Mike Bartlett (playwright)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mike Bartlett
Born Michael Bartlett
Oxford, United Kingdom
Occupation Playwright, Director
Nationality British
Period 2002 – present
Notable awards 2010 Laurence Olivier Award - Outstanding Achievement In An Affiliate Theatre, 2006 Tinniswood Award, 2006 Richard Imison Award, and a 2013 BAFTA award nomination - Breakthrough Talent (Television Craft category)[1]

Michael Bartlett (born 7 October 1980)[2] is a British playwright.[3]


Mike Bartlett was born on 7 October 1980 in Oxford, England. He attended Abingdon School, then studied English and Theatre Studies at the University of Leeds.[4]


In July 2005, Bartlett took part in the Old Vic's "New Voices" 24 Hour Plays culminating in the performance of his play Comfort which had to be written and performed in 24 hours.[5]

His radio play Not Talking was broadcast by the BBC on Saturday 29 March 2007 BBC. The play looked at the issues surrounding conscientious objection in the UK during World War II and also at the problems of bullying within the armed forces. The play featured Richard Briers and June Whitfield.[6]

Bartlett won the 2006 Tinniswood Award for Not Talking and the 2006 Imison Award for a drama by a writer new to radio on 18 October 2007.[7]

In May 2007, while holding the position of "writer in residence" at the Royal Court Theatre, his play My Child premiered there.[8]

His play, Artefacts, was performed at The Bush Theatre[9] in London in 2008 before a national tour, produced by new writing specialists Nabokov.[10] Also in 2008 he adapted his radio play Love Contract for the Royal Court Theatre.[11]

In 2009 Bartlett's play Cock premiered at the Royal Court. It won the 2010 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement In An Affiliate Theatre.[3]

In the summer of 2010 Bartlett's work was staged for the first time at the National Theatre. Earthquakes in London, directed by Rupert Goold, was described by Michael Billington in the Guardian as an "epic, expansive play about climate change, corporate corruption, fathers and children".[12] Charles Spencer of the Daily Telegraph called it "the theatrical equivalent of a thrilling roller coaster ride", delivering "a rush of invention, humour and raw emotion".[13]

In December 2010, Abingdon and St Helens schools performed the first ever amateur production of Bartlett's play Earthquakes in London, less than three months after it finished its run at the National Theatre. The schools were given special permission to put the play on, as Bartlett is a former pupil of Abingdon. He attended the last night as guest of honour.[14]

Also in 2010, Bartlett's play Love, Love, Love was premiered in a touring production. In 2012 it has its London premiere at the Royal Court. Michael Coveney, writing for Whatsonstage.com, called it "one of the most ambitious, and most accomplished, domestic dramas in a long while".[15]

In 2011 Bartlett returned to the National Theatre, this time on its largest stage (the Olivier), with 13, another contemporary epic. In a favourable review in the Guardian, Michael Billington explained, "Bartlett is saying that we live in a Britain where the old tribal loyalties are increasingly irrelevant. The real divide is between a popular protest movement, fed on Facebook and Twitter, that hungers for a change of direction, and an entrenched governmental system that clings precariously to the status quo."[16] Ian Shuttleworth of the Financial Times noted that this was a play in which "sprawl wins out": "Both here and in Earthquakes Bartlett is groping towards some sense of a need to reconcile the worldly and the numinous. In this society, in the 21st century, that may be an admirable impulse for an individual, but in this case it is not proving a useful approach for a playwright."[17]

In 2012 Bartlett adapted Chariots of Fire for the stage. It premiered at Hampstead Theatre before transferring to the West End. He also adapted the Euripides play Medea, in a touring production he directed himself; it starred Rachael Stirling in the title role.

Later in 2012, ITV1 premiered the Crime drama "The Town" starring Andrew Scott (Sherlock) and Martin Clunes.[18][19] Bartlett was subsequently nominated for a BAFTA award for best "Breakthrough Talent" in the TV Craft category in the 2013 awards in relation to "The Town".[1][20]

In October 2013 Bartlett won Best New Play at The National Theatre Awards for his play Bull, beating plays from both Alan Ayckbourn and Tom Wells.[21][22]

In 2014 his play King Charles III premiered at the Almeida. It subsequently transferred to Wyndham's Theatre and in January 2015 won the Critics' Circle Award for Best Play of 2014.

Works as a writer[edit]

Listed most recent first.

