Oliver Emanuel

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Oliver Emanuel (born 4 April 1980) is a British playwright and radio dramatist. His play Dragon won Best Show For Children and Young People at the UK Theatre Awards in 2014.[1] His English version of Titus won the People's Choice Victor Award in 2015 at IPAY [2]

Oliver Emanuel was born in Kent, attended St Gregory's Catholic Comprehensive School in Tunbridge Wells, studied English and Theatre Studies at University of Leeds (1998–2001) before going on to take the Masters in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia (2001–02). His late mother was a drama teacher and his father is the fashion designer David Emanuel.[3] He was Writer-on-Attachment at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2006 and Writer-in-Residence for BBC Radio 4 Children in Need in 2010. He has lived in Glasgow since 2006.

Radio plays[edit]

Radio plays written by Oliver Emanuel
Date first broadcast Play Director Cast Synopsis
11 April 2007 Joseph and Joseph[4] Colin Guthrie Shaun Dooley, Helen Longworth, Christine Kavanagh, Sam Dale, John Dougall, Philippe Smolikowski, Mark Straker and Rachel Bavidge Identity theft is something that happens to other people, but the person who stole Joseph's life seems to be having a lot more fun with it than he is. BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Play
9 October 2009 Daniel and Mary[5] Kirsty Williams Robin Laing and Natasha Watson A frank and moving drama exploring alcoholism from a child's point of view.

Mary's nine years old. When she comes down to breakfast to find her dad's still up from the night before and still drinking vodka, she decides it's time to leave home.

Bronze Sony Award for Best Drama 2010[6]

BBC Radio Scotland Drama
23 February 2010 Elvis in Prestwick[7] Eilidh McCreadie Read by Laura Fraser Elvis Presley's only trip to Britain, a brief stopover on 3 March 1960 at a small Scottish airport on his return from military service in Germany.

A shy young girl who doesn't even like rock 'n' roll is dragged along to the airport by her best friend, who is determined to catch a glimpse of the American superstar. Taking refuge from the crowds, the girl encounters a handsome stranger in the staff corridor – some weeks later, a letter arrives from America.

BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Reading
30 October 2010 The Vanishing
dramatisation of Tim Krabbé novel
Kirsty Williams Samuel West, Melody Grove, Ruth Gemmell, Liam Brennan, Natasha Watson, Claire Knight and Robin Laing Rex and Saskia stop at a petrol station. Saskia goes in to buy drinks and is never seen again. Eight years later, Rex is so haunted by her disappearance that he sets out to discover what happened to her, regardless of the cost.

A chilling love story that takes us to the heart of the perfect crime.

BBC Radio 4 Saturday Play
17 November 2010 Everything[9] Lu Kemp Natasha Watson, Sandy Grierson and Meg Fraser Everything tells the story of a fourteen-year-old girl who spends 7 days in a refuge for runaways. Under Scottish law, any young person under the age of sixteen is allowed to stay in a refuge for up to seven days without parental notification. BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Play
12 February 2011 One Night in Iran[10] Lu Kemp Khalid Abdalla and Maryam Hamidi A man and a woman meet in a hotel room. They have been in love for five years but have never yet spent a night together. Tonight they meet alone for the first time. But this is Iran, and what the couple are doing is illegal. If they are caught, or even suspected, the consequences might be too terrible to contemplate. BBC Radio 3 The Wire
28 September 2011 One Hundred and Forty Characters: Songbirds[11] Kirsteen Cameron Read by Robin Laing A young man, devastated by a messy relationship break-up, finds solace in bird watching. BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Reading
30 November 2011 Ancient Greek[12] Lu Kemp Alex Austin, Vincent Ebrahim, Sophie Stanton, Caitlin FitzGerald and Austin Moulton A promising student on the road to Oxbridge. A teacher on the eve of retirement. Graffiti scrawled on a school wall in a dead language. A play about education, protest and what we can expect in the future... BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Play


