Alice Birch


Alice Birch received the Arts Foundation Award for Playwriting in 2014 and was shortlisted for the Bruntwood Prize 2013. Her plays include Open Court – Soap Opera (part of Royal Court's Open Court Season); Little on the Inside (part of Almeida Festival 2013); Life for Beginners and Many Moons.

Her new play Revolt. She said. Revolt again is part of Midsummer Mischief's Programme A, with Timberlake Wertenbaker's The Ant and the Cicada.

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Alice Birch Q&A

What was your initial reaction to the provocation that 'well behaved women rarely make history'?

Frustrated. A bit tickled (because I spent a long time trying to list well behaved historical women). Mainly angry. I wanted to unpick what well behaved actually meant. Probably quiet. And not taking up too much space. Which is going to limit your ability to make history. I tried to imagine what a well behaved man would be like. The concept sounded ridiculous. I got angry again. In short, I felt provoked.

What excites you about coming to The Other Place?

Firstly, it's the RSC. Which my Mum has heard of - so she's delighted. And it's the RSC. Which is wonderful and not just a little bit overwhelming. But it's The Other Place. Which has these anarchic, revolutionary, theatrical roots. It's felt like the biggest offering and the most enormous challenge of my career.

In a nutshell tell me about your play.

It's a series of attempts at a revolution. In big and small ways. It is hopefully quite funny. And also quite sad. It is quite resolutely not a well behaved play. Which makes it very difficult to summarise.

Why should people come and see your play?

Because it's in rep with a new Timberlake Wertenbaker play. Because humankind still has lots of work to do. Because it is an anarchic, show-off of a play, that would really love to be seen.

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