Laura-Jane Foley

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Laura-Jane Foley
Born London, England
Education Homerton College, Cambridge
Trinity College, Oxford (MSt)
Kingston University (PhD)
Occupation Playwright, art historian, journalist
Children 1

Laura-Jane Foley (born July 1982 [1]) is a British playwright and art historian.[2] Her play An Evening with Lucian Freud played at the Leicester Square Theatre in 2015.[3] She lectures at the University of Cambridge in History of Art and Creative Writing.[4]

Education and early career[edit]

Foley read History of Art at Homerton College, Cambridge, where she was awarded the Westall Prize.[5] She also edited Varsity, the university newspaper.[6] Foley was a choral scholar and during her second year appeared on the television programme Faking It, where she was transformed from choir girl to rock chick.[7] She then undertook an MSt in History of Art at Trinity College, Oxford.[8] While at Oxford, she edited ISIS magazine.[9] She was awarded her PhD by Kingston University for a thesis entitled "Lucian Freud Portraits: Curatorial Ekphrasis in Contemporary British Poetic Practice".[10]

Writing and academic career[edit]

Foley has lectured at Bristol University and Kingston University.[11][12] She currently lectures in History of Art and Creative Writing at Cambridge University.[4][13]

As a journalist, Foley has written for The Independent, TES,[14] The Art Newspaper[15] and The Liberal. From 2008-2010, she edited Politick! a political magazine for young people aged 18–35.[16][17]

In 2009, Foley curated and edited The Butterfly Book, a charity art book which included contributions from Tony Blair, Kate Winslet, Grayson Perry, in aid of Leukaemia Research.[18] She also contributed to Cambridge University – An 800th Anniversary Portrait (2009), The Old Parsonage (2010) Poetry from Art (2011) The Echoing Gallery (2013).[19]

In 2015, Foley's play An Evening with Lucian Freud appeared at the Leicester Square Theatre in the West End.[20] The one woman play with video cameos starred Cressida Bonas, Alastair Stewart and Maureen Lipman. The play was based on Foley's own experience with Lucian Freud after she rejected an offer to become his muse.[21] The play received a lot of press attention, with Quentin Letts remarking in the Daily Mail that there was "a full house packed…. and Fleet Street drama critics in the front row" on the play’s Press Night.[22] The widespread media coverage was due to the casting of Bonas in her first West End theatrical role.[23]

In 2016, Foley collaborated with composer Stephen Barlow for a new opera composition 'She sings it differently'. It premiered at the National Portrait Gallery on 24 June 2016.[24]

Foley mounted the exhibition 'The Shakespeareans' at The Ivy in August 2016. It featured Joss Ackland and Jonathan Pryce.[25]

In 2016 Foley was shortlisted for an Aviva Women of the Future Award in the Arts and Culture category.[26]

Personal life[edit]

According to newspaper reports, Foley was in a relationship with lyricist Tim Rice, which ended in February 2016. She gave birth to a daughter, Charlotte, on 12 October 2016.[27][28][29]

Selected works[edit]


  • Words of Love - P.S I Love You (Poem/Installation), Bradford Playhouse
  • A Far Better Thing (Libretto), ROH workshop, Jerwood Space
  • An Evening with Lucian Freud (Play), Leicester Square Theatre


  • The Butterfly Book (Art book) (2009)
  • Cambridge University - An 800th Anniversary Portrait (Article) (2009)
  • The Old Parsonage (Novella) (2010)
  • Poetry from Art (Poem) (2011)
  • The Echoing Gallery (Poem) (2013)
  • An Evening with Lucian Freud (Playtext) (2015)


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Londoner's Diary: Liz Kendall would be a breath of fresh air for". Evening Standard. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  3. ^ Editorial Staff (22 April 2015). "Cressida Bonas stars in one-woman play about Lucian Freud". Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b "University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education - University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education". Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  5. ^ "Homerton alumna pens West End play - Homerton College". Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Faking It". Channel 4. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Encore for Sir Tim's girlfriend". Mail Online. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  10. ^ "Lucian Freud portraits: curatorial ekphrasis in contemporary British poetic practice - Research Repository". Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  11. ^ "Bristol University - Department of History of Art - Research Seminars Spring/Summer 2007". Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  12. ^ "An evening with playwright Laura Jane Foley, Kingston University alumna". Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Laura-Jane Foley". TES. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  15. ^ "All roads lead to Camden as Auerbach comes to town". The Art Newspaper. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  16. ^ "New political magazine hopes to get young people voting". Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  17. ^ "BBC NEWS - Programmes - Politics Show - Biting the bullet train". Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  18. ^ "Tony Blair and Kate Winslet contribute to butterfly book". 29 April 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  19. ^ "Laura-Jane Foley". Laura-Jane Foley. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  20. ^ "SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Starlet Cressie goes solo". Mail Online. 22 April 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  21. ^ "Harry's ex to star in Lucian Freud play - The Sunday Times". Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  22. ^ "Cressida Bonas really can act in An Evening With Lucian Freud". Mail Online. 22 May 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  23. ^ "Cressida Bonas shows she doesn't need a Dior gown to shine". Mail Online. 16 May 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ Finnigan, Lexi (14 May 2016). "Tim Rice splits from lover less than half his age, who is having his baby". The Telegraph. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  28. ^ The Express
  29. ^

External links[edit]