  • King Charles III, 2014 play on the accession and reign of Charles, Prince of Wales
  • An Intervention, 2014 play
  • Doctor Foster - Drama for BBC One
  • The Right Honourable - a radio play about a political party's dishonesty, broadcast 2 November 2013[23][24]
  • The Town - a TV crime drama series for ITV1. Premiered 5 December 2012 (UK)
  • Medea - an adaptation of Euripides' Medea - touring production for Headlong, 27 September to 1 December
  • Bull - premiered at Crucible Studio Theatre, Sheffield 6 February 2013; transferred to 59E59 (New York City), April 25 2013; transferred to Young Vic, 15 January 2014
  • Chariots of FireHampstead Theatre, London 9 May to 16 June 2012; Gielgud Theatre 23 June 2012 to 2 February 2013
  • The Core - Woman's Hour Drama for BBC Radio 4, 5–9 September 2011.
  • 13 - National Theatre, 2011–2012
  • Heart - Afternoon Play for BBC Radio 4, 18 May 2011.
  • Love, Love, Love - Paines Plough, 2010
  • Earthquakes in London - National Theatre, 2010
  • Cock - Royal Court - November 2009
  • Liam - Woman's Hour Drama for BBC Radio 4, 14–18 September 2009.
  • Contractions - an adaptation of his radio play Love Contract at the Royal Court, 2008
  • Artefacts - commissioned and produced by Nabokov and first performed at The Bush Theatre, London - February / March 2008.
  • Love Contract - BBC Radio 4, 14 November 2007
  • The Family Man - 2007 5 part Radio Drama produced for Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4
  • My Child - a critically acclaimed play about fatherhood and what it means to be a man. May 2007 (Royal Court Theatre)
  • Stuff I Buried in a Small Town - a one hour play commissioned by The Older Heat and Light Company - March 2006 (Hampstead Theatre)
  • Not Talking - commissioned by BBC Radio 3 show The Wire, 2 March 2006
  • Comfort - 24 hour play - July 2005 (Old Vic Theatre)
  • Silent Charities - a short play commissioned for the Earl's Court Festival - July 2005 (Finborough Theatre)
  • Why People Really Burn - 2003 (The Underbelly – Edinburgh Fringe)
  • Swimming for Beginners - 2002 (The Workshop Theatre, Leeds)
  • The Love At Last - 2002 (Gilded Balloon – Edinburgh Fringe)

Directing work[edit]

  • Lark Rise to Candleford - July–October 2005 (Shapeshifter/Finborough Theatre)
  • Soldiers - July–August 2004 (Shapeshifter)


  1. ^ a b http://awards.bafta.org/award/2013/tvcraft
  2. ^ Hoby, Hermione (8 November 2009). "Most theatre is still really bad". The Guardian (London). 
  3. ^ a b http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/stage/theatre/article7070384.ece
  4. ^ https://alumni.leeds.ac.uk/Page.aspx?pid=379
  5. ^ http://www.theatrevoice.co.uk/tran_script/detail/?roundUpID=21
  6. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b008jysl
  7. ^ Writers Guild http://www.writersguild.org.uk/public/003_WritersGuil/165_WGGBNewsTin.html
  8. ^ My Child by Mike Bartlett, at the Royal Court Theatre; http://www.royalcourttheatre.com/whatson01.asp?play=476 (accessed 26 February 2008)
  9. ^ Artefacts by Mike Bartlett, at the Bush Theatre; http://www.bushtheatre.co.uk/productions/artefacts.html (accessed 26 February 2008)
  10. ^ nabokov present Artefacts by Mike Bartlett; http://www.nabokov-online.com/artefacts.html (accessed 26 February 2008)
  11. ^ http://www.royalcourttheatre.com/whats-on/contractions
  12. ^ Guardian review of Earthquakes in London, 5 August 2010.
  13. ^ Daily Telegraph review, 5 August 2010.
  14. ^ http://www.abingdon.org.uk/earthquakes_in_london_dec10/
  15. ^ Whatsonstage review of Love, Love, Love, 4 May 2012.
  16. ^ Guardian review of 13, 26 October 2011.
  17. ^ Financial Times review, 30 October 2011.
  18. ^ Cavendish, Dominic (5 December 2012). "The Town: what Moriarty did next". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  19. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/12/06/tv-review-the-town-andrew-scott_n_2249317.html
  20. ^ http://guru.bafta.org/mike-bartlett-qa
  21. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2013/oct/20/uk-theatre-awards-winners-women
  22. ^ "This Is My Family musical wins two UK Theatre Awards". BBC News. 20 October 2013. 
  23. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Saturday Drama - he Right Honourable". 2 November 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  24. ^ Reynolds, Gillian (1 Nov 2013). "Today's radio highlights". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2 November 2013. 

External links[edit]