Zinnie Harris is a multi-award winning British playwright and screenwriter. Her plays include The Wheel (National Theatre of Scotland 2011) joint winner of the 2011 Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award and a Fringe First Award, subsequent production at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago; Midwinter, Solstice and Fall(a trilogy of plays for the Royal Shakespeare Company / Traverse Theatre 2005 / 2006 / 2008)Midwinter won the 2005 Art Foundation Fellowship Award for Playwriting, and was shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award; Julie (National Theatre of Scotland 2006), Nightingale and Chase (Royal Court Theatre, London 2001) Further than the Furthest Thing (Royal National Theatre/Tron Theatre, then British Council Tour to South Africa) winner of the Peggy Ramsay Playwriting Award, John Whiting Award and Fringe First Award and shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn, and Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright, subsequent production at MTC, New York; By Many Wounds (Hampstead Theatre 1999). Her television writing includes Born with Two Mothers and Richard is my Boyfriend, (both Channel 4) and several episodes for the BBC One Drama Series Spooks. She was writer in Residence at the RSC from 2000 – 2001, is currently an Associate Artist at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, and is writing a new television series for BBC1.
FURTHER THAN THE FURTHEST THING
On a remote island in the middle of the Atlantic secrets are buried. When the outside world comes calling, intent on manipulation for political and economic reasons, the islanders find their own world blown apart from the inside as well as beyond. Further Than The Furthest Thing is a beautifully drawn story evoking the sadness and beauty of a civilisation in crisis.
“A glorious luminosity of spirit…really rather special.” – Financial Times
4F, 7M, 1 boy, 1 girl
A man is banished in a soldier’s hearing. His daughter is left to wander. In a rash moment, Beatriz offers to take the child back to her father, and so starts an unimaginable journey across continents and in and out of war zones. But in their need to survive, the woman and the child transform in ways that become irreversible.
Premiered at The Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh (2011). US premiere at Steppenwolf, Chicago (2013).
“Thoroughly fascinating, gutsy” – Chicago Tribune
1F, 2M, 1 child
A peddler announces that the war is over; and as the soldiers return in the fragile peace that follows, the starving people are left to build new lives, to forge new identities. Written in a spare and lyrical language, Midwinter is a play about now, about love, self and a world made from conflict. It is the second in a trilogy of plays which begins with Solstice and culminates in Fall.
Premiered at RSC New Work Festival at the Swant Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon (2004).
In the oppressive heat of Midsummer’s Eve, Julie, daughter of the lord, is drawn into a dangerous tryst with her father’s butler. As the night wears on, the couple, from opposite ends of the social spectrum, dance, flirt and fight towards an explosive conclusion that will shake the existing order to its core. Zinnie Harris’s new version of Strindberg’s nineteenth-century masterpiece, MISS JULIE, relocates the play to central Scotland between the wars.
Premiered at Platform, Easterhouse, National Theatre of Scotland (2006).
A family is riven by intergenerational conflict when forced to resettle in an oppressive state. SOLSTICE explores themes of faith and terror in a world slipping out of control. Zinnie Harris’ SOLSTICE is her second RSC commission and marks the first in a trilogy of plays, SOLSTICE, MIDWINTER (New Work Festival 2004) and FALL.
Premièred at The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon (2005).
Is the settling of scores a necessary step towards restoring peace after a bloody conflict? Set against a war-crimes trial at the end of a civil war, FALL explores the thin line between justice and revenge. FALL is the last play in a trilogy by Zinnie Harris that examines the transforming effects of war. SOLSTICE and MIDWINTER ere performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2004/05, and are also published by Faber.
A DOLL’S HOUSE
The Helmers are all set to enjoy Christmas. Torvald has been promoted and Nora is delighted. Everything at last seems to be going right, until a visitor arrives uninvited and causes them to question just how perfect their marriage is. Henrik Ibsen’s A DOLL’S HOUSE caused outrage both in its style and subject matter when first staged in 1879. Zinnie Harris’s retelling is played against the backdrop of British politics at the turn of the last century – to reveal a world where duty, power and hypocrisy rule.
Premiered at the Donmar Warehouse, London (2009).
NIGHTINGALE AND CHASE
‘Played this game. Inside, with the other girls. The ‘he is going to meet you’ game. The ‘he is going to meet you with flowers’ game. The ‘he is going to turn up in a limo’ game. The ‘he is going to bring champagne’ game. The ‘he is going to cover you in kisses, or cum, or love bites or bloody Belgian chocolate’ game, doesn’t matter but when you walk out of those gates. He is going to be there, that is the game.’ Chase is waiting to be released from prison. And Nightingale is there to meet her. Everything is under control and they’re both going to get it right. This time.
Premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London (2001).