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NEWS > Alumnae News > Critical Acclaim for Alumnae Plays

Critical Acclaim for Alumnae Plays

Two of our alumnae writers are currently enjoying great critical success with their latest plays: Red Ellen by Caroline Bird, Class of 2005, and Juniper and Jules by Stephanie Martin, Class of 2004.

Caroline Bird’s new drama, called Red Ellen, is about the revolutionary Labour MP Ellen Wilkinson who fought tirelessly for change in the 1930s and 40s. Starting at Newcastle’s Northern Stage, the play is in Edinburgh this week (until 21 May) and in York next week (24-28 May).

What’s on Stage called it: “a deeply compelling, often humorous and very moving story”, while Culture North East said: “it provides rich entertainment and shines a spotlight on an inspiring woman whose achievement should be better known and celebrated.”

Caroline’s most recent collection of poems, called The Air Year, won the prestigious Forward Prize for poetry. Her other theatre credits include The Torjan Women, Chamber Piece and a re-twisted telling of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. For more information about Red Ellen, please click here

Juniper and Jules by Stephanie Martin, which finished its run at the Soho Theatre Upstairs last week, is a love story between two women exploring compromise and truthfulness. The Guardian said: “This funny and sweet romance is a must-see”, while The Reviews Hubs said: “This romantic, realistic comedy-drama is authentic, compelling and charming. You’ll leave the theatre wanting more from these fabulous characters because an hour’s insight just isn’t enough.”

Stephanie’s debut play, Joy, told the story of a young woman with Down’s syndrome determined to live her very best life, other plays have focused on a former party girl who converts to Islam (Alkaline) and the effects of climate change on ordinary lives across the UK (Rage, but Hope). To read an article with Stephanie talking about Juniper and Jules, please click here

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