Sarah Grochala

Sarah Grochala is an Anglo-Polish playwright based in London. She is currently Senior Lecturer, Writing for Theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, where she leads the MA/MFA Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media.

Her play S-27 won the 2007 iceandfire/Amnesty International Protect the Human Playwriting Competition and was also shortlisted for the King’s Cross Award and the Leah Ryan Award for Emerging Women Writers. S-27 premiered at the Finborough Theatre, London in June 2009. Since its first production in 2009, S-27 has been revived nationally (Wardrobe Theatre Bristol, 2014) and internationally, including productions in Australia (Griffin Theatre, Sydney, 2010; Two Tall Theatre, Newcastle, 2016; Feet First Collective, Freemantle, 2019 and Adelaide 2020) and Canada (Intersection Theatre Toronto, 2012). S-27 is published by Oberon books and has been translated into Hebrew and French.

Sarah’s other plays include Waiting for Romeo (Romeo’yu Beklerken), which ran in rep at Tiyatro Yan Etki, Istanbul from 2014 to 2016, winning the 2015 Ekin Yazin Dostları Theatre Award for Best Play (Small Venue). In 2011, she won’s Adopt a Playwright Award for her play Smolensk. Her most recent play Star Fish was shortlisted for the 2016 Nick Darke Award and BBC Script Room 10.

Between 2012 and 2016, Sarah was an Associate Artist with the theatre company Headlong, where she worked on creating theatrical experiences using digital media.  Her work as a writer has been supported and developed by The National Theatre Studio, Royal Shakespeare Company, The Orange Tree, Criterion New Writing Programme, Arts Council England, The Peggy Ramsay Foundation, The Orchard Project (USA), The Studios Key West (USA) and She is currently a member of the Sphinx 30. Alongside her playwriting, she writes Dr Who and The Avengers audio dramas for Big Finish productions.

Sarah's first book, The Contemporary Political Play, was published by Methuen Drama in 2017 Prize and shortlisted for the TaPRA Early Career Research Prize. Her second book The Theatre of Rupert Goold  was published by Methuen Drama in 2020. In 2018, she was recently awarded a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award for a project exploring the lack of contemporary European plays in translation on British Stages. Her research work has also been nominated for the Philip Leverhulme Prize.

London (Greater London)

Selected Reviews

 ‘Director Abigail Graham and performer Jennifer Jackson make the most of Sarah Grochala's The Red Shoes, an astonishingly direct yet poetic piece of writing, a perfect miniature that explores desire and madness in London's Westfield shopping centre.’ Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

S-27 is almost unrelentingly bleak but the taut script and powerful performances are mesmerising. It's a play that lingers in the mind long after the curtain has fallen.’ Gina Flaxman, Time Out Sydney

‘Sarah Grochala's play, inspired by stories of those who survived the Khmer Rouge, is a blistering account of the things that we will do to save our own skins, and the way the human heart betrays us. It says a great deal about the systems and structures of new writing in UK theatres that Grochala's nugget of a play has been lying around for two years unproduced. At its best it reminds us of Pinter and Bond’ Lyn Gardner, The Guardian



2018 Shortlisted TAPRA Early Career Research Prize (The Contemporary Political Play)

2018 British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award

2016 Shortlisted for the Nick Darke Award (Star Fish)

2016 Shortlisted for BBC Writers Room Script Room 10 (Star Fish)

2016 Longlisted for the Theatre 503 Playwriting Award – Top 30 (Star Fish)

2015 Longlisted for the Bruntwood Prize – Top 40 (Star Fish)

2015 Shortlisted for the Old Vic Twelve

2015 Best Play (Small Venue), Ekin Yazin Dostları Theatre Awards (Waiting for Romeo)

2011 Winner of the Off West Adopt a Playwright Award (Smolensk)

2010 Time Out Sydney Critics’ Choice (S-27)

2010 Finalist Leah Ryan Prize for Emerging Women Writers (S-27)

2009 Time Out London Critics’ Choice (S-27)

2007 Winner of the Amnesty Protect the Human Playwriting Competition (S-27)

2007 Shortlisted for the King’s Cross Award (S-27)


Attachments and Residencies

2020-21   Sphinx 30

2020         Orchard Project Liveness Lab (USA)

2018         Criterion New Writing Programme

2016/17    Member of the Orange Tree Writers’ Collective

2015         Artist in Residence, The Studios Key West (USA)

2015         Resident Artist, The Orchard Project (USA)

2013/14    Writer’s Attachment, National Theatre Studio (a series of minor incidents)


Publications - Plays

S-27 (London: Oberon, 2009)


Publications – Books

The Theatre of Rupert Goold (London: Methuen Drama, 2020)

The Contemporary Political Play (London: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2017)


Productions – Full Length Plays

2020    S-27                                        Adelaide Festival                     dir. Teresa Izzard

2019    S-27                                        Freemantle Festival                  dir. Teresa Izzard

2016    S-27         The Royal Exchange, Newcastle, Australia            dir. Nick Wood

2015    Waiting for Romeo      Tiyatro Mavra, Adana,  Turkey           dir. Ali Haydar Bozkurt

2014-16 Waiting for Romeo              Tiyatro Yan Etki, Istanbul        dir. Serkan Üstüner

