Justin Butcher photo

Credits as writer:

Scaramouche Jones                   starring Pete Postlethwaite, dir. Rupert Goold,            co-produced by Rebbeck Penny & Bristol Old Vic, premiered Dublin Theatre Festival (‘01), then Bristol Old Vic, UK tour & Riverside Studios (‘02), then World Tour (‘03)

What’s On Stage Best Solo Performance 2002 (winner)

Barclays Stage Partners Best Actor Award 2002 (nominee)

Canadian Dora Award 2003 (nominee)

BankSA People’s Choice Award, Adelaide Fringe 2010 (nominee)

Scaramouche Jones has been produced all over the English-speaking world, translated into Albanian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Spanish and Turkish, studied in schools and universities, several academic articles, book chapters & theses.

The Last Great Quest            commissioned by Wales Millennium Centre (WMC), Cardiff, to mark centenary of Captain Scott’s last Antarctic expedition, inspired by Manchester historian Max Jones’s masterly study of the Edwardian age of explorer-heroes (The Last Great Quest, OUP 2004). Directed by Rebecca Gatward and produced by Conrad Lynch for the Ambassadors Theatre Group in association with WMC, The Last Great Quest will premiere in Cardiff in 2015, prior to UK and international touring

Childhood in Berlin             dramatisation of childhood memoirs of Max Neimann, written in collaboration with Julia Holden, scheduled for production in 2014 (http://childhoodinberlin.com/)

Jimmy – A Legacy Of Peace biography of Jimmy Mizen, written with Margaret Mizen, published May 2013 to national media acclaim, described by The Guardian’s Erwin James as “One of the most moving books I have ever read.”




The Prisoner Of Windsor            Royal Wedding satire, with music by Harvey Brough, Leicester Square Theatre, May-Jun ‘11

“The excellent Justin Butcher … erudite, sophisticated, lots of fun.” (The Spectator)

Escape From Gaza            co-written with Palestinian writer Ahmed Masoud, telling of his perilous journey into Gaza in ‘09, for BBC Radio 4, dir. Jessica Dromgoole, broadcast Jan 13th ‘11 

The Patience Of Mr Job   BBC Radio 4, dir. Claire Grove, broadcast Aug ‘10, featuring Jude Akuwudike & Adjoa Andoh; satirical update of Old Testament fable, set in fictitious West African country devastated by well-intentioned meddling of “development” agencies & climate-change related disasters

Pick Of The Day in The Daily Telegraph & The Daily Mail

“Nicely played and very funny satire by Justin Butcher.” (The Daily Telegraph)

“Funny and deeply tragic.” (The Daily Mail)

The Roman Bath            translation & adaptation of Bulgarian satirist Stanislav Stratiev’s 1973 classic communist-era satire, Arcola Theatre, with Gologan Productions, UK premiere, Apr-May ‘10, dir. Russell Bolam

“A sparky new version by Justin Butcher” (Michael Billington, The Guardian)

 “Justin Butcher’s witty text” (Michael Coveney, The Independent)

The Spire            adaptation of William Golding’s novel, comm. by Salisbury Cathedral, Festival & Playhouse

Peter Pan            adaptation, developed with Lucy Bailey

The Ruin Of Britain            retelling of King Arthur legend, a “dream of Sir Thomas Malory”, comm. Rupert Goold & Royal & Derngate Theatres, Northampton

The Firebrand            huge community play – original fable based on local history, comm. to celebrate reopening of Royal & Derngate Theatres, Northampton, performed in promenade by community & professional all-age cast in 5 spaces, September 2006, dir. Dani Parr

Three Gothic Tales            adaptation of HG Wells’ The Red Room, Dickens’ The Signalman & Poe’s The Tell-tale Heart for solo performance, The Sticking Place’s Season Of Terror, Union Theatre, Nov ‘05, & continuous touring of UK schools since

Child Of Biafra            co-written with Nigerian musician Ben Okafor, Contact Theatre, Manchester, Jul ‘07, with Manchester University’s “War & Our World” International Conference, working with local Nigerian community choir in Manchester, true story of a child soldier in the Biafran War

Chukwudebelu – Preserved Of God   co-written with Ben Okafor for BBC R4, dir. Richard Shannon, produced Bigheart Media, broadcast Jun ‘05

Pick Of The Day in The Guardian & The Daily Express

The Traducers            satire on 2005 G8 Summit, Blair’s Commission for Africa, Live8 etc, comm. by Host Universal for Flight 5065, London Eye, dir. Steve Keyworth, Jul ‘05

The Madness Of George Dubya   smash-hit anti-war musical satire hailed by The Guardian as catalyst for re-politicisation of British theatre, Theatro Technis, Jan-Feb ‘03, Pleasance London, Feb-Mar ‘03 & Arts Theatre, Apr-Aug ‘03, receiving global media coverage

