By Alex Oates

Part of 37 Plays, a national playwriting project to create a series of 37 brand new plays that reflect the world we live in today.


The Filleting App is a darkly comic play following one family in The Meadowell Estate, North Shields.

Da thinks he’s found the secret to cheating the system as a Deliveroo driver by multi-platforming apps, Alice is desperate to go to university, Davy wants to get ahead, and Ma wants to go on a cruise.

This play is about a working-class family doing their best with a patriarch lost in the capitalist dream. It’s about de-industrialisation, immigration and generationally inherited poverty. Inspired by Tom Hadaway’s classic play The Filleting Machine looking at a family in 1970’s Newcastle, it asks what, if anything, has changed in the last 50 years. 

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Playwright age category: 18+


Juliet Gilkes Romero, Playwright

"An extraordinary play, it was pungent, vivid, domestic drama and just beautifully just gets better and better and better."

About the playwright

Alex is a writer from the North East. Since being selected for the Old Vic’s 24-hour plays in 2011, he’s gone on to have work produced nationally and internationally. His debut play Silk Road, was the first play funded by Bitcoin and after the Edinburgh and Vault festival spent a month in the West End’s Trafalgar Studios.

All In a Row at Southwark Playhouse earned Alex a most promising playwright nomination at the Offies and Pig transferred from Hull Truck to the New Diorama Theatre London. His short monologue film Mortal won the Northern Film Prize, and he’s recently been awarded BFI funding to make his next short film, Giants.

Alex received a 2023 Peter Shaffer commission from the National Theatre and Northern Stage to write a new play. He lives in Cambois, Northumberland, When he’s not writing or working as a funeral celebrant, he and his wife run free creative workshops for the local community in a derelict miner's welfare hall.

In partnership with Northern Stage