debbie tucker green

Plays by debbie tucker green

born bad

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

debbie tucker green's born bad is an intensely theatrical play about a vicious family dispute. It was first performed at Hampstead Theatre on 29 April 2003.

Dawta wants the family to talk. Furious, she calls out each member of her family, demanding they join in her outrage or, at the very least, recognise it. Some long-ago horror has occurred, and she demands information from her sisters, her mother and her brother. Meanwhile, the perpetrator – Dad – stays nearly silent.

The Hampstead Theatre premiere was directed by Kathy Burke and designed by Jonathan Fensom, with Jenny Jules as Dawta, Sharlene Whyte as Sister 1, Nadine Marshall as Sister 2, Alibe Parsons as Mum, Nicholas Pinnock as Brother and Ewart James Walters as Dad.

The play won debbie tucker green the Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer in 2004 and was shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

dirty butterfly

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

debbie tucker green's debut play, dirty butterfly is about voyeurism, power and guilt. It was first performed at Soho Theatre on 26 February 2003.

Listening through their thin walls, Amelia and Jason are drawn into the dark and compelling world of their mutual neighbour, Jo. Something very nasty is going on next door, and Jason and Amelia know it, but do nothing.

Stage directions state that the audience 'should surround the actors' and that, prior to the play's Epilogue, 'the characters are always onstage'.

The premiere at Soho Theatre was directed by Rufus Norris and designed by Katrina Lindsay, with Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Amelia, Jo McInnes as Jo and Mark Theodore as Jason.

The critics were quick to herald the arrival of a distinctive new talent in British playwriting, with The Independent on Sunday describing the play as 'startlingly assured', while Lyn Gardner in The Guardian observed that 'There is a sly, controlled power in this writing... . And now I cannot get it out of my head'.


Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

debbie tucker green’s generations is a short play about a multi-generational family of black South Africans, ravaged by a disease (unnamed in the play, but strongly identified with AIDS). It was first seen as a Platform performance at the National Theatre, London, on 30 June 2005.

The play is set in the kitchen of black South African family. A family meal for three generations – from teenage daughters to grandparents – is being lovingly prepared with much story-telling and competitive banter. An onstage Choir (a stage direction states that a 'black South African choir would be great') sings. The family scene is enacted five times over. The dialogue is the same each time, but the scenes become shorter as gradually, beginning with one of the teenage daughters whose off-stage courtship provides a comic sideshow, members of the family leave the playing area, and their section of the dialogue is excised. Finally, the Choir sings the South African national anthem, 'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika'.

The National Theatre Platform performance was directed by Sacha Wares with a cast including Jeffrey Kissoon, Golda John, Rakie Ayola, Danny Sapani, Sharlene Whyte, Nikki Amuka-Bird and Seun Shote, with members of the African Voices Choir.

The play was revived at the Young Vic, London, in March 2007, in a production directed by Sacha Wares.


Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

debbie tucker green's nut is a play about a woman who wants to withdraw from the world. It was first performed in The Shed at the National Theatre, London, on 30 October 2013.

Elayne, a young black woman, is an obsessive, list-making semi-recluse who refuses to replace the batteries in her non-working doorbell. In Act One, we see Elayne speculating with her friends, Aimee and Devon, on the subject of funeral eulogies, each insisting that their own laying to rest will be the classier and better attended of the two. A young boy, Trey, floats into the action, singing; he is largely ignored by the other characters. In Act Two, the action switches to a furious row between a separated married couple – Elayne's younger sister and her former husband, Tyrone – over the husband's one-day-a-week custody of their 11-year-old daughter, Maya. The concluding act is a scene between Elayne and her sister, making clear the connections between the earlier scenes, and also the significance to Elayne of the burning cigarettes that conclude each segment.

The National Theatre premiere was directed by debbie tucker green and designed by Lisa Marie Hall, with Nadine Marshall as Elayne, Sophie Stanton as Aimee, Anthony Welsh as Devon, Tobi Adetunji/Zac Fitzgerald/Jayden Fowora-Knight as Trey, Sharlene Whyte as Ex-Wife and Gershwyn Eustache Jr as Ex-Husband.


Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

debbie tucker green’s random is a solo drama for a female actor, about the killing of a black schoolboy. It was first performed at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, London, on 7 March 2008.

random follows a day in the life of a black London family, with a focus on the minutiae of domestic life until their lives are shattered by a random act of violence when one of them becomes the victim of a knife crime.

