Hier Soir, Demain Soir


scene from "Hier Soir, Demain Soir" © J Louis FernandezHier Soir, Demain Soir (Last Night, Tomorrow Night), a commission by the Comédie de Valence, was presented at the Festival Ambivalence(s) in May-June 2012 as part of group of pieces by five playwrights called Une Chambre en ville. The monologue, performed by Mireille Mossé, was translated by Séverine Magois and and directed by Claire Semet

A middle-aged woman enters her hotel room fiercely determined. Her mind is made up; everything has been planned with the utmost care. But it’s not so easy to take one’s leave…

View the Threatrical trailer

Notes to Future Self


Scene from Notes To Future Self“Judy’s my mom. It’s an understatement to say she’s a bit of a hippy. I mean who else but a New Ager calls their baby ‘Philosophy Rainbow’? I try to go by ‘Sophie’.”

Sophie and Calliope have never been to school. Their mum ran away from home when she was seventeen to join the New Age movement and the girls have been raised in Goa, San Francisco and Morroco at a series of ashrams, communes and impromptu raves.

Then one day Sophie gets ill and the family has to return to Birmingham. Sophie and Calliope are introduced to a strange new world where meditation and tree-hugging are replaced with Maths homework and television. They’re also introduced to Daphne: the grandmother that the girls have never met. And it’s against this bewildering new backdrop – the normality she’s always longed for – that Sophie must come to terms with her own mortality.

Caldwell… is one of those few playwrights who uses sentiment neither out of intellectual weakness nor emotional cowardice but as a glowing affirmation. These 75 minutes are about three women, each of whom is negotiating a new existence of her own, and at the centre a girl facing the end of life almost before she understands what it is […] a multi-levelled awareness of what life and death may mean to each of us
★★★★☆ Financial Times (more)

[A] brave, beautiful and quite extraordinary play
The Stage

Cast & Creative

  • Philosophy Rainbow (Sophie): Imogen Doel
  • Daphne: Jane Lowe
  • Judy: Amanda Ryan
  • Calliope: Jayne Wisener
  • Director: Rachel Kavanaugh
  • Designer: Colin Richmond
  • Lighting Designer: Simon Bond
  • Composer: Catherine James
  • Sound Designer: Dan Hoole
  • Associate Director: Robert Shaw Cameron
  • Casting Director: Alison Solomon
  • Dramaturg: Caroline Jester

Notes To Future Self by Lucy Caldwell premiered March 2011 at Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company.

BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Drama“Notes to Future Self” on Radio 4

Lucy Caldwell’s play “Notes to Future Self”, which premiered last year at Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 as the Afternoon Play at 2.15 on Tuesday 30th October. Lucy herself abridged and adapted the play, and it was recorded in Belfast with the original cast and is produced and directed by Heather Larmour.

The play is no longer available on the BBC iPlayer catch-up service but details of the programme can be found here.


The Luthier (2009)


SPINNING-THE-TIMESLucy Caldwell’s tale of a young apprentice luthier on the West Bank in Palestine premiered as part of Spinning the Times, a series of pieces by five Irish playwrights produced by Origin Theatre Company as part of the New York 1st Irish Festival at 59E59 Theaters in September 2009

Praise for “The Luthier”

The best of [the plays] is “The Luthier” by Lucy Caldwell, about a Palestinian youth who is learning to repair violins. Ethan Hova gives a beautiful performance
New York Times

Fugue and The Luthier tread ground that has been covered before, but both are nonetheless rich in their humanity. … Ethan Hova stars in The Luthier, as a Palestinian man trying to carve out a peaceful life in a world that refuses to yield to his nature. A luthier is an artisan who repairs violins; Dawood dreams of practicing his craft in the U.S. as he remembers pivotal, tragic moments from his past here in Gaza. Both David and Dawood are refugees because of ancient hatreds afflicting their homelands; from their circumstances can we learn compassion for problems that, here in America, always seem so far away?

The Luthier, by Lucy Caldwell, takes us to Palestine where Dawood (Ethan Hova) fixes violins. “Except for fire, there is no damage which cannot be repaired,” he says. While he may be able one day to save violins, Dawood cannot restore the damage the persistent bombings have wreaked on his friends and family. It is a portrait of senseless violence and innocence destroyed, and Hova’s understated performance is heartfelt and sweet, even in the face of horrific destruction.

Guardians (2009)


DancingAnd they all told us we were crazy, everyone told us we were crazy. But we knew we were right. And now, I think: what if we were wrong? What if they were right, after all, and we were wrong?

Bright twenty-somethings Molly and Conor have been married for a year. Forced to relocate to Conor’s family-home in Belfast, their love and understanding of each other is brought irretrievably into question. In Guardians, the beautifully crafted follow-up to Lucy Caldwell’s George Devine Award-winning play Leaves, Caldwell explores what happens when our expectations come up against reality, and how easy it is to miss our step. Guardians is directed by Natalie Abrahami, joint Artistic Director of London’s Gate Theatre: ‘A director of exceptional flair’ Guardian.

