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Sarah Woods


Sarah Woods is a playwright, activist and performer creating participatory performances and events in collaboration with communities, campaigns, scientists, specialists and arts organisations.

Through a combination of fact, fiction and testimony, her work focuses around choice and change in the face of our current global challenges. Armed only with a caustic sense of humour, Sarah works with stories big and small, throwing into relief bits of our lives it is often hard to comprehend.

Sarah’s work has been produced by many UK companies including the Soho Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, the RSC, BBC TV and radio, regional theatres and touring companies. A number of her plays are published by Oberon Books.

For the first half of the year The Roadless Trip tours to 25 different community groups across Aberystwyth, Birmingham, Cornwall, Kent and Lancaster. Each community group will be asked about their own opinions and visions for the future and this will be collated and moulded into a definitive version of The Roadless Trip which will tour from Autumn 2015.

The Roadless Trip was further developed for touring and Sarah continued to work with Cardboard Citzens on a new Forum Theatre Tour piece called BENEFIT. Another piece, My Life With Flu was aired on BBC Radio 4 Extra in November to critical acclaim.

The Roadless Trip, an interactive performance about our relationship to the future, was commissioned and shown at the Emergence Summit at the Centre for Alternative Technology, Wales and Artsadmin’s Two Degrees festival. Sarah also worked regularly with Cardboard Citizens for whom she is currently writing their Hostels TourWatch Me, a play looking at the science of mirror neurons and the importance of empathy was aired on BBC Radio 4 and The Empathy Roadshow, a community tour commissioned for People United, also on the subject of empathy, began in Canterbury in June and finishes at The Marlowe Theatre on 14 September.

Other recent theatre plays include My Last Car (a TippingPoint commission), The Thief Of Baghdad (Royal Opera House Linbury Studio in partnership with UNICEF), The Help(Cardboard Citizens hostels tour), Box (Birmingham Repertory Theatre), Soap(Theatre Royal Northampton/Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough). Timon Of Athens (Cardboard Citizens/RSC Complete Works Festival), Visible (Cardboard Citizens), Hilda (Hampstead Theatre), Walking On Water (Theatre Centre) and a new version of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox (Little Angel/RSC Christmas show).

Sarah has written more than thirty plays, series, adaptations and drama-documentaries for BBC radio. Over the past few years her work includes: a new adaptation of The BorrowersThe State Of Water, an original drama looking at our relationship to water; and two original drama-documentaries about climate change:Getting To Zero and Getting To Four Degrees. Sarah has worked with Birmingham Opera on new versions of Fidelio and Ariadne Auf Naxos.

Sarah ran the MPhil in Playwriting at The University of Birmingham from 2002 – 2006, and is now an external examiner for the course. She is a skilled facilitator for events and creative processes and offers creative mentoring, both for groups and individuals. She currently teaches playwriting and political theatre to undergraduates at The University of Manchester.

Date Title Venue City
9 June 2017 Sarah Woods & Andrew Simms: Neoliberalism - The Break-up tour Toynbee Studios
3 February 2016 The Roadless Trip Warwick Arts Centre Coventry
7 November 2015 The Roadless Trip Birmingham Rep Theatre Birmingham
5 November 2015 The Roadless Trip Lancaster Arts Lancaster
6 October 2015 The Roadless Trip Aberystwyth Arts Centre Aberystwyth
19 September 2015 The Roadless Trip Gulbenkian Theatre Canterbury
17–18 July 2015 The Roadless Trip Various venues Canterbury
25–27 June 2015 The Roadless Trip Various venues Birmingham
16–18 June 2015 The Roadless Trip Various venues Lancaster
17 October 2013 The Empathy Roadshow Toynbee Studios
22 June 2013 Two Degrees: The Roadless Trip Toynbee Studios
Photo by Nick Treherne.