The play is intended to be performed by one black actress, with lines attributed to characters including Sister, Brother, Mum, Dad, Teacher and others.

The Royal Court premiere was directed by Sacha Wares and performed by Nadine Marshall.

The play was revived for the Royal Court's Theatre Local season at Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre on 3 March 2010 in a production directed by Sacha Wares and performed by Seroca Davis.

A television adaptation for Channel 4, directed by debbie tucker green and starring Nadine Marshall alongside an expanded cast, was first broadcast on 23 August 2011. It went on to win a BAFTA for Best Single Drama.

stoning mary

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

debbie tucker green’s stoning mary is a play that explores everyday reality in an unstable, war-torn country, and asks what it would be like if these things were happening here. The play was first performed at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, London, on 1 April 2005.

A husband and wife row about a prescription. A mother and father row about their son, who has become a child soldier. Two sisters row about which one is superior to the other. It emerges that the younger sister, Mary, has killed the child soldier and is to be stoned to death.

A stage direction states that 'The play is set in the country it is performed in. All characters are white.’

In an interview with Lyn Gardner for The Guardian (30 March 2005), debbie tucker green said, 'I write black characters. That is part of my landscape. But with Stoning Mary I was interested in questioning what we don't see and hear. The stories of people who would be in the headlines every day if what was happening to them was happening to white people. It happens all the time.'

The Royal Court premiere was directed by Marianne Elliott and designed by Ultz, with a cast including Emily Joyce, Heather Craney, Peter Sullivan, Martin Marquez, Ruth Sheen, Alan Williams, Cole Edwards, Claire Rushbrook, Claire-Louise Cordwell, Rick Warden and Gary Dunnington.


Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

debbie tucker green’s trade is a play about female sex tourism. It was first performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company as part of the 2005 New Work Festival in the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, on 25 October 2005. (An earlier version of the play was performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company as part of the 2004 New Work Festival at The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon, in October 2004, and Soho Theatre, London, in March 2005).

On a circle of sand under a beating sun, three women are at odds: the Local, whose trade is plaiting tourists' hair; the Regular, a reserved older British woman who returns once a year for two weeks with a local man whose way she pays; and the Novice, a young woman on her first Caribbean jaunt looking for sun and sex.

The 2005 Royal Shakespeare Company production was directed by Sacha Wares and designed by Miriam Buether, with Lorna Brown as the Local, Nadine Marshall as the Novice and Tanya Moodie as the Regular. (In the 2004 RSC production, also directed by Sacha Wares, the Local was played by Noma Dumezweni, the Novice by Karen Bryson and the Regular by Claire Benedict.)

truth and reconciliation

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

debbie tucker green's truth and reconciliation is a play about the aftermath of violence, sometimes genocidal, in the years from 1976 to 2007. It was first performed at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, London, on 1 September 2011.

The play is structured as a series of vignettes. In South Africa, a black family testily awaits a white witness at a formal hearing. In Rwanda, a Tutsi widow angrily confronts her husband's Hutu killer. In Zimbabwe, a man deals with the fatal consequences of his wife's political outspokenness. In Bosnia, two Serbian ex-soldiers come face to face with a pregnant rape victim. And in Northern Ireland, two mothers, both of whom have lost their sons, vehemently argue about where responsibility lies for their deaths.

The Royal Court premiere was directed by debbie tucker green and directed by Lisa Marie Hall and performed by a cast of 22 actors.

debbie tucker green’s plays include born bad (Hampstead Theatre, 2003, Soho Repertory, New York, 2011 and winner of the 2004 Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer and an OBIE award for playwriting); dirty butterfly (Soho Theatre, 2003); trade (RSC, 2005); stoning mary (Royal Court Theatre, 2005); generations (Young Vic, 2007); random (Royal Court Theatre, 2008); truth and reconciliation (Royal Court Theatre, 2011); nut (The Shed, National Theatre, 2013) and hang (Royal Court Theatre, 2015). She has also written and directed a feature film, Second Coming (BFI/Film 4, 2014) and adapted her play random into a TV film for Channel 4, which won the 2012 BAFTA for Best Single Drama and the Black International Film/MVSA Award for Best UK Film.