nabokov's Kirsty Patrick Ward gears up to the big, most Present night at the Live...

So the day has finally arrived, and what a week we’ve had! All four companies have been working away to produce a brand spanking new piece of theatre in response to the chosen article from the Chronicle.


In that week, plays have been written, lines have been learnt, props, furniture and costume have been sourced and now its time to tech and then let our new work loose on Newcastle.

Yesterday afternoon the four companies gathered for a little run through, giving everyone the chance to see just what we’ve all been up to this week! My company kicked us off with a bench, a banana and a future without women. I’ve had a fantastic time working on Alison’s rich and beautiful play, (even if article wasn't quite what she had hoped for, it certainly has inspired a great play). 

The run-through proved to be incredibly useful for Bill and Tunji, it gave them some much needed fresh ears and few laughs too. Both Bill and Tunji have brought so much to the piece, and have been incredible to work with – thank you Live for bringing us together! After some tea and notes (tea is an integral part of my directing process), we joined the rest of the nabokov company for a pint and a chat at the ‘Eye on the Thyne’.



Having been a part of previous Present: Tenses, the excitement for me always lies in seeing how the writers have chosen to use the article, and what debates are sparked off by the plays. If last night's discussions in the pub are anything to go by, then this Present: Tense should be no exception in proving to be an exciting, thought provoking and dare I say it provocative night of new writing. 

So if you’re within a 100-mile radius, whats your excuse? Come join us at the Live and spread the word loud and wide across Newcastle, nabokov are here and we’ve got some cracking new writing to share with you!

Our director Phil Ormrod takes his turn at the keyboard to document working with Roz Wyllie on "Sorry"

As I’ve packed Roz off for a lovely evening of rewrites, I’m posting our update myself. It’s only fair. If nothing else, it’ll kill the hour or so before I need to pop down to the dungeons below Live and check on her.


I have to say, I don’t share Alison’s scepticism about the topic. Sure, it might sound a little dry on the face of it – lots of statistics about access to services and so on – but it illustrates a lot of really interesting questions. Some of these questions are pretty fundamental - they’re about power, and how we value each other, irrespective of gender.

Roz has written a cracking scene set in a horribly recognisable near future, in which local authorities have been privatised, and everyone has to demonstrate their contribution to the economy. That’s a lot harder for a woman, of course – they’re just not quite as good at things as men, and they insist on spending their time unproductively (e.g. having kids). Frankly, they’re a drain on the economy.


We’ve actually just finished working through to the end of it, and the actors are really fizzing. They’re a pretty energetic trio, and they seem to be enjoying the opportunity to grill each other on the aesthetics of their genitals, for instance. That enthusiasm and generosity is really helpful when you’re working with a writer on a new text, which inevitably will develop and evolve as the process goes on.

My job as director is to serve that process of evolution. I’m trying to ask the right questions, the ones that will help Roz arrive at the play she wants to show on Saturday.  That means listening very carefully to the text, and making sure that I’m staging the play she’s trying to write, rather than the one I’m expecting her to. It also means finding a staging style that will reveal rather than obscure it.

To do that sometimes requires you to play the invisible director, especially when you’re dealing with naturalism. It’s an exercise in realising the writer’s vision rather than being authorial in any real sense (although that’s a problematic distinction, clearly). But sometimes it’s a bit more of a collaboration, and that’s great fun. 


This certainly seems to be one of those times. Roz’s text is deceptively open and though it seems at first like naturalism, it’s actually more concrete than that.  She’s got a cracking sense of rhythm too. There are lots of opportunities that gives you: to play with gesture, pacing and space; to create a world that feels like this one gone wrong, close to home but pierced by a kind of moral tinnitus. I’m having a great time helping her to bring it to life.

Writer Alison Carr, teamed with nabokov's own Kirsty Patrick Ward, has found some enthusiasm for the project. Eventually...


Let’s get one thing straight from the off, I hated the topic we have ended up with for Present: Tense … “the disproportionate affects the government cuts are having on womennnn” … sorry, I lapsed into a coma just typing that sentence.