Stage plays written by Oliver Emanuel
Date Title Director Cast Synopsis Theatre Company Notes
August 200118 August 2001 Gemini[13] Victoria Glass and Claire Davies Stage By Stage
3 August 200325 August 2003 Iz[14][15][16] Daniel Bye Grae Cleugh and Nick Jesper We are introduced to the three former lovers of Iz, shortly after her death. The three men are also friends; and the play looks at the relationships between them, as well as their individual relationships with Iz, and their reactions to her death. Silver Tongue Theatre / Pleasance Theatre
June 2004 Grae Cleugh and James Gitsham Silver Tongue Theatre / Tron Theatre, Glasgow
August 200628 August 2006 Shiver[17] Daniel Bye Kay Bridgeman and Grae Cleugh Silver Tongue Theatre / Pleasance Courtyard
28 May 20077 June 2007 Marcia Battise Theatre 503
6 August 200528 August 2005 Bella and the Beautiful Knight[18][19] Daniel Bye Grae Cleugh, Sally Kent, Nicholas Cowell A love triangle. Two of the characters are siblings. Kiss me or kill me, sister. Silver Tongue Theatre / Gilded Balloon Teviot
May 2006 Tron Theatre, Glasgow
19 May 20078 June 2007 Magpie Park[20][21][22][23] Sam Brown Alison Pargeter and Liam McKenna[Issue 1] A store detective nabs a kleptomaniac and falls for her. Their affair is carried on in a hotel room where she eventually commits suicide. He gradually falls for her younger sister. West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
August 200726 August 2007 Man Across the Way[24][25] Daniel Bye Grae Cleugh, Nicholas Cowell, John Milroy and Harriette Quarrie Silver Tongue Theatre and Theatre 503
April 200811 April 2008 The Severed Head of Comrade Bukhari[26] Daljinder Singh Arches Theatre, Glasgow
16 April 200819 April 2008 Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
June 2008 Flit Alison Peebles National Theatre of Scotland
13 October 2008 Videotape[27] Joe Douglas Robbie Jack and Sam Young A woman follows a man through a city, recording his every move on video, in a story about "love, loss, truth and lies, and the things we can't throw away". Oran Mor, Glasgow
March 2011 One night in Iran[28] Nabil Stuart and Amiera Darwish Set in a luxury hotel room in Tehran, the play explores the gap between the official culture of country – where adultery remains a crime and marriage a practical family arrangement – and the inner lives and longings of a younger generation whose ideas are shaped as much by global culture as by Iranian tradition. Oran Mor, Glasgow
21 June 2011 Henry & Ingrid: Some Words For Home A verbatim play based on the lives of Henry & Ingrid Wuga for the Scottish Refugee Council, as part of Scottish Refugee Week. Tron Theatre, Glasgow
2011 Spirit of Adventure[29] Dundee Rep / Oran Mor, Glasgow
2012 Random Objects Flying Through The Air Royal Conservatoire of Scotland / Playwrights' Studio, Scotland
2012 End of The World Red Note Ensemble
20122013 Titus Macrobert / Playwrights' Studio, Scotland / Imaginate / Edinburgh Festival Fringe New English version of Jan Sobrie's text.
2013 The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish Lu Kemp National Theatre of Scotland Adaptation of the book by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean (created by Lu Kemp and Abigail Docherty)
20132015 Dragon Vox Motus / National Theatre of Scotland / Tianjin People's Arts Theatre, China Conceived by Jamie Harrison, Oliver Emanuel and Candice Edmunds
20132014 The Little Boy That Santa Claud Forgot Gareth Nicholls Macrobert Co-created with Gareth Nicholls
2014 The Adventures of Robin Hood Visible Fictions

Short stories[edit]


  1. ^ UK Theatre Awards 2014 winners announced, The Stage, 19 October 2014
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ Joseph and Joseph. BBC – Afternoon Play
  5. ^ Daniel and Mary. BBC – BBC Radio Scotland
  6. ^ Sony Radio Academy Awards – Official site (not currently useful!)
    Sony Radio Academy Awards – Diversity website (temporary substitute)
    Sony Radio Academy Awards nominees, The Telegraph, 8 April 2010
  7. ^ Elvis In Prestwick. BBC – Afternoon Reading
  8. ^ The Vanishing. BBC – Saturday Play
  9. ^ "Children in Need: Everything". BBC – Afternoon Play
  10. ^ One Night In Iran. BBC – The Wire
  11. ^ One Hundred and Forty Characters: Songbirds. BBC – Afternoon Reading
  12. ^ Ancient Greek. BBC – Afternoon Play
  13. ^ Gemini. The Scotsman, 14 August 2001
  14. ^ "Iz, Edinburgh Festival, Pleasance Theatre". Lyn Gardner, The Guardian, 22 August 2003
  15. ^ "IZ, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh Festival Fringe". Mark Tyson, Culture Wars
  16. ^ Looking back, looking on. The Scotsman, 21 June 2004
  17. ^ "Shiver, Edinburgh Festival, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh". Maddy Costa, The Guardian, 18 August 2006
  18. ^ Bella and the Beautiful Knight. Thom Dibdin, The Stage, 24 August 2005
  19. ^ "Theatre: Bella and the Beautiful Knight, Tron, Glasgow 3/5". Keith Bruce, The Herald (Glasgow), 5 May 2006
  20. ^ Theatre Preview, "Magpie Park, Leeds". Lyn Gardner, The Guardian, 19 May 2007
  21. ^ "Magpie Park, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds". Alfred Hickling, The Guardian, 26 May 2007
  22. ^ Magpie Park. Kevin Berry, The Stage, 24 May 2007
  23. ^ Entertainment – Parklife. BBC – Leeds
  24. ^ Man Across The Way. The Scotsman, 9 August 2007
  25. ^ Man Across The Way. Gerald Berkowitz, The Stage, 17 August 2007
  26. ^ "Theatre: From war abroad to a war at home". The Scotsman, 10 April 2008
  27. ^ "Videotape, Oran Mor, Glasgow". Neil Cooper, The Herald (Glasgow), 16 October 2008
  28. ^ "Theatre review: One night in Iran, Glasgow". The Scotsman, 22 March 2011
  29. ^ "Theatre review: Spirit of Adventure, Glasgow". The Herald, 15 February 2012
  30. ^ Nude by Oliver Emanuel

External links[edit]