A work-in-progress at HighTide Festival 2016 presented by INK Festival

I face death, disease and depression every time I go to work, and I’ve never been happier.

Jo has a challenging new job as a medical role-player. But when her mother moves in, daughter drops out, and husband leaps to wrong conclusions, the pressure to fulfil her roles pushes her to breaking point. Can she save herself? Or will someone else prescribe the perfect remedy?

Clare Hawes leads a cast of nine in this new play by Thea Smiley, premiered as a short play at INK 2016, Role Play is a comedy about the roles we choose and those we are forced to play, and the importance of just being ourselves.


Cast & Creatives

  • Clare Hawes Jo
  • Julia Sowerbutts Director
    Julia Sowerbutts segued from professional actress to director when she moved to Suffolk fifteen years ago. She trained at Durham University, The Drama Studio, London and at UEA where she gained a distinction in a Theatre Directing MA . Julia is also co founder and Artistic Director of INK Festival. Direction for INK: includes SteamOther Woman; Biggest FearPowerhouseWrite Into WarDaughter and Beached. Other Direction includes: Happy Families Tangled LivesA Matter of Life and Death; SanderlingsSunshine on LeithA Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night TimeHenry IV Part ITravestiesA Christmas CarolAjaxAnn BoleynPack of LiesWind In The WillowsLetters From Aldeburgh. Awards: Velvet Trumpet award for Comedy 2015 for Beached.
  • Thea Smiley Writer
    Thea Smiley graduated from the UEA in 2012. Her first play, The Books, was performed at the Cut Arts Centre, Halesworth, that same year. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and shortlisted for the Flipside Festival and the Bridport Prize. In 2014, she won the Words and Women ‘About’ competition, and her monologue was published and performed the following year at the Forum, Norwich. Her play, Powerhouse, was selected for the first INK Festival. Then Return of the Wildman, commissioned by Wonderful Beast Theatre Company, sold out at HighTide Festival 2015 and was performed in May as part of Wonderful Beast’s Storm of Stories. A short version of Role Play premiered at INK 2016, and has since been rewritten as a full-length play.