I was not happy when it was revealed (I *might* have thrown a tiny strop, *possibly* chucking my toys out my pram). I was still not happy when I woke up the next morning – primarily because upon waking up I realised it had not all been a nightmare and I had two measly days to write a play inspired by said hated topic.


Director Kirsty assured me it did not have to be a literal dramatisation but to use the newspaper article simply as a jumping off point. And once I got my panicked, fevered brain around this then things started to look up.


So, faced with the 40 line article and the CVs of the two actors I had been ‘assigned,’ I sat down and wrote a play. That made it all sound quite painless, didn’t it. To be honest, most of Saturday was spent trying to drown myself in cups of tea so Sunday saw the bulk of the work getting done – partly because there was no more time for fannying around, but also I had more confidence in the idea I had plumped for. It’s called “Until It’s Gone” and includes the eating of a banana live on stage (maybe they should put that in the publicity material?).

Kirsty both

Actors Bill and Tunji have really embraced the project and the play and, although Saturday hurtles towards us with frightening speed, we’re skilfully led by Kirsty.


(When all is said and done though, the play I *could* have written inspired by the article about the chicken nugget in the shape of Jesus might have been something REALLY special …!)  

Paddy Campbell talks us through his enthused response to the week's project



Write a play about the government cuts disproportionally affecting women. You’ve got a weekend. Go on, off you go.

No sweat, easy.

By Saturday night I had a brilliant plan, as to how I was going to fake my own death. I’d bought an Argos lilo, had a ticket on the night ferry to Amsterdam, and had created Marcel. Marcel is plank with a massive nail through the end of it, and would be deployed mercilessly in the event of a shark attack. So long cruel world.

"Hola, donde es el arbol de coco? He has llegado desde Inglattera y estay muy hambriento."

That means "Hello, where is the coconut tree? I’ve come from England and am very hungry." What could possibly go wrong?

Turns out DFS Ferries have a policy about planks with nails in over a certain length. Nazis. An ugly scene ensued. I was released on Sunday evening with no option but to write the bloody play. Bugger! My hair’s not long enough to get a good grip on to pull out, so I plucked some off my toes with tweezers. This worked wonders. Why hadn’t I tried that before? The play flew out of me, like a famished tiger charging at a lost toddler. I typed so hard my fingerprints are now blobs.



On Monday we got some actors wrapped up in a decorative basket. They’ve been lovely, and have proved essential to the making of the play. They seem to think the play’s ok. But you never know with actors. They’re actors, they might be acting. Why don’t you come on Saturday to see for yourselves?

And if you throw rotten veg at the actors then you’ll have Marcel to answer to.  


PT Image 

And it's back...the toughest creative challenge around is heading to Watford Palace Theatre!
4 teams of playwrights, directors, musicians, poets, and many more, will meet to rip through the papers, and vote to select the most urgent story on the news agenda.  They will then have just seven days to create plays in response before performing them live at the fantastic Watford Palace Theatre.
People of Watford, consider the gauntlet thrown down!
For those in London, Watford Palace Theatre is only 20 minutes from Euston so get on board for what is going to be our biggest Present : Tense yet!
Get booking via the Watford Palace website

Stay tuned for announcements of the hugely talented artists who will be taking part.

Final blog before tonight's performance...

By writer Marcelo Dos Santos...

So that was one of the more intense weeks of my life. Three twelve
hour days, two plays in rehearsal, one full time job, one brilliant
moment when Natasha Nixon sat on a fire extinguisher and bolted across
the room. Actually there have been many brilliant moments because
we've had two brilliant actors, Helena Lymbery and Kate
Stanley-Brennan who have been totally committed to helping to make
sense of a play I wrote while slightly pissed and starving. And now
the tech....


See you tonight!


Sunday 10 April 2011 // 8:00pm

Southwark Playhouse // Shipwright Yard (Corner Tooley St. & Bermondsey St.) // London // SE1 2TF

Tickets // £10 // 0844 847 1656 (24 hours) or


Blog from director Alice Lacey (working with writer Alice Birch)...


