Samuel Adamson

Samuel Adamson is a playwright, lyricist and screenwriter.

London (Greater London)

Katie Haines
The Agency (London) Ltd
24 Pottery Lane
Holland Park
London W11 4LZ

020 77271346

Samuel Adamson’s plays, musicals and adaptations include: The Ballad of Hattie and James (Kiln Theatre/English Touring Theatre), Wife (Kiln Theatre), Running Wild (based on the book by Michael Morpurgo, Chichester Festival Youth Theatre, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre/Children’s Touring Partnership UK Tour, 2015 UK Theatre Award for Best Play for Children and Young People); Gabriel (created for the trumpeter Alison Balsom, Shakespeare's Globe, also concert version for Saffron Hall and Barbican Centre); The Light Princess (book and lyrics, music by Tori Amos, National Theatre, also concert version for Club 11 London at Cadogan Hall); Southwark Fair (National Theatre); Mrs Affleck (from Ibsen’s Little Eyolf, National Theatre); Frank & Ferdinand (National Theatre Connections), Fish and Company (Soho Theatre/National Youth Theatre); Clocks and Whistles (Bush Theatre and New York, Time Out award); Drink, Dance, Laugh and Lie (Bush/Channel 4); Grace Note (Peter Hall Company/Old Vic); Some Kind of Bliss (Trafalgar Studios and Brits Off Broadway New York); Tomorrow Week (BBC Radio 3); and All About My Mother (from Pedro Almodóvar’s film, Old Vic, 2008 Whatsonstage Theatregoers’ Choice Best New Play).

Original contributions include: 24 Hour Plays (Old Vic); A Chain Play (Almeida); Urban Scrawl (Theatre 503/TheatreVoice); Hoard (New Vic, Stoke); and, for Headlong’s Decade, Recollections of Scott Forbes.

Versions include: Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard (Oxford Stage Company/Riverside Studios); Chekhov’s Three Sisters (OSC tour and West End); Ibsen’s Pillars of the Community (National Theatre); Ibsen’s A Doll’s House (Southwark Playhouse, Northcott Theatre Exeter and Dundee Rep); Schnitzler’s Professor Bernhardi (Dumbfounded at Arcola Theatre, also adapted for BBC Radio 3); Bernhard Studlar’s Transdanubia Dreaming (National Theatre Studio); and Ostrovsky’s Larisa and the Merchants (InSite Performance/Arcola Theatre).

As textual advisor/dramaturg, productions include: Nicholas Hytner’s The Alchemist (National Theatre); Marianne Elliott’s Saint Joan and All’s Well That Ends Well (National Theatre); Indhu Rubasingham’s Heartbreak House (Watford Palace Theatre); and Toby Frow’s The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare’s Globe).

Film includes: Running for River (Directional Studios/Krug).

Samuel is the recipient of the Kevin Elyot Award 2023. He was Artistic Associate on the Tony Award-winning stage adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse (Lincoln Center Theater New York, Princess of Wales Theatre Toronto, US tour, Australian tour, UK tour). He was writer in residence at the Bush Theatre in 1997-8. In 2019, he delivered the Annual Ibsen Lecture at the Centre for Ibsen Studies at the University of Oslo. He has an Honours degree in History from the University of Adelaide and a Masters in English Literature from the Open University.

Current work includes: Jack Maggs, an adaptation of Peter Carey’s Miles Franklin Award-winning 1997 novel, for State Theatre Company South Australia, premiering at the Dunstan Playhouse in Adelaide, South Australia, in November 2024.

Samuel’s Substack, The Essence of the Thing, in which he writes about twentieth-century novels and other literary and theatrical matters, is at Subscription is free.

His plays are published by Faber and Faber (, with some acting editions published by Samuel French. Recollections of Scott Forbes is included in Decade, published by Nick Hern Books. Frank & Ferdinand is published by Methuen in Connections 2011. Clocks and Whistles and Grace Note are published by Amber Lane Press. Professor Bernhardi is published by Oberon. The Original Cast Album of The Light Princess is available on Mercury Classics. A film of the original stage production of Gabriel is available on

Books, Film, Radio, Television, Theatre