theatre company


2016 RIGHTS OF PASSAGE by Clare Summerskill
Rights of Passage is based on interviews with LGBTQ asylum seekers in the UK and also includes extracts from interviews with those who work with LGBTQ asylum seekers. The show premiered at Chelsea Theatre, London with a week long-run in 2016, and then toured to 12 theatres around England over a six-week period. After many of the performances, there were post-show discussions between LGBTQ asylum seekers, who were invited to the shows, and the cast and audience. The script has been published by Tollington Press. To order your copy contact admin@claresummerskill.Real-life stories of LGBT asylum seekers brought to the stage in this brand new verbatim production. ‘The most powerful and accurate portrayal of LGBT asylum seeker stories I’ve ever watched.’ UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group

2012 VIS A VISIBILITY by Clare Summerskill
Presented by Artemis Theatre Company in association with Regard, the national LGBT disabled people’s organisation. This production was created from six drama workshops running over six weeks looking at the lives of disabled LGBT people and performed by the participants themselves and directed by Clare Summerskill. The production was staged at People’s Show Studio, Bethnal Green, London and was funded by The Arts Council.
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2009-2010 HEARING VOICES by Clare Summerskill
This play was written from interviews with mental health service users and professionals who work within and outside of the psychiatric system. There was a rehearsed play-reading followed by Q&A at The Cochrane, London in 2009 and a national tour of the play to theatres around England in 2010 which was directed by Lorae Parry. Both the playreading and the tour were funded by The Arts Council. A film version of the play was then made and has since been used as a training resource for interested groups, organisations, conferences and universities. Three extracts of the film have been posted on YouTube.


“A scathing attack on the way the mentally ill are treated in psychiatric wards, actress Clare Summerskill’s Hearing Voices confronted the taboos of suicide, depression and over-medication, yet still managed to be a fun night at the theatre. Told in a breezy, humorous, matter-of-fact style by Artemis Theatre group, Hearing Voices divided narration between the anecdotes of Clare and the patients she met in care, and between the studied, text-book-like opinions of experts on mental illness and its treatment.”
This is Leicestershire – Stage Review

“Hearing Voices  is very very important and disturbing and you must take it to the next stage. I set up Maytree because of people saying what you are saying,  and dying because the fear of hospital was so great.”
Paddy Bazeley, Director of Maytree, a sanctuary for the suicidal

“Sensitive subject is a triumph on stage! Performed to a packed crowd in the intimate space of the Arena Theatre, this powerful story confronts the taboos of depression, self-harm and schizophrenia. Hearing Voices is a divided narrative between the anecdotes of Clare, the patients she met and the opinions of experts on mental illness and its treatment. The six patients are depicted fabulously by performers including Clare Summerskill herself, Donna Combe, Adrian Quinton and Victoria Jeffrey who bring in an array of talents with their music, song and multi roles…. On the whole, a difficult piece to fault.”
Express and Star, Wolverhampton

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2007 QUEENS’ EVIDENCE by Clare Summerskill
After the diversity department of The Metropolitan Police in London saw the film version of Gateway To Heaven they, together with Age Concern Opening Doors, commissioned Clare Summerskill to write a similar piece, based entirely on memories of older LGBT people about their relationships with the police over their lifetimes. The Hate Crime Bill of 2005 had been introduced and The Met were interested in examining why there was such a low level of reporting of homophobic hate crime from older people in London. For that project twenty people were interviewed and a film was produced entitled Queens’ Evidence.

2004-2006 GATEWAY TO HEAVEN by Clare Summerskill
This production was based on twenty six interviews from older lesbians and gay men and was directed by Kate Crutchley. After a rehearsed playreading at Oval House with a Q&A session afterwards attended by the contributors and an invited audience, the play twice toured to theatres around England, once in Spring 2006 and then later in the Autumn of 2007. A film version was commissioned by Age Concern (now Age UK) and is available from Age UK for free for interested groups or organisations who wish to screen it.


“An immaculately performed play about the history of lesbians and gays, taken from the experiences and memories of ordinary people.”
New Statesman

“A fascinating, involving piece which directly engages the audience with its spark, warmth and wit.”
Theatreworld Internet Magazine

More information can be found at

2005 MAKE DO AND MEND by Clare Summerskill
2004 MELODY LANE by Clare Summerskill
Both of these plays were reminiscence shows created for older people and scripted from the spoken memories of older men and women interviewed by members of the theatre company. The pieces were funded by Suffolk County Council and they were performed in day centres, residential homes and sheltered housing schemes.