2012   S-27                                        Annex Theatre, Toronto           dir. Yolanda Ferrato

2010    S-27                                        Griffin Theatre, Sydney           dir. Caroline Craig

2009    S-27                                        Finborough, London                dir. Steve Keyworth

2009    Waiting for Romeo                 Pleasance Islington, London    dir. Nina Brazier

2006    Waiting for Romeo                 Hill Street, Edinburgh              dir. Nina Brazier

2006    Waiting for Romeo                 RADA, London                        dir. Nina Brazier

2005    Open Ground                         Theatro Technis, London         dir. John Lee


Productions - Short Plays

2020    How Not to Get Raped and Murdered     White Bear, London    dir. Mingyu Lu

2017    Not Us                                    Orange Tree, London               dir. Ola Ince

2015    Alexandria n.                         Ark Short Stories, London       dir. Sarah Grochala

2014    Little Mermaid                Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff    dir. Julia Wyndham

2014    The Shadow                           Soho Theatre, London              dir. Abigail Graham

2013    Red Shoes                               Ulster Hall, Belfast                   dir. Aislínn Clarke

2012    Red Shoes                               Belfast Festival                         dir. Aislínn Clarke

2012    Emperor’s New Clothes         Cockpit Theatre, London         dir. Dominic Kelly

2012  Red Shoes               Arches, Glasgow                         dir. Abigail Graham

2012  Red Shoes                Theatre 503, London                dir. Abigail Graham

2012  Red Shoes                  Chapter Arts, Cardiff               dir. Abigail Graham

2011    The Beautiful Ones                Latitude Festival                       dir. Derek Bond

2010    Standing Out of the Light      Tristan Bates, London              dir. Abigail Graham

2010    Altogether Now                      Theatre 503, London                dir. Jack McNamara

2010    Standing Out of the Light      Old Joint Stock, Birmingham  dir. Abigail Graham

2010    Skin                                        Arcola,  London                       dir. Zena Birch

2010    Standing Out of the Light      Theatre 503, London                dir. Abigail Graham

2010    Remains                                 RADA, London                        dir. Nina Brazier

2010    Accountable           Theatre 503, London                dir. Jacqui Honess-Martin

2010    The Return                             Birmingham University           dir. Naomi Cooke

2009    Remains                                 Theatre 503, London                dir. Antonio Ferrara

2008    Viable Alternatives                Green Man Festival                  dir. Vicky Graham

2008    Gift                          King’s Head, London               dir. Robert Wolstenholme

2004    Open Ground                         Hampstead Theatre, London    dir. Andrew Loudon


Rehearsed Readings

2019    Intelligence                            Criterion Theatre                      dir. Guy Jones

2017    Intelligence                            NT Studio/Orange Tree            dir. Guy Jones

2013    Home Free                             Finborough Theatre                  dir. Stasi Schaeffer

2012    Smolensk                                Theatre Royal Haymarket        dir. Abigail Graham

2011    Sihanoukville (Star Fish)       Finborough, London                dir. Eleanor Rhode

2010    Waiting for Romeo                 Teatr Ludowy, Krakow            dir. Anna Kerth

2010    Martyrs of Warsaw                Finborough, London                dir. Steve Keyworth

2010    Remains                   Theater Chemnitz, Chemnitz      dir. Svetlana Dimcovic

2010    Waiting for Romeo                 Klub Żak, Gdańsk                    dir. Anna Kerth

2008    Halfway Out                           Tristan Bates, London              dir. Anouke Brook

2007    S-27                                        Soho Theatre, London              dir. Sara Masters

2006    Waiting for Romeo                 RADA, London                        dir. Nina Brazier


Radio/Audio Drama

2024    The Face in the Storm            Big Finish                                 dir. TBC

2021    Outback                                  Big Finish                                 dir. Helen Goldwyn

2021    Off Grid                                  Big Finish                                 dir. Ken Bentley

2021    Mother’s Day                         Big Finish                                 dir. Samuel Clemens

2021    The Hollow Crown                Big Finish                                dir. Ken Bentley

2020    Do No Harm                          Big Finish                                 dir. Ken Bentley

2019    Narcissus                               Big Finish                                 dir. Helen Goldwyn

2009    Covent Garden                     Theatre Voice/Theatre 503      dir. Tim Roseman



2020-21      S-27                  #FinboroughForFree                dir. Stephen Keyworth

2020         Little Mermaid                  Papercut Goes Zoom                dir. Melissa Dunne



2020    Digital Natives (R&D)      Potential Difference                               Writer

2016    What’s She Like                Headlong/Coney                                     Writer/Curator

2014    The Nether Realm          Headlong/Royal Court          Dramaturg/Curator

2014    PRISM                               Headlong/Cultural Institute at King’s    Curator

2013    1984 Digital Double      Headlong/Cultural Institute at King’s     Collaborator

Radio, Theatre, Videogames