Cast & Crew

Molly: Sonya Cassidy
Conor: Andrew Simpson

Director: Natalie Abrahami Dramaturge: Ben Power Design: takis Lighting: Matt Prentice Sound: Steve Mayo Video Projection: Dick Straker for Mesmer Voice: John Tucker Casting: Camilla Evans Production Manager: Jae Forrester Stage Manager: Al Orange Assistant Stage Manager: George Moustakas

Guardians_GuardianPraise for “Guardians”

“Now in its third year, the High Tide festival is based in the small Suffolk town of Halesworth and exists primarily to promote new writing. It has already notched up a big success with the London transfer of Adam Brace’s Stovepipe. Having seen two of the three plays on show this year, I would confidently predict an afterlife for Lucy Caldwell’s Guardians: the second in a Belfast trilogy that began with Leaves, seen at the Royal Court in 2007.

Caldwell’s gift is for exploring the texture of domestic unhappiness. In Leaves, she dealt with the impact on a middle-class family of their daughter’s aborted suicide. Here, she shows how young love can go disastrously wrong. Molly is an American doing a thesis on post-conflict societies, and Conor is a Belfast-born law student. Having met and married hastily in Indiana, they come to Northern Ireland to house-sit for a year in Conor’s parental home. Although they seem very much in love, rifts soon appear: Molly feels an outsider in Belfast and finds her academic work blocked, while Conor is unable to cope with Molly’s idealised vision of him as a talented musician. Within a few months they part, apparently irrevocably.

What Caldwell understands very well, in a manner reminiscent of Rattigan, is the inequality of passion: Molly simply has a capacity for love more profound than that of her young husband. While the theme may not be startlingly original, Caldwell invests it with a wealth of enlivening detail. Denied a family wedding herself, Sonya Cassidy’s wonderfully touching Molly sits alone desolately watching home movies of other people’s nuptials. There is something equally poignant about the admission of Andrew Simpson’s law-obsessed Conor that he is not as interesting as his wife once thought.

Caldwell may be a miniaturist, but she writes with real power about lost love and, although I found Natalie Abrahami’s production sombrely underlit, I was much moved.”

Michael Billington “Guardian”

Carnival (2008)


carnival1Some lies are more believable than truth

Two sisters, taken in by a Romany carnival troupe during the wars of the 1990s find themselves at the end of the road in Belfast 2008. They face a choice; stick and stay with the dying Carnival, or twist and step onto the bottom rung of Belfast life?

Production Details

Kabosh’s Carnival, by Lucy Caldwell, played the Ulster Bank Festival at Queens, through 23rd October to the 1st November. Over 1,500 people entered the exotic surroundings of the Spiegeltent to witness performances by Maggie Cronin, Vincent Higgins, Liam McMahon, Patrick O’Reilly, Tanya Wilson, Claire Lamont and Paul Kennedy, as they brought to life the story of Katya and Illena, two girls trapped in the Romany carnival which has reached the end of line. Featuring stunning aerial artistry from Kelsey Long, and the extraordinary music of Oleg Ponomarev and Drazen Djerek, Carnival brought the full force of theatrical performance to the Festival’s most unique venue.

Leaves (2007)


leaves2“We are where we come from? That’s not true. Because if that’s true there’s no hope for any of us.”

Lori is coming home from her first term at university. Its only been a few weeks and already things have gone badly wrong. But none of the rest of the family knows, or understands, what really happened. In this fiercely observed family drama, three teenage girls struggle to define who they are, and why, and where they might be going.

LEAVES premiered in Chapel Lane, Galway, on 1st March 2007 before transferring to the Royal Court Theatre (Upstairs), London. The play won the 2006 George Devine Award and the 2007 Susan Smith Blackburn Award.


Fiona Bell, Alana Brennan, Conor Lovett, Daisy Maguire, Penelope Maguire, Kathy Rose O’Brien Director Garry Hynes; Set Design: Francis O’Connor; Lighting Ben Ormerod; Sound: John Leonard; Music: Sam Jackson


French Translation of Leaves

berthFeuilles, Séverine Magois’s translation of Leaves, directed by Mélanie Leray for Theâtre des Lucioles premièred at the Théâtre National de Bretagne in Rennes on February 26, 2009.

The cast included David Jeanne-Comello and Valérie Schwarcz.

The translation, by Séverine Magois (who won a Molière in 2005 for her translation of The Browning Version), has been published by Les Editions théâtrales with the support of the Centre national du livre

Praise for “Leaves”

This is an unmissable play… This is Lucy Caldwell’s first full-length play, but it has the maturity, thoughtful compassion and controlled theatricality of experience.
John Peter, The Sunday Times

[A] highly promising first play.
Michael Billington, The Guardian

Caldwell is spectacularly good. […] Caldwell has done a remarkable job of character creation, each one a totally credible, rounded individual; she also has an extraordinary grasp of the reality of suffering, as well as the triggers of self-preserving selfishness.
Emer O’Kelly, Irish Independent

Caldwell’s evocation of the imperviousness of depression to logic, and the heartbreaking isolation which results is exceptional, as is her understanding of the relationship between siblings in their most tender and vulnerable years.
Mary Coll, Irish Independent

Leaves dramatises the stresses of this desolate situation with unblinking insight and quiet, rueful humour.
Paul Taylor, Independent

Caldwell digs deep, touches on raw pain and the result is moving.
Sarah Hemming, Financial Times

[A] strikingly mature work, both upsetting and, in the end, uplifting.
Quentin Letts, The Daily Mail

Acutely perceptive… Thoughtful and sensitive.
Sam Marlowe, The Times