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Six new monologues are on their way…

ASK ME ANYTHING by Chris Neville-Smith (NE), directed by Dan Bradford, with Heather Carroll as Lucy. A young political activist comes clean about a sting operation against a corrupt MP that goes tragically wrong.

BLUE BIN DAY by Elijah Wood (NE), with Steve Byron as Craig: Heaton bin man Craig becomes obsessed with the cat killer of Chillingham Road, and begins to suspect the culprit is living under his own roof.

CYBERSPACE DREAMS by Rayna Campbell, with Orline Riley as Maggie: a 52 year old woman takes us down the rabbit hole of online influencers, inspirational speakers and life coaches as she tries to change her life under lockdown.

DANDELION by Phil Meeks (NE), with Judi Earl as Beatrice: meet Beatrice, a woman in her 60s awaiting trial for the murder of her husband after falling in love with a younger woman, Reba. But is Reba all that she seems?

PASS OVER ME by Rachel Creeger with Rachel Gaffin Fidler as Miri: Jewish mother Miri prepares her second Passover Seder under lockdown, and slowly comes apart over a few glasses of wine.

SKIN DEEP by Hamza Adam Rafique, with Shaban Dar as Adil: British Pakistani Adil starts a relationship with white, middle class fellow student Laura in the last days of their time at Uni. As lockdown closes over them as they begin their post-student lives, can their relationship survive, or will it be pulled apart by the tensions between them?



After the success of the first five monologues we have commissioned five more…

Starting on April 8 2021 we will be presenting them one every two days:

FAKE by Chris Barlas, performed by Karren Winchester – In the midst of the pandemic, Marion is here to tell us the truth about Covid-19. Chemtrails, vaccines, 5G, the New World Order, its all here!

ONE SMALL GLOBE by Janet Plater, performed by Jake Jarratt – Joe is an actor. Thanks to Covid he’s not that busy at the moment. That’s why he’s taken a fantastic new job, one that’s out of this world.

BY THE WAY I HATE MYSELF by Hannah Ellis Ryan, performed by Laura Littlewood – After a hard day putting on a sad face at her mum’s funeral, Beth is home alone with a glass of red to unburden her feelings about her dearly departed mother.

I JUST CALLED TO SAY by Rani Moorthy, performed by Alex Townson – As his father lies unconscious in an ICU, a young man opens up about their relationship and the pain he has overcome.

BLACKMAIL: A REIVER’S TALE by Steve Byron, performed by Micky Cochrane – A gripping story from the era of the Reivers, when the borders of England and Scotland were lawless territories terrorised by powerful families ready to use violence and extortion to get what they wanted. A lone man takes his stand as he pushed to the edge of his endurance.


Earlier this year we did a series of online workshops on the key dramatists of European theatre: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Strindberg and Chekhov.

We have just completed our subsequent series on iconic American playwrights: Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller.

You can watch them here:

Eugene O’Neill:

Tennessee Williams:

And Arthur Miller:


You can watch them all here, each one the world premiere of a new piece of writing:

‘One Of A Kind’ by Rachael Halliwell:

‘Push Yourself, Slightly’ by Chris Dance:

‘The Moth’ by Paul Herzberg:

‘Sugar’ by Mike Elliston:


We are incredibly proud to announce our next creative project, five new monologues by five new writers written, performed and filmed by Elysium actors during lockdown:

Five playwrights were asked to write a short monologue each. No subject was given, each was free to write whatever they wanted about whatever they wanted. The result was five fantastic monologues on diverse, but, fascinatingly, not unrelated topics.

They are:

ONE OF A KIND by Rachael Halliwell, performed by Sarah Boulter: a local reporter goes undercover in a care home to be close to her father. Online September 30, 2020.

PUSH YOURSELF, SLIGHTLY by Chris Dance, performed by Amy Gavin: meet Diane, wellness consultant and demotivational speaker, who will help you realise your dreams, a bit. Online October 2, 2020.

THE MOTH by Paul Herzberg, performed by Victor Power: a chance encounter on a train in 1994 between a black British man and a white South African soldier leaves a long shadow nearly three decades later. Online October 5, 2020.

SUGAR by Mike Elliston, performed by Edmund Dehn: Bristol, 1721, the Reverend Harcourt is given the task of writing the sermon for the funeral of famous philanthropist and notorious slave trader Sir Edward Colston. Online October 7, 2020.

THE ART OF BEING A SOLUTION by Hamza Rafique, performed by Shobna Gulati: Preeya, Government Advisor and so-called ‘racial gatekeeper’, sits her child carer, Deborah, down for good speaking to. Online October 9, 2020.


Well, no-one expected 2020 to be what it has been! But Elysium has not been idle. In fact somehow lockdown has been more productive than we could have possibly imagined!

To rally everyone and lift spirits, we began a series of internal online play readings with our ensemble of actors. These were private, purely for our entertainment, but gave us a chance to stay creative, work with some old faces and enlarge our ensemble by bringing in some new ones.

Then we launched a season of public online workshops. These were enormous fun and a huge hit. We explored Greek Tragedy, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Strindberg and Chekhov. If you want to catch key ones, you can find them here:

Shakespeare: the Comedies:

Shakesapere: the Tragedies:

Shakespeare: the Late Plays:




As well as this, we have produced a short online play, ‘Isolations’ by Gary Kitching, which you can see here:


We are thrilled to end the last year with the news that our production of MISS JULIE won Best Revival In The North East in the British Theatre Guide:

And received two accolades on Nicola Brierley’s Manchester theatre blog The Play’s The Thing:

Best Theatre Discoveries in 2019

Top 10 Theatre Shows in 2019

A great way of beginning a new year of Elysium creativity! Onwards to 2020!


PLAYLAND by Athol Fugard

Black History Month

North East Tour & Empty Space Theatre, Manchester


We were incredibly proud to present the Northern premiere of Athol Fugard’s great play about the end of Apartheid during Black History Month this year. We played at Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham – with whom we are building a powerful ongoing creative relationship – the Exchange, North Shields, City Theatre, Durham (where we performed ‘The River’ last year), the new Empty Space Theatre in Salford, Greater Manchester and the wonderful Hullabaloo Space in the Darlington Hippodrome.

‘Playland’ got some of the best reviews and audiences responses we have ever had. It also gave us the opportunity to work with Show Racism The Red Card, the UK’s foremost charity dedicated to working against racism in this country. It was also a real pleasure to reunite Danny Solomon and Faz Singhateh who did such wonderful work for us last year in ‘Jesus Hopped The A Train’…

On to the future!

MISS JULIE by August Strindberg

translated by Michael Meyer

North East Tour & Hope Mill, Manchester


Our North East tour of ‘Miss Julie’ was a massive success, with great audience feedback from all four venues – Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham, the Gala, Durham, the Exchange, North Shields and the Majestic, Darlington – and some fantastic reviews.

One of the big successes of the show was the use of a Servants Ensemble in each venue drawn from local actors. In Hexham we had members of local amateur dramatics groups, local choirs and students, at the Gala contingents from the Durham Student Theatre Society and Durham Dramatics Society, at the Exchange members of their theatre group, Newcastle College and the Cultural Spring, and in Darlington students from Darlington College. Each group threw themselves into the task with enthusiasm and power. All were an integral part of the success of the show.


The show went on to play at the award-winning Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester in June tour where it was a massive hit.


This tour, our first since we launched in late 2017, has set us on fire with ideas for future projects and even more ambitious tours. We’re already putting our feelers out further afield across the North East, but also Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire and beyond.