The script is great, the actors are wonderful, the article is infuriating/provocative/making me hungry, there's hardly any time and everyone's eating a lot of food. It's all very greasy. 

Now that's out the way - are there any professional photographers out there? Or failing that people who enjoy the odd snapping session? 
Really, actually, a vague ability to aim and an expensive camera will do. 

Team Alice need you! 
We want an army of photographers to respond to the play that Alice has written over the next two days. If you would like to be involved and have a chance to see your work responding to a play responding to an article (it's all very responsive) then email toute suite. Team Alice looks forward to hearing from you.
Read more about Alice Lacey...
Alice is a Creative Associate at the Bush Theatre.

Directing includes: Fantasia (Old Vic 24 Hour Plays), Concensus (Riverside Studios), A Scene in a Kitchen (Tristan Bates Theatre), After the Flood (Old Vic), The Ostrich and the Dolphin (National Tour), Greek Street and Sports (Latitude Festival), Macbeth (Broadway Theatre), Custard (Waterloo East Theatre), Soyuz-40 (Arcola Theatre).

Assistant directing includes: Midnight and Magnolias (Wtermill Theatre), The Knowledge (Bush Theatre), Pencil (Old Vic Celebrity 24 Hour Plays), Moonfleece (National Tour).

She recently won the inaugural Old Vic Time Warner Ignite Award.

Along with actor James Northcote, their actress will be Esther Smith. Read more about Esther below...
ESTHER SMITH graduated from the Guildford School of Acting 2008 with a first class honors degree. Since then she has performed various plays with Company of Angels including,  This Child (Southwark Playhouse), Theatre Cafe Festival Unicorn Theatre, Respect (Birmingham Rep).  Other work includes Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (Mosaika at the Chocolate Factory) . The Author (Royal Court) Trish, in BBC1's Material Girl.


Sunday 10 April 2011 // 8:00pm

Southwark Playhouse // Shipwright Yard (Corner Tooley St. & Bermondsey St.) // London // SE1 2TF

Tickets // £10 // 0844 847 1656 (24 hours) or

Why the simplest technology allows collaboration of the most complex nature!

Sunday 3rd April. I’m Late. Bugger. – 26 seconds until i’m meant to be sat around a table in the new Bush building and i’m hopping, skipping & jumping off the tube at Shepherd’s Bush Market, rucksack on back. But never fear, a text message has flown its way to Lucy’s phone an hour before to let her know the underground has ground to a halt. Did I check the tfl on the internet? – nah.

With this is the basis of why technology has essentially allowed “Whale Song”, the piece we’re working on this week, come to life. And the basis of our short but sweet blog.

Anyway. Back to the action. Using text message, we knew I’d be (15 secs) late. Ignoring the internet, and i’m running like an Olympic steeple chase(r) to the Bush.

Thursday 7th. 4 days on and a mixture of text message, e-mail, voicemail, phone chat and debate in corridors, toilets, Gregg’s (oop product placement – lovely), foyers of any other theatres other than Southwark Playhouse and on trains (slow ones) -  we’ve got a piece. And what’s more, the contact time to rehearse has been taking place in another city – LEEDS!

All that needs to happen now is throw in a pianist and we’re flying.

And even then, via twitter i managed to pin down the right pianist at the last minute to come and play for us.

Simple technology. Not to be sniffed at. And essentially broken sweat into one of the most exciting creative processes for quite a while.

Follow Nabokov on twitter: @nabokovtheatre - be part of the collaboration revolution!

Lots of love,



Sunday 10 April 2011 // 8:00pm

Southwark Playhouse // Shipwright Yard (Corner Tooley St. & Bermondsey St.) // London // SE1 2TF

Tickets // £10 // 0844 847 1656 (24 hours) or

As we go passed the halfway point...

Blog by one of our hugely talented writers, Zoe Cooper...

I saw Joe Murphy (artistic director of Nabokov) on Tuesday night across a crowded bar and I did seriously consider hiding in the toilets for the rest of the evening. It felt like bunking off from school and being caught by the headmaster in the local shopping centre pissed off your head on cider, and snogging someone inappropriate*. But I braved it, even if pretty much the first thing I said was ‘its done’ and then after the briefest of pauses in which I did try to restrain myself: ‘itsdoneitsdoneitsdoneitsprobablyshitbutitisDONE’.

