James Haddrell speaks on Theatre503’s contribution in championing the theatre

James Haddrell, artistic  director of Greenwich Theatre

One of the most significant new writing theatres in London, Theatre503 in Clapham continues to nurture and champion the very best new plays, and the recently announced autumn season is no exception.

From September 26 to October 14, Theatre503 teams up with Tanya Truman Productions to present These Demons by Rachel Bellman.

It’s directed by Jasmine Teo.

The ideal set up for 503’s intimate auditorium, the play is set in a cottage in the woods where the window won’t stay shut and feathers fall from the ceiling –- and every now and then, you hear a scuttling.

When an event puts her aunt Mirah in hospital, 17-year-old Leah takes it upon herself to find the perpetrator and exact revenge.

But as she puts together her plan, the lines of reality become blurred.

Her search for answers becomes a search for demons – metaphorical, and maybe a bit less metaphorical.

These Demons is a thrilling dark comedy-horror exploring family ties, sisterhood, and Jewish demonology.

Rachel Bellman is a playwright, author and lyricist. She was previously part of Soho Writers Lab and is a member of the MMD Writers Lab.

These Demons is her debut play and was long-listed for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Playwriting.

Rachel Bellman Picture: Christian Fisher

Then from October 24 to November 11, Phoebe Stringer Productions joins Theatre503 in presenting Tachwedd (November/The Slaughter) by Jon Berry.

Mr Berry’s play is hugely ambitious.

Set between the eras of Bethesda, North Wales, from the agricultural to the industrial to the contemporary, the play promises an exhilarating journey through time, myth, and legacy that unfurls the intricate relationship between history, land, and consequence.

From selling out, to leaving home, to returning to a place of regret, it charts a family’s journey as they try to reconcile the inescapability of the past with the weight of the future.

Mr Berry is a Welsh writer who has previously been part of the Royal Court’s Welsh Writers’ Course and the New Welsh Playwrights’ Programme, Sherman Theatre.

He has been awarded the Kevin Elyot Award for Drama, and was a 503Five resident playwright in 2019/2020.

Finally, from November 21 to December 9, Theatre503 presents A Woman Walks Into A Bank, written and directed by Roxy Cook.

It’s August 2018 in Moscow.

The football World Cup has just ended, and it has been a roaring success, an incident free event.

But when an old woman walks into a bank, she is conned into taking out a high interest loan which she immediately forgets all about.

A catastrophic series of events are set in motion with only her cat Sally to bear witness.

A Woman Walks Into a Bank is a powerful portrayal of a country in crisis.

Inspired by childhood fairytales, Roxy Cook’s vibrant debut play uses biting humour to interrogate the social apathy tearing Russia apart.

Cook is a writer and director working across theatre and TV.

A Woman Walks Into a Bank is her first play.

It was selected from more than 1,400 submissions as the winner of the 2023 Theatre503 International Playwriting Award and was also shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Playwriting 2021 and long-listed for the Bruntwood Prize and Verity Bargate Award.

Lisa Spirling, artistic director of Theatre503, said “I am proud that 503 is able to introduce the voices of Rachel Bellman, Jon Berry and Roxy Cook to the world.

“They have written extraordinary debut plays that explore the darkest depths and heady heights of our humanity.

“These are plays that are ambitious in scale, packed with ideas, provocations and moments to stir the soul. I can’t wait to welcome audiences to 503 to share in their brilliance.”

Further information and tickets are available from

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