Fringe Report Best Political Dramatist Award 2003 (winner)

“Excellent … deserves the warmest of welcomes … Aristophanic vitality and ability to keep abreast of events … the strength of Dubya lies in its ability to blend manic comedy with passionate polemic.” (Michael Billington, The Guardian)

“Song and dance numbers, witty one-liners … fantastic piss-take … way too close to the bone … the comedy and current affairs crackle along like Carry On meets Kubrick … jabs and tickles the ribs and inflames indignation too … packs a powerful punch … comedy with smart gags that hit the target.” (Time Out)

“A welcome blast of light relief … a judicious mixture of puerility and intelligence, and delivered with refreshing splashes of song and dance … this oil-black comedy scores … direct hits.” (The Daily Telegraph)

“Justin Butcher’s stealth-bomber of a show” (Independent On Sunday)

“This lively, sexy production has a gloriously distinctive bark” (Evening Standard)

A Weapons Inspector Calls   sequel to Madness, Theatro Technis, Dec’ 03–Jan ‘04, Pleasance London, Feb-Mar ’04, New Players Theatre, Oct-Nov ‘04

“Butcher lands blow after blow … confirms Butcher’s rare talent for blending moral anger with brute farce.” (Michael Billington, The Guardian)

“Hilarious” (The Spectator)

“Political theatre at its best” (What’s On In London)

“Lands many tough blows through song and dance … deeply unsettling … startlingly accurate.” (The Daily Telegraph)

Guantanamo Baywatch            finale to anti-war trilogy, New Players Theatre, Oct-Nov ‘04

“Hits its targets with deadly accuracy … delightful in its frighteningly plausible absurdity.” (The Evening Standard)

“The shining exception is Justin Butcher … very funny … some of the best political satire around … incisive, funny and thought-provoking.” (British Theatre Guide)

“The torch was taken up by a young Oxford-educated writer-director, Justin Butcher, who was driven by indignation about the Iraq war to stage a trio of satirical revues all based on existing works. The first of them, The Madness Of George Dubya, was easily the most successful … Butcher shrewdly tapped into Britain’s oppositional mood and on the first night the audience cheered the play to the echo, as if relieved to hear someone say in public what they themselves believed in their hearts.” – Michael Billington, State Of The Nation – British Theatre Since 1945 (2007)

The Man On The Pillar   BBC Radio 4, dir. Claire Grove, with Paul Bhattarcharjee & Tom Smith, broadcast Dec ‘02, story of Simeon Stylites, 5th century Syrian hermit & pillar-saint

Pick Of The Day in The Guardian, The Times & The Daily Mail

“Captivating” (The Times)      “Justin Butcher has done it again” (The Radio Times)           

Breaking Strain            comic update of Phaedra/Hippolytus legend, St James Cavalier Centre, Malta, Oct ‘01, Edinburgh Fringe ‘03, dir. Jamie Bower

“A modern classic: overwhelmingly intelligent … uproarious empowering of the older woman … very funny … witty, clever and comic … set[s] the stage alight and make[s] the atmosphere crackle with danger and sexual tension … as intelligent as it is hilarious.” ***** (The Scotsman)

“With an expert sense of verse and vulgarity, Butcher’s interpretation puts Liz Lochhead’s Thebans rather in the shade … genuinely sordid but always hilarious. Living proof that the Greeks will never be too old for today.” (The Daily Telegraph)

The Seven White Masks Of Scaramouche Jones   BBC Radio 4, dir. Claire Grove, with Warren Mitchell, broadcast Mar ‘01

“A masterpiece of extraordinarily imaginative writing” (The Radio Times)

The Millennium Man            Modern re-working of Mystery Plays for Theatre Royal, Bath & Churches Together in Somerset, premiered Theatre Royal, Bath, May ‘00, then regional tour

“An unexpectedly gritty affair … extremely effective … wittily written” (Venue)

King Of Fools            Post-modern commedia dell-arte style passion play, comm. & prod. for Greenbelt Arts Festival ‘94, Westminster Abbey & UK tour ‘95, UK tour ‘96, Greenbelt Arts Festival ‘98, UK tour ‘00

“This amazing production … offered something for everyone … kindness, a sense of humour, love of humanity … pain, anguish … wit, compassion and earthiness … You didn’t have to be a believer to get something from this production … its honest and imaginative portrayal of Christ’s last days on earth was both invigorating and entertaining.” (Oxford Times)

“Unsafe … impressive … challenging and entertaining, and imaginatively performed … compelling … See King Of Fools and take your friends.” (Church Times)

“There have been some moving passion plays in recent years … but none can surpass King Of Fools for energy, imagination and heart-rending power.” (The Tablet)