There may also have been some wild gesticulating whilst shocked onlookers took a step back warily. 

So. I wasn’t lying. It was finished. IS finished. I’m not really much of a procrastinator, it tends to be straight away or not at all with me so it was finished by Tuesday lunch. I realise that that looks unbelievably smug but there are definitely downsides to doing things too quickly: 

1. People tend not to believe you. 

2. People tend to assume that it is going to be quite shit. 

3. You tend to start assuming that it is going to be quite shit. 

4. You wonder if you are a writer at all or just a very efficient civil servant in disguise as a writer. 

and of course...

5. There is very much the possibility that it is indeed quite shit.

Basically it leaves a whole lot of time for panicking. Which is the stage I would be at now, if it were not for my intelligent and very calming director and fantastic and very talented actor. Fortunately they are rehearsing in another city and so I am not there to um…offer my feelings on the subject. I expect they are quite relieved about that.

Sunday 10 April 2011 // 8:00pm

Southwark Playhouse // Shipwright Yard (Corner Tooley St. & Bermondsey St.) // London // SE1 2TF

Tickets // £10 // 0844 847 1656 (24 hours) or


*It should be emphasised that I was not actually, as it happens, snogging anyone... but you get the gist....


More about some of the fantastic artists working on Present : Tense 16

Following her blog, read more about brilliant writer Alice Birch who forms the 'Alice duo' working with director Alice Lacey...

Alice graduated from Exeter University in 2009 with a degree in English. She is a graduate of the Royal Court Young Writers Invitation Programme and was recently on attachment at the National Theatre. Her full-length play Many Moons is opening at Theatre 503 in May and she is currently writing the pieces for final year students at Rose Bruford alongside Ella Hickson, Ben Ockrent and Nick Payne. Other writing credits include PLAYlist (Theatre 503), Come to Where I'm From (Paines Plough), And Then There Were Four Little Beats of Four Little Hearts at the Edge of the End (24 Hour Plays) and Bonfires (Miniaturists / Arcola).

And here's a bit about the fantastic Jack Lowe who will be directing Zoe Cooper's piece, starring Simon Darwen...

Jack is currently the Trainee Director at Paines Plough. He is in his second year of the Birkbeck MFA Theatre Directing course. He is the Artistic Director of curious directive ensemble and previously trained at Ecole Jacques LeCoq, Paris.
Directing credits include: Schadenfreude & And We Will Play Again? (curious directive, London Science Museum), 180 (Prithvi theatre, Mumbai), Return to the Silence (curious directive, Pleasance, London), See You Next Tuesday by Andrew Sheridan & The Proposal by Reuben Johnson (Rehearsed readings, Manchester Exchange Studio) Exchange Studio), The Snow Base, Drift: Photo 51 & Le Corps Perdu (Edinburgh International Science Festival), The Body in Light (curious directive, CAPITAL centre, Coventry), The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown (CAPITAL centre), Grimoire (Bedlam, Edinburgh Fringe), Tsunami: The Politics of Aid (International School, Sri Lanka) & Usiogope (Thika Institute of Technology, Kenya.)
Assisting credits include: Fly Me To The Moon by Marie Jones with James Grieve (Oran Mor), A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Douglas Rintoul (GSMD) and Last Seen with Alan Lane (Slunglow/Almeida).


Sunday 10 April 2011 // 8:00pm
Southwark Playhouse // Shipwright Yard (Corner Tooley St. & Bermondsey St.) // London // SE1 2TF
Tickets // £10 // 0844 847 1656 (24 hours) or


Hi all,

And so it's getting closer by the minute! Read below to see how another of our brilliant writers, Alice Birch, is getting along.

nabokov x


Oh Dear.

