Nick Payne

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Nick Payne
Born1984 (age 37–38)
OccupationPlaywright, screenwriter

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Nick Payne (born 1984) is a British playwright and screenwriter.

Early life and education[edit]

Payne studied at the University of York and subsequently at the Central School of Speech and Drama. He is also a graduate of the Royal Court Young Writer's Program.


In 2008 Payne worked at the bookshop of the National Theatre.[1] His first play If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet opened at the Bush Theatre in October 2009 and received a positive response from critics at the Evening Standard and the Financial Times. It won the George Devine Award. In September 2012 it was staged at New York's Laura Pels Theatre, starring Jake Gyllenhaal.[2]

Payne's second play Wanderlust opened in September 2010, directed by Simon Godwin, at the Royal Court Theatre upstairs and also garnered excellent reviews. In November, Payne was shortlisted for the Evening Standard's Most Promising Playwright Award, but lost out to Anya Reiss.

He took part in the Bush Theatre's 2011 project Sixty Six Books, for which he wrote a piece based upon a book of the King James Bible.

Constellations opened at Royal Court Theatre on 13 January 2012. Directed by Michael Longhurst and starring Rafe Spall and Sally Hawkins, it explores love, friendship and the notion of free will against the backdrop of quantum physics. It was extremely well received, with Charles Spencer in the Daily Telegraph commenting that "Nick Payne's drama lasts just over an hour but packs in more than most shows manage in three times that length. It is playful, intelligent and bursting with ideas, but also achieves a powerful undertow of emotion"[3] while Paul Taylor in the Independent wrote that "one would be hard put to begin to do justice to the dazzling way it creates it own [sic] rules, while at the same time being wise enough not to jettison the old rule book either".[4] It transferred to the Duke of York's Theatre in November 2012. That month it won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Play.[5] In January 2013 Payne revealed that a film adaptation was under way.[1] This plan was later shelved.

In August 2013 his play The Same Deep Water As Me opened at the Donmar Warehouse, with a cast including Nigel Lindsay, Daniel Mays and Marc Wootton. In January 2014 Blurred Lines, a piece he devised with the director Carrie Cracknell, opened at the National Theatre's Shed. In 2014, two episodes of The Secrets which were written by Payne were broadcast on BBC One.

Incognito was a co-production between Live Theatre, nabokov, HighTide Festival Theatre and in association with The North Wall in spring 2014, which previewed at Live Theatre in April 2014, before going to HighTide Festival and The North Wall, Oxford. It returned to Live Theatre in May and then had a sell-out run at The Bush Theatre, London. Incognito was produced Off-Broadway (in New York) by the Manhattan Theatre Club with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation at New York's City Center in 2016.[6] The play stars Charlie Cox, Heather Lind, Morgan Spector, and Geneva Carr and is directed by Doug Hughes.

The American premiere of Constellations opened on Broadway in January 2015 at Manhattan Theatre Club's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, starring Academy Award nominee Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson. Constellations reunites Gyllenhaal with Payne and Longhurst, who are also making their Broadway debuts with the production. The three previously collaborated on the American premiere of If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet. It is directed by Michael Longhurst.[7] The play was next mounted in 2016 at Washington DC's Studio Theatre, starring Lily Balatincz and Tom Patterson and directed by Studio Theatre Artistic Director David Muse. The production was nominated for six Helen Hayes Awards, with Balatincz winning the Helen Hayes Award for Best Actress in a Play and Patterson winning the Helen Hayes Award for Best Actor in a Play.[8] In November 2016, Constellations opened at Canadian Stage in Toronto, under the direction of Peter Hinton.[9]

A Life ran Off-Broadway from February 2019 to March 2019 and transferred to Broadway at the Hudson Theatre in July 2019. The play ran with Sea Wall and starred Jake Gyllenhaal, directed by Carrie Cracknell. The plays were nominated for the 2020 Tony Award as best play. [10][11]






  1. ^ a b "Lift off for the writer with stars in his eyes". Independent, 2 January 2013. Matilda Battersby
  2. ^ "If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet, Laura Pels Theatre, New York". Financial Times, review of New York production, 24 September 2012, by Brendan Lemon
  3. ^ Spencer, Charles (3 November 2017). "Constellations, at the Royal Court, review". Retrieved 3 November 2017 – via
  4. ^ "Constellations, Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court, London". 20 January 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  5. ^ Bloomsbury Publishing (7 November 2013). Whitaker's Shorts 2014: The Year in Review. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 319–. ISBN 978-1-4729-0615-1.
  6. ^ "Sloan Science & Film". Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Jake Gyllenhaal Will Make Broadway Debut Starring in Nick Paynes 'Constellation' "
  8. ^ "The 2017 Helen Hayes Awards Recipients". Washington Post. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Constellations gives us highlight reel of a hundred relationships: review". Toronto Star, Carly Maga, 11 November 2016
  10. ^ Sommer, Elyse. "A CurtainUp Review "Sea Wall/A Life"" curtainup, retrieved October 16, 2010
  11. ^ McPhee, Ryan. "2020 Tony Award Nominations: Jagged Little Pill, Moulin Rouge!, Slave Play Lead the Pack" Playbill, October 15, 2020
  12. ^ Plough, Paines. "Paines Plough". Archived from the original on 16 March 2016. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  13. ^ "Theatre review: Symphony at the Vault".
  14. ^ Payne, Nick. "Seawall-A Life". Retrieved 16 January 2019.

External links[edit]