Wednesday 13th January 2021 at 7pm (UK time), 8pm (Italy)



by Noel Coward

curated by Justin Butcher

‘I would never have guessed that this 80-minute vitriolic anti-war fantasy, written in 1930, was by Noel Coward. Its first professional production reveals it as a tough, febrile piece, awash with melodrama and blazing up now and again with bitter, glittering humour … Coward’s hatred of this brittle, blasé age, which does not want to understand the horrors of the First World War, is not so surprising as his perception that the second is already in the making: someone actually remarks that the next Olympic Games (1932) could be a preparation for it. I never imagined that the Master, at 31, was so politically switched on. The writing is a little mannered, but the young cast handles it as if it was entirely real, and Steven Pacey, as the disillusioned survivor, draws a most subtle sketch of upper-class despair.’ (The Sunday Times)


Wednesday 27th January 2021 at 7pm (UK time) 8pm (Italy)



by JB Priestley

curated by Mary Chater

‘The poignancy of this 1937 drama is created not so much narratively, in its riches-to-rags tale, as structurally, in the contrast between its three acts. It begins in well-made-play mode as the Conway family hold an airy house party: dressing-up games, jovial banter and bourgeois inconsequentiality. There is nothing here to unsettle an interwar West End audience, until Priestley takes a startling break from the formula. Boldly, he flashes forward to show the same characters 20 years on, their hopes dashed, their promise unfulfilled. What seemed breezy and slight becomes weighted with emotion.’ (The Guardian)


Thank you to all readers and listeners who took part in this event.




Wednesday 10th February 2021 at 7pm (UK time), 8pm (Italy)



by Tom Stoppard

curated by Andrew Harrison

‘In 2003, Tom Stoppard was asked if he would ever write a “Jewish play”. “Absolutely,” he answered, though he was more ambivalent about basing it on his personal story. Only a decade earlier, he had found out he was fully Jewish and that many of his Czech family had died in Nazi concentration camps. Here is his Jewish play – not directly based on Stoppard’s family, but he says it’s his most personal play and perhaps his last. As such, there is something momentous about Leopoldstadt, which has the weight and majesty of a final drama. It is grand, contemplative and elegiac with a cast of more than 20 and a historical sweep across six decades.’ (The Guardian)

Thank you to all readers and listeners who took part in this event.




Wednesday 24th February 2021 at 7pm (UK time), 8pm (Italy)



by Lucy Prebble

curated by Guy Masterson-Mastroianni

‘Lucy Prebble’s hugely ambitious play, covering the rise and fall of the Texan energy company, Enron, is an exhilarating mix of political satire, modern morality and multimedia spectacle …

Prebble’s overwhelming point is that nothing has been learned: that, even as Enron employees were losing everything, others were pocketing fat bonuses, as they might today … Prebble and director, Rupert Goold, aided by Anthony Ward’s breathtaking designs, show that Enron was a vast fantasy in which everyone was complicit: not least the lawyers, analysts and investors who believed in this self-created bubble and kept it afloat … Even if Enron isn’t the last word on the free market debacle, it is a fantastic theatrical event.’ (Michael Billington, The Guardian)

Reader positions for this event have now been filled.

To listen in please send an email to Julia Holden at



Wednesday  10th March 2021 at  7pm (UK time), 8pm (Italy)


SWEAT by Lynn Nottage

curated by Rupert Mason

‘In this breathtaking new play, premiered in 2015, [Lynn Nottage] tackles the devastating impact of loss of work and of de-industrialisation on modern America. Based on extensive interviews with residents of the rustbelt town of Reading, Pennsylvania, it shows the anger and despair that helped fuel the election of Donald Trump. … What Nottage captures brilliantly is the way work, however hard or demanding, gives people an identity and purpose … Behind the play’s portrayal of the damage done to individual lives by what Nottage calls “the American de-industrial revolution” lies a wider picture of collapsing hopes and corporate ruthlessness … I can’t think of any recent play that tells us so much, and so vividly, about the state of the union.’ (Michael Billington, The Guardian)

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by Justin Butcher

curated by Adjoa Andoh 

Wednesday  24th March 2021  at 7pm (UK) 8pm (Italy)

Mr Job is an African farmer with an unshakeable faith in the benevolence of the West. There’s a flurry of excitement in the village. Mr Kismet, from the World Development Agency, has sent a letter offering rich rewards if the region sells its timber and moves to cut-flower production. Mr Job obeys the WDA scrupulously, even when the instructions prove extremely inconvenient, but as they wait for Mr Kismet’s arrival, a series of disasters strike. A satire about globalisation and climate change.

‘Nicely played and very funny satire by Justin Butcher.’ (The Daily Telegraph)

‘Funny and deeply tragic.’ (The Daily Mail)

To listen in please send an email to Julia Holden at