So, Sunday was three days ago. Which isn't ages. But when you've only got a week to put together an entire play with actors off script, it's decades of time. And in between other writing deadlines and production meetings, I have been sketching out my Nabakov play in about three different notebooks, and I'm now sat down, tea in hand, trying to piece it all together. I've started writing about four times. Which, again, isn't a problem when there's dreamily no deadline. But I've promised my lovely director Alice a draft tonight (in fact, I promised it by lunchtime, so am already, typically Late), so again, I need to make a decision, crack on and accept that I need to just make it Good. It's unlikely to be my Masterpiece, against which everything else I do will be judged.

Jamies Dream School is on and a girl is screaming about Alistair Campbell being a bit of a dickhead. Isn't Jamie Oliver a chef? Screaming girl is shouting about 100 words a minute and I'm pretty close to transcribing what she's saying, just so I have a script.

Telly off.

I'll be honest, I didn't vote for the news story we've got, which is probably a good thing as it's well outside my comfort zone. I'm veering pretty far away from the article itself, it felt a little depressing to be writing about women sacrificing their lives to be skinny. Particularly given that I've just eaten pizza and two ice lollies.

I've got my idea, I've got two ridiculously fantastic actors to write for, a brilliant director, the Southwark Playhouse in my head, Nabakov support at my fingertips and a vat of tea. Easypeasy.


Sunday 10 April 2011 // 8:00pm
Southwark Playhouse // Shipwright Yard (Corner Tooley St. & Bermondsey St.) // London // SE1 2TF
Tickets // £10 // 0844 847 1656 (24 hours) or

Read about the great artists involved with this Sunday's Present : Tense

Zoe Cooper - Writer

Zoe took the MPhil in Playwrighting at the University of Birmingham and was on the Royal Court Young Writers Programme. She was shortlisted for the Rod Hall Memorial Award. She worked as literary officer at Hampstead Theatre and now works as a freelance dramaturg and playwright. She is currently under commission to Live Theatre in Newcastle for her new full length play. Other credits as a playwright include Silent Night for PLAYlist(theatre503), Learning How To Swim (reading for ATC/Root Theatre) and Lark Ascending (theatre503 and Live Theatre).

Marcelo Dos Santos - Writer

Marcelo studied at Bristol University. He is a graduate of the Royal Court Young Writer's Invitation Programme and is a member of the Soho Theatre Writers' Hub.

CREDITS INCLUDE: Cracking (New Wimbledon Theatre Studio); Lovers Walk (co-writer, Southwark Playhouse); Wrecked (Ignition Festival at Tristan Bates Theatre); Moshing Lying Down (Shunt/tour); True Love Waits (co-writer, Latitude/Theatre 503). 

He has also had short plays produced at Soho Theatre, Tristan Bates Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Arcola Theatre and Theatre 503. 

He is currently under commission to Liverpool Everyman/Playhouse to develop a site-responsive piece for the Liverpool Everyword Festival with his company, high hearted theatre, which he co-founded in 2009.

Natasha Nixon - Director

Natasha studied at Glasgow University. She has trained with The Young Vic and StoneCrab’s Theatre of which she is now an Associate Director.

Assistant Director credits include: The Third Wish (Old Vic 24 Hour Celebrity Plays), Les Parents Terribles (Donmar Warehouse Trafalgar Season), Cock (Royal Court), Vanya (Gate Theatre) and Pictures From an Exhibition (Young Vic/ Sadlers Wells).

Directing credits include: Ignition Festival (Tristan Bates), Lyric Lounge (Lyric Hammersmith), The Aim of the Game (Old Vic 24 Hour Plays) and staged readings at Soho Theatre, The Albany and The New Diorama.

She is currently working on a piece of new writing to be performed at the Pleasance Theatre in the Edinburgh Festival.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge - Writer

Phoebe is Co-Artistic Director of new writing theatre company DryWrite, currently resident at the Bush Theatre. This is the first time she is writing outside of the company. She has been accepted onto the Royal Court Young Writers Course and will be beginning in May


Sunday 10 April 2011 // 8:00pm
Southwark Playhouse // Shipwright Yard (Corner Tooley St. & Bermondsey St.) // London // SE1 2TF
Tickets // £10 // 0844 847 1656 (24 hours) or


Blog by writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge:

