• A guide to the hidden workings of plays and the trade secrets that govern their writing - by the acclaimed playwright Steve Waters. Drawing on a wide range of drama, both historical and modern, Waters takes the reader through the key elements of dramatic writing – scenes, acts, space, time, characters, language and images – to show how a play is more than the sum of its parts, with as much inner vitality as a living organism. Almost uniquely amongst accounts of playwriting, Waters' book looks at the ways in which good plays move their audiences, generating powerful emotional responses that often defy conventional analysis. The Secret Life of Plays is for playwrights at any stage of their career, and will inspire and inform drama students as well as working actors and directors. Most of all it is for anyone who has ever laughed or cried in the theatre – and wants to know why. 'Thrilling... crammed with good, old-fashioned close reading of a diverse range of plays, which means that although Waters does primarily address those who write for the theatre, he does not forget those who like watching and reading it' TLS 'Essential for aspiring playwrights' Whatsonstage.com

  • On 15 October 2011 Occupy London makes camp outside St Paul's Cathedral. On 21 October 2011 a building that had kept open through floods, the Blitz and terrorist threats closes its doors. On 28 October City of London initiates legal action against Occupy to begin removing them from outside the Cathedral… Steve Waters' play is a fictional account of these events, set in the heart of a very British crisis – a crisis of conscience, a crisis of authority and a crisis of faith. Temple was premiered at the Donmar Warehouse, London, in May 2015 in a production starring Simon Russell Beale, directed by Howard Davies. 'A triumph... [Goes] behind the head-lines, and closed ecclesiastical doors, to produce a riveting drama that unpicks the institutional and psychological turmoil the [Occupy London] saga caused' - Daily Telegraph 'Waters takes real figures and real events and transforms them into a fictional account that plays like High Noon… 90 minutes of barbed politesse that never lets up... rich and ambiguous and funny and fundamental... quietly stunning... a marvellous show' - The Times

  • A double bill of plays from the frontline of climate change - an epic portrait of an England of the near future, in the grip of unprecedented and catastrophic floods. InOn the Beach , Will Paxton, a glaciologist, returns from months in Antarctica to tell his parents that he will take up a role within Government. Thirty years ago, his father silenced his own radical thinking on climate change. Yet behind the reunion with his father lies thirty years of secrecy and bitterness. As the truth surfaces, the family is torn apart, and Will's parents must face the rising tide alone. InResilience , the Tory Government that has just come to power wants radical answers to the imminent floods. Their newly appointed expert, Will Paxton, puts an extreme scenario on the table: England, from its coastline to its capital, faces catastrophe. Impressive in scale and chilling as a prediction of our immediate future, the two plays are complementary but can also stand alone.'an urgent wake-up call... for sheer emotional intensity, has no rival on the London stage... Waters' massive achievement is to have made the most important issue of our times into engrossing theatre' -Guardian 'a triumph' -Evening Standard 'thrilling... masterly... a stunning theatrical knock-out' -Daily Telegraph 'the first and best British play on climate change' -Time Out

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