Produced for the National Theatre Connections programme 2005;  first performed on the

National Theatre’s Cottesloe stage by Wired Youth Theatre from Northampton, directed by

Sarah Chiswell-Hornett.


Connections is an annual event, commissioning ten new plays for young people to perform.  

Around 250 groups take part, putting on their own productions in a home venue;  there are then

regional showcases, and the whole thing culminates with a week of selected shows at the

National Theatre.


Professional premiere in the Cottesloe Theatre in 2006, in a triple bill with

Enda Walsh’s CHATROOM, and Mark Ravenhills’ CITIZENSHIP.




Sal   Alex Tregear

Aaron   Robert Boulter

Sita   Farzana Dua Elahe

Linda   Andrea Riseborough

Rachel   Naomi Bentley

Birdman   Andrew Garfield

Social Worker   Joy Richardson

Mel   Claire-Louise Cordwell

Marie   Mattie Houghton

Tom   Matt Smith

Niall   Sid Mitchell

Colin   Javone Prince


Directed by Anna Mackmin

Designed by Jonathan Fensom


Music played live by Paul Higgs, Michael Berk, Matthew Orde



This is Birdman’s story.  But it’s his friends who must find out how to tell it, what the events of

the day were.  The play is a ballad, it flows like the river, it moves along and comes back to itself.



It was all gorgeous, but sadly I have no pictures of BURN!


Since 2005 groups of young people from as far away as Australia, Germany, America and the Czech Republic have made BURN their own. It inspires me to see that something I wrote, prompted by my own surroundings, can be picked up by someone in another town, another county, another country and they can say:  This is us. This is our landscape.  Here.


“achieves serious pathos and intensity; you watch the leading characters with compassion, curiosity and concern… Enthralling.”

                                           The Financial Times



There's a thoughtful review on the Culture Wars website by Rhona Foulis. Find it here:






BURN is published in the CONNECTIONS ANTHOLOGY 2005 by Faber and Faber

by Oberon Books (together with ROSALIND:  A QUESTION OF LIFE)

and Samuel French


BURN was runner-up in the 2007 Brian Way Award


NT-Burn-4 Culture Wars review