Despite voting for and being excited by the winning story, I am finding myself railing against it. I became so wired thinking about "Women" and "Perfect Bodies" and "Kelly Brooke", I collapsed into a Dominoes frenzy which had me ordering and inhaling two disgusting (amazing) pizzas and murdering half a bottle of wine by five o'clock this afternoon. I have never done that before and I can't really remember it, but it felt violent. It is now nine o'clock and I am drunk, sick and have managed to crawl into the living room to watch a, frankly ludicrous, episode of Waking the Dead. In short, I have achieved nothing today besides looking like I have headbutted a pepperoni passion and sending three crap plays to Vicky under the influence. She has been a force of encouragement, but necessarily firm with my work so far - like I'd drawn a slightly shit picture but with a nice choice of crayons. She will be my salvation, I am sure of it. I always thought writers who did this were heroes.. I see now that they are clearly gods and I am being punished for my hubris. F**K.


Sunday 10 April 2011 // 8:00pm
Southwark Playhouse // Shipwright Yard (Corner Tooley St. & Bermondsey St.) // London // SE1 2TF
Tickets // £10 // 0844 847 1656 (24 hours) or


by Director Natasha Nixon:

I see newspapers scattered all over the table with a bottle of wine and a couple of beers. Well, I thought, this is a rather charming way to spend a Sunday evening.

After a pre-natter and introductions it was announced that we had just under an hour to riffle through the papers and pick our favourite stories. No time for a leisurely perusal then, this was serious!

The occasional splutter of laughter and rustling of papers and before I knew it, Joe and Lucy announced that time was up.  Without further ado we went round and presented our findings. These ranged from stories of Annie the elephant, freeze your eggs and have a baby at 50, the touching story of 300 Fukushima Samurai, What to do with Moussa Koussa, taxpayers money spent on inmates tuition fees and the US conspiracy behind Judge Judy speaking gobbledegook on TV. The list goes on but you see how wonderful and varied the stories are.

The vote was cast and the winner was 'A PERFECT BODY? WOMEN WOULD SWAP A YEAR OF LIFE.'

The next day, I find myself brimming with excitement. Marcelo has spent the day scribbling away and has come up with not one but two wonderful concepts to explore. In the meantime, I have been on and off the old ringer finding actors, rehearsal spaces and I am happy to say we are officially cast and raring to go!

And they're off - Present : Tense 16 is underway!

What a great night we had ripping through all the papers last night!  The week ahead promises to be a cracker as our four excellent teams take on this provocative topic.

The article chosen looks at an incredible cultural statistic where some women have reported willingness to give up years of their life in exchange for being thinner or receiving the perfect body.  With the incredibly complex world political situation it's very interesting that a home grown problem has topped the poles in Present : Tense this week.

The questions this article poses are many and far reaching, looking at our culture's obsession with "attractiveness" and the continuing pressure on men and women to look a certain way.

At nabokov Towers we can't wait to see what the writers do in response to their chosen story!

Bring on Sunday!



And so it the four groups of artists gathered together tonight to trawl through the papers. Tensions were high as they picked out the topics that caught their attention and began the rigorous voting process to decide upon ONE story.

A draw left two stories potentially taking the limelight for the week but a final vote saw this story chosen as the one to form the basis for Present : Tense Sixteen...


Linking articles accompanying this story were:

A relating article: 

With the meeting finishing and precisely 20:05, our fantastic four groups now have exactly ONE WEEK to respond and present their short performances to you on Sunday 10th.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see what exciting pieces emerge from this hugely current story. Book your tickets by following this link:

Keep checking the blog to see how the groups are getting on as the week progresses.

Look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Present : Tense / Sixteen Announced!

PT Image

The toughest creative challenge in town is back at Southwark Playhouse on Sunday 10 April!  Come and join us for a night of brilliant theatre and a shindig in the bar afterwards!

Present : Tense challenges the UK's top artistic talent to tackle the hottest topic of the moment in just seven days.  We’ve asked a host of cross-disciplinary artists to collaborate and we promise you another selection of the leading talent around! Get ready for a night of fantastic and crucial responses to what is happening in the world right now.

