Zena Forster is an Oxford based playwright who has written for both radio and stage. Her work for BBC Radio includes an adaptation of Margaret Oliphant’s Hester for Radio 4, starring Penelope Wilton and Lyndsey Marshal (‘A joy’ The Telegraph). Stage work includes an adaptation of Kate Clanchy’s Antigona and Me, staged at Oxford’s Offbeat Festival and at a reading for industry professionals at The National Theatre (‘A beautifully crafted, funny and moving story about our battered and complicated world’ Sam Hoyle - Script Executive). Forster’s first original stage play The Fourth Dog was produced and toured by Human Story Theatre in 2017 (‘hilarious’ Oxford Times). Alongside after birth Forster is currently developing The Last Dog, a piece written during an attachment at Oxford Playhouse in 2018/9. In 2020 after birth won Propeller 2020 and had been due to tour after opening at the North Wall, Oxford in June.
Winner of Propeller 2020. "We are delighted to be programming after birth as this year’s chosen Propeller production and hope it will help the creatives behind this fantastic play," John Hoggarth, co-director The North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford
Stitch Up (stage play, 2019, scratch night Under Construction Theatre Company)
“a powerful and important piece of theatre in the making” (Kate Clanchy, Author)
The Fourth Dog (stage play, 2017)
Oxford Times, "Hilarious."
Daily Information, "Funny, acerbic and wise."
Audience feedback, "Brilliant." "Awesome." "Funny, witty, poignant, necessary." "My God! I feel like a wreck now...amazing."
Antigona and Me (stage adaptation 2016)
Oxford Daily Information "...a superb, life-affirming play."
BBC Radio Oxford - Book Club. "marvellous...like watching a boxing match."
The Fourth Dog (audio drama, 2014)
Reader comments from A Word in Your Ear – Earshot. Winner 2014. “ a compelling, funny, important piece of drama that is beautifully written.”
Hester (Radio 4, 2013)
Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph. “Short is harder to do than long. It takes more work, more exercise of the imagination to develop characters or display ideas within a small frame. Evidence? Take the Woman’s Hour (Radio 4) serial, another daily mini-drama. Last week’s Hester was a joy.”
David Hepworth, The Guardian. “Penelope Wilton...begins 2014 as the narrator of Hester (Weekdays from Monday 30, 7.45pm, R4), an excellent adaptation of Margaret Oliphant's 19th-century novel.”
Radio Choice, Daily Mail. “This adaptation of Margaret Oliphant’s tale of love, money, bankruptcy and betrayal is radio drama gold.”
Front (stage play, 2013)
Reader comments from BBC Writersroom. Shortlisted. “Front is a strong and original piece. The writing is often blunt and unflinching, and reveals some nuanced painful yearnings that lie beneath that toughness.
Money (Radio 3, 2012)
Fiona Sturges, The Independent. “...a radio drama that reeked of class...expertly reworked for radio...After listening to Money, I have to admit that for a short time I lost my head, and approached all radio drama in a spirit of optimism.”
Comedy, Radio, Theatre