Laura Wade

Laura Wade
BornBedford, Bedfordshire, England
Alma materBristol University
PartnerSamuel West

Laura Wade is an English playwright.

Early life

Wade was born in Bedford, Bedfordshire. She grew up in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, where her father worked for a computer company.[1] After completing her secondary education at Lady Manners School in Bakewell, Derbyshire, she studied Drama at Bristol University and was later a member of the Royal Court Theatre Young Writers' Programme.


Wade's first play, Limbo, was produced at the Sheffield Crucible Studio Theatre in 1996. 16 Winters was produced at the Bristol Old Vic Basement Theatre in 2000. After university she worked for the children's theatre company Playbox Theatre in Warwick. Wade's adaptation of W.H. Davies' Young Emma opened at the Finborough Theatre, London (where she was later Writer-in-Residence) in December 2003. Young Emma, as well as 16 Winters, was directed by Tamara Harvey, a contemporary from her time at Bristol. In 2004, Wade was a writer on attachment at Soho Theatre and her play Colder Than Here was produced there in February 2005.[2] Her next play Breathing Corpses played at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs in March 2005.[3] In March 2006, she returned to the Soho Theatre with Other Hands.[4] 2010 marked her reappearance at the Sheffield Crucible with her reworking of Alice in Wonderland, entitled Alice.[5]

Other projects include new plays for the Royal Court Theatre, Hampstead Theatre and David Pugh Ltd. and a television adaptation of Colder Than Here. Wade's first radio play, Otherkin, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 30 August 2007,[6] a 45-minute play billed as episode 2 of the Looking for Angels series. Her second, Hum, about the Bristol Hum, was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 20 May 2009. Between these two she also wrote Coughs and Sneezes for the Radio 4 series Fact to Fiction. In April 2010, her play Posh began a sell-out run at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre, London. An article about Wade in the London Evening Standard at the time drew parallels between the Riot Club, the subject of Posh, and the Bullingdon Club, an exclusive Oxford University dining society.[7] On 11 May 2012, an updated version of Posh opened at the Duke of York's Theatre in London, Wade's first play to appear in the West End. A film adaptation of the play, The Riot Club, directed by Lone Scherfig.[8] was released in 2014.[9] Wade's plays are published by Oberon Books in the UK and by Dramatists Play Service in the US. In February 2015, the regional premiere of Posh will be co-produced by Nottingham Playhouse and Salisbury Playhouse.[10]

In 2015, Wade adapted Sarah Waters novel Tipping the Velvet into a stage play of the same name. The play premiered at Lyric Hammersmith in September 2015,[11] before transferring to the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh.[12]

In 2018, Wade's play, Home, I'm Darling premiered at Theatr Clwyd, 4 July. It was directed by Tamara Harvey, and starred Katherine Parkinson.[13] The play transferred to the National Theatre for a summer 2018 run.[14]

Wade adapted Jane Austen unfinished story The Watsons into a play, which had its premiere at Chichester Festival Theatre on 3 November 2018, directed by Samuel West, and a further run at Menier Chocolate Factory from 20 September 2019.[15][16]

Personal life

From 2007 to 2011, Wade lived with actor Samuel West,[17] son of actors Timothy West and Prunella Scales.[18][19] After a two-year split, Wade and West reunited, and now have two daughters, born in 2014 and 2017.[20]




  • Limbo, Sheffield Crucible Studio, 1996
  • Fear of Flying, Bristol University, 1997
  • White Feathers, Bristol University, 1999
  • 16 Winters, Bristol Old Vic Basement, 2000
  • The Wild Swans, Playbox Theatre, Warwick, 2000
  • TwelveMachine, Playbox Theatre, Warwick, 2001
  • The Last Child, Playbox Theatre, Warwick, 2002
  • Young Emma, Finborough Theatre 2003


  • Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright 2005 for Breathing Corpses and Colder Than Here
  • Pearson Playwrights Award Bursary in association with the [Finborough Theatre] 2004
  • Pearson Playwrights Best Play Award for Breathing Corpses 2005
  • Joint winner of the George Devine Award for Breathing Corpses 2006
  • Olivier Award Nomination for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre for Breathing Corpses and Colder Than Here 2006


  1. Cooke, Rachel (4 April 2010). "Laura Wade: the girl in the Tories' soup". The Guardian. London.
  2. "Theatre review: Colder Than Here at Soho Theatre". Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  3. "Theatre review: Breathing Corpses at Royal Court Theatre Upstairs". Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  4. "Theatre review: Other Hands at Soho Theatre". Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  5. Wade, Laura. "Oberon Books – The UK's most exciting independent publisher". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  6. "BBC Radio 4 - Afternoon Drama, Looking for Angels, Looking for Angels: Otherkin". 30 August 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  7. Curtis, Nick (7 April 2010). "Posh boys have problems too". London Evening Standard. London. Archived from the original on 16 May 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
  8. "The Riot Club (2014)". Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  9. de Semlyen, Phil (13 May 2014). "New Trailer For The Riot Club". Empire. Bauer Consumer Media. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  10. Snow, Georgia (31 October 2014). "Posh leads Nottingham Playhouse's spring 2015 season". The Stage. Nottingham. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  11. "London's Lyric Hammersmith to Present World Premiere of Laura Wade's Tipping the Velvet". Playbill. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  12. "Brian Cox and Bill Paterson return to Lyceum for 50th anniversary season". The List. 14 April 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  13., Dewynters Ltd |. "Theatr Clwyd EN". Theatr Clwyd EN. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  15. Supercool (28 July 2018). "The Watsons | Chichester Festival Theatre". Chichester Festival Theatre. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  17. Cooke, Rachel (25 November 2007). "Best of the West: Rachel Cooke interviews actor Sam West". The Observer. UK. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  18. Paton, Maureen (10 December 2011). "Sam West: My family values". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  19. Lockyer, Daphne (1 January 2012). "Samuel West: 'Good actors do get the roles - and recognition - they deserve'". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  20. Thorpe, Vanessa (7 September 2014). "Laura Wade: her play Posh put a spotlight on the spoilt". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
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