The groups meet Sunday 3 April to rip through the papers and select the most momentous story on the news agenda. They then have seven days to create a piece of work in response before it is performed live exactly one week after they began.

At this crucial time for the Arts, nabokov return with Present:Tense the weekend after the much anticipated arts funding announcements.

Our fantastic line-up already includes writers Alice Birch, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Marcelo Dos Santos.

Don’t miss the first Present : Tense of 2011, the most immediate response to what’s happening in the world today!

nabokov presents

Present : Tense / Sixteen

Sunday 10 April 2010 // 8:00pm

Southwark Playhouse // Shipwright Yard (Corner Tooley St. & Bermondsey St.) // London // SE1 2TF

Tickets are not currently on sale but keep checking for when they are!

Throughout the week you can follow their progress and post comments on the Present : Tense blog at

Present : Tense / Roundhouse

The reverberations from the epic night of theatre, art and partying that was the nabokov Arts Club have finally settled.

Thank you to all who attended, it was a sell out shin-dig to remember!  For those of you who didn't attend and are currently heavy with the sadness of missed opportunities, never fear!  Not only will the Arts Club come around again but also we are incredibly excited to announce a unique Present : Tense... at the awesome Camden Roundhouse!

nabokov presents

Present : Tense / Roundhouse

Sunday 18 April 2010 // 7.00pm

The Camden Roundhouse // Chalk Farm Road // London // NW1 8EH

Tickets // £2.00 // or 0844 482 8008 (9am-6pm weekdays, 9am-4pm weekends)

The toughest creative challenge in town is back at the legendary Camden Roundhouse on Sunday 18 April.  Come and join us for a night of brilliant theatre from London’s top young artistic talent!

This unique Present : Tense challenges the 16-25 year-old cross-disciplinary artists attached to the Roundhouse to tackle the hottest topic of the moment in just seven days.  We’ve laid down the gauntlet and these fantastic emerging artists have picked it right back up!

The groups meet Sunday 11 April to select the most momentous story on the news agenda. They then have seven days to create a piece of work that responds to the story they choose before it is performed live exactly one week after they began.

Throughout the week you can follow their progress and post comments on the Present : Tense blog at

Present : Tense / Fourteen


So a new decade has begun!  At nabokov Towers new artistic director Joe Murphy is settling in and we are very excited to announce his first Present : Tense! 

nabokov presents

Present : Tense / Fourteen

Sunday 14 February 2010 // 8:00pm

Southwark Playhouse // Shipwright Yard (Corner Tooley St. & Bermondsey St.) // London // SE1 2TF

Tickets // £10 // 0844 847 1656 (24 hours) or

The toughest creative challenge in town is back at Southwark Playhouse on Sunday 14 February providing an exhilarating and theatrical alternative Valentine’s Day!  Come and join us for a night of brilliant theatre and a shindig in the bar afterwards!

Present : Tense challenges the UK's top artistic talent to tackle the hottest topic of the moment in just seven days.  We’ve asked a host of cross-disciplinary artists to collaborate. And here's the undeniably thrilling line up so far:


** BAFTA and Olivier nominated, twice British Comedy Award winner, writer and performer Jessica Hynes (Spaced, Doctor Who, The Royale Family) working with nabokov's new Artistic Director Joe Murphy


** The fantastic writer Shireen Mula working with astounding director Nathan Curry, Artistic Director of highly acclaimed Tangledfeet theatre company


** nabokov’s associate director of Is Everyone OK?, Laura Keefe teams up with the stunning poet/musician Brigitte Aphrodite

The groups meet Sunday 7 February to select the most momentous story on the news agenda. They then have seven days to create a piece of work that responds to the story they choose before it is performed live exactly one week after they began.

Throughout the week you can follow their progress and post comments on the Present : Tense blog at


And here is a date for your diaries – the party event of 2010 fast approaches as the high-octane nabokov Arts Club returns on Saturday March 20 – keep it free for what promises to be a spectacular night of live music, comedy, performance poetry and theatre!  The mouth-watering line-up will be posted shortly!