Alan Wilkins (playwright)

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This article is about the British playwright. For other uses, see Alan Wilkins (disambiguation).
Alan Wilkins
Born 1969[1]
Nationality Scots
Debut works The Nest
Notable work(s) Carthage Must Be Destroyed
Awards Best New Play
Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland

Alan Wilkins is an Edinburgh based Scots playwright. His first professionally produced play was Ball or Scoop, which opened at the Benaki Museum in April 2004 and then toured the Highlands and islands of Scotland.[2] The play was set in a Highland bothy and features five hill walkers sheltering from a storm.[3] He received the Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland Best New Play Award in 2008 for Carthage Must Be Destroyed, and has since had two other plays produced.


Wilkins was brought up in Edinburgh.[4] Before his professional debut as a playwright, he worked as an actor and taught English as a Foreign Language in Poland and Spain.[5] Whilst in Spain, he wrote his first play, Childish Things. He sent it to the Traverse and it received a public reading.[4] Encouraged, he wrote his second play, Cafeteria/Restaurant, which received a reading at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow. The Traverse commissioned him to write The Nest, which became his first produced play.[4]

At the time of his debut, Wilkins was working as a drama teacher at Inverkeithing High School, Edinburgh.[6] His next play Carthage Must Be Destroyed, set in a 2nd-century Roman bathhouse,[7] opened at the Traverse in May 2007 and explored the themes of "power, politics, and decadence, set against the improbable background of the Third Punic War, in 149BC."[8] and won the Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) Best New Play award for 2007–2008.[9] The citation said "'A mature, meaty, engrossing drama about power, politics and decadence, Alan Wilkins Carthage Must Be Destroyed was a gripping indictment of the corruptions of Empire."[10] It was also produced by the Theatre Royal in Bath.[11]

In 2008, Wilkins scripted Can We Live With You? for Lung Ha's theatre company, which works with people with learning disabilities. The play was performed at the Traverse in April 2008.[12] Offshore, produced by Birds of Paradise, was a play set against the background of the decline of the Scottish fishing industry and its effect on small communities. Wilkins used his own background, working as a barman in Wester Ross, as background material.[13] It played in Edinburgh and on tour in the autumn of 2008.[14] Wilkins has also taught on the Masters of Literature programme at the University of Glasgow and is a doctoral student at that institution.[10] In 2008, he led a play-writing course for inmates at Polmont young offenders' institution, the results of which were performed at the Traverse in December 2008.[15] Wilkins has also worked with Dundee Repertory Theatre, the Aldeburgh Festival[16] and was funded by the Scottish Arts Council to represent his country as a tutor / playwright at the 2006 Interplay Festival in Liechtenstein.[17]


Wilkins has had four plays produced.

Title First produced Year First publisher Year ISBN
The Nest Traverse Theatre 2004 Nick Hern Books 2004 ISBN 978-1-85459-817-2
Carthage Must Be Destroyed Traverse Theatre 2007 Nick Hern Books 2007 ISBN 978-1-85459-985-8
Can We Live With You? Traverse Theatre 2008
Offshore Glasgow Citizens Theatre 2008


  1. ^ "Wilkins, Alan 1969". University of Miami Libraries. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  2. ^ The Nest. Google Book Search. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  3. ^ Jones, Sarah (29 April 2004). "The Nest, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh". The Independent. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c Rudden, Liam (27 April 2007). "Wilkins takes the route from Carthage to Iraq". The Scotsman. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  5. ^ Mathieson, Kenny (May 2004). "May 2004 Interview: Alan Wilkins". Highlands and Islands Arts. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  6. ^ Fettes, Miranda (16 April 2004). "High drama as Scots writer hits new peak". The Scotsman. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  7. ^ Cooper, Neil (1 May 2007). "Features: ARTS REVIEWS". The Herald. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  8. ^ Scott, Robert Dawson (2 May 2007). "Carthage Must Be Destroyed". London: The Times. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  9. ^ "Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland 2007–08 Winners". Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland. Retrieved 9 June 2009. 
  10. ^ a b "Theatre, Film & Television Studies :: News and Events". University of Glasgow. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  11. ^ Brien, Jeremy (2 December 2008). "Carthage Must Be Destroyed". The Stage. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  12. ^ Fisher, Mark (27 March 2008). "Can We Live With You? – Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh". The List. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  13. ^ Brodie, Caroline (16 October 2008). "Stormy times offshore – Press & Journal". Aberdeen: Press and Journal. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  14. ^ Fisher, Mark (2 October 2008). "Offshore – Seen at Citizens' Theatre, Glasgow". The List. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  15. ^ Fisher, Mark (2 November 2008). "Mark Fisher on the Scottish inmates who are writing plays". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  16. ^ "Traverse Theatre Spring 2007 Brochure" (PDF). Traverse Theatre. 
  17. ^ "Interplay Europe". Interplay. Retrieved 10 June 2009.