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Kay Adshead

Kay Adshead

Kay Adshead is a poet, playwright, theatre maker and producer. She trained at RADA as an actress, where she won the Emile Littler Award for Outstanding Talent. She has played leading roles in film, theatre and TV, including Cathy in the BBC classic series Wuthering Heights, Linda in Mike Leigh’s film Kiss of Death, Viola in Twelfth Night, Betty in Touched and singing the role of Clara Twain in White Suit Blues, at The Old Vic. She learnt to wrestle for the role of Tanzi in Trafford Tanzi at The Mermaid, as well as countless appearances in popular TV programs spanning 30 years. As a writer, she has been nominated 3 times for The Susan Smith Blackburn Award. She has written over 25 plays published by Methuen, Faber and Faber, and Oberon, with commissions and productions at The Royal National Theatre, The Royal Court, The Young Vic, The Roundhouse, The Tricycle, The Bush, Soho Theatre, The Cockpit, The Arcola, Theatre503, The Omnibus, and many more. Alex Sierz of The Tribune describes her as” the great survivor”, and The Times reviewed her 2015 play I am Sad you are dead Mrs. T as “a poetic mortar bomb.” In 1999 with Lucinda Gane, she co-founded award-winning theatre company Mama Quilla, winning amongst other awards, Edinburgh Fringe First, Adelaide Fringe Sensation Award, Adelaide Best Fringe Performance Award, MEN best Fringe Performance, nominated for an EMMA and Encore Magazine best Play of the Year. She has devised and directed more than 10, experimental and live art projects (many with casts of over 30) working in hard to reach communities, including maximum security prisons. She has just written and directed her first short film (made in New York) The Count.


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