario Fo’s classic political farce about a suspicious death in police custody – transposed to a contemporary Yorkshire setting. Conrad Nelson’s critically acclaimed production included daily radio news reports, and the cast received topical inserts from Deborah during the run. It’s a forty-year-old play, and yet nothing really changes, except the names. 
The Observer 
'up-to-the-minute, politically sharp and hilarious' 
The Stage 
'an absolute riot. Farce for the soul' 
Yorkshire Post ★★★★★ 
'Remarkable… If this is the kind of alchemy it intends to keep creating, (Northern Broadsides) is set to be one of Yorkshire’s finest exports for years to come.' 

Flamingoland (2008) 

By Deborah McAndrew. Produced by The New Vic Theatre – July 2008 
Directed by Gwenda Hughes 
Designed by Lis Evans 
Published by Nick Nern Books 
A big-hearted, bittersweet comedy about mothers, sisters, love and lies. 
In her Yorkshire council house, no-nonsense Mari is having a clear out. She is terminally ill with cancer, and she doesn’t want anyone else going through her things ‘after’. There’s a lifetime of clutter to be sorted, the house to clean from top to bottom, and the squirrels in the loft to be dealt before she can finally bow out. 
But, as well as memories of holidays in Mablethorpe and day trips to Flamingoland, there’s a big box of family secrets to dust off and unwrap. Will Mari decide to let sleeping dogs lie? Or are some things too important to stay hidden forever? 
Dark and farcical, this is the story of four women who can’t talk about their feelings, and one pest exterminator who can. 
'Deborah McAndrew… has succeeded in writing four substantial roles for women' 
Photographs from The New Vic Theatre Production © Robert Day 

Vacuum (2006) 

By Deborah McAndrew. Produced by Northern Broadsides – September 2006 
Directed by Conrad Nelson 
Designed by Lis Evans 
Revived by Esk Valley Theatre, August 2007 
Directed by Conrad Nelson 
Designed by Pip Leckenby 
It’s the end of a long week for financial adviser Ray and as he steps out of the winter rain into the dingy little vacuum repair shop he has few expectations of his new ‘client’. But the enigmatic Mr Ashburner turns out to be a man of untold wealth. 
As the night progresses Ray is drawn into Ashburner’s twilight world and the fabric of his own fragile life begins to unravel. But what else has Mr Ashburner’s father bequeathed to his lonely son? And how will Ray react when Ashburner reveals his true agenda? 
In a tense drama of shifting power and status, two disparate souls come together in a touching, and humorous story of self-discovery. 
Like a tale of the unexpected the play concludes with a deadly twist. 
Michael Hugo (Mr Ashburner) 
Mark Stratton (Ray) 
BBC Online 
'Reminiscent of Arthur Miller with a touch of Dennis Potter thrown in – do catch this if you can! A very satisfying evening at the theatre' 
The Halifax Evening Courier 
'…stunning….an important 21st century dramatic two-hander……astonishing' 
Northern Echo 
'Fascinating, thought-provoking, socially relevant and philosophically provocative, this was new writing at its best, performed with passion and panache.' 

The Bells (2005) 

By Leopold Lewis. A new version by Deborah McAndrew. Produced by Northern Broadsides – September 2004 
Directed and composed by Conrad Nelson 
With Sean O’Callaghan as Mathias 
Deep in the snowbound mountains of Alsace a savage crime remains unsolved. Fifteen years on the assassin, Mathias, is now rich and respected, but tormented by guilt. 
Driven by desperation to escape detection and consumed by conscience, Mathias hangs suspended between sanity and terror, as nightmarish visions, conjured from the depths of his mind, administer justice. 
Lynn Gardner - The Guardian ★★★ 
'A canny, cleverly judged piece of work in which the combination of melody and drama (melodrama) melds perfectly so that often it seems as if the band of violin, clarinet and percussion is telling the story with as much clarity as the actors…….. an affecting and unaffected piece of popular theatre' 
Benedict Nightingale - The Times ★★★ 
'As melodramas go, The Bells still seems superior stuff. It doesn’t just show a series of sensational events leading to a denouement in some theatrical Chamber of Horrors …..the musicians, with their quivering fiddle, woodwind and drum, do what’s wanted: create the sinister, spectral feel that set audiences’ hair on end 130 years ago' 
The Stage 
'McAndrew has invigorated the story with the strength and vitality of her dialogue. There is rhythm where necessary and the humour is wonderfully brusque….. They (McAndrew and Nelson) have conceived a new way to stage the climax and it is a master stroke. (The Bells) has been given a thorough dusting off and is no longer a museum piece.' 
'Deborah McAndrew brings an impressive poeticism, full of alliteration and assonance, which emplaces a new backbone in the story, and the musical embellishments by Nelson succeed in creating a superb theatrical celebration to thrill the spirits.' 
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