The Work

Translations, Adaptations, Plays

Bartlett’s theatre characteristically involves a head-on collision between the elevated and the immediate, the gorgeous and the gutter, the historic and the contemporary. His translations are all hallmarked by this duality; while remaining remarkably faithful to the individual prose and verse rhythms of the originals, they unapologetically transform plays by authors as different as Moliere, Racine, Marivaux, Genet , Kleist and Labiche into vivid, stylish and accessible English texts. They have been widely performed in student and amateur productions as well as by the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National, the Goodman in Chicago and the Arena in Washington as well as by many regional theatres. His adaptations of Balzac, Dumas, Stevenson, Wilde and Dickens – all originally created for the small stage and tight budgets of the Lyric Hammersmith- are ingenious hybrids of contemporary staging techniques and their source-author’s original words. For instance, the stage directions of his 1996 A Christmas Carol, which is all Dickens and nothing but, call for eight actors and a lightbulb, while his 2003 Camille controversially splices the familiar plot of Dumas’ play with the frank language of the original novel – and gets the whole thing done with a company of seven.

As a playwright, Bartlett’s original pieces have characteristically been created for particular performers - his play In Extremis, for instance, commissioned by the National Theatre to commemorate the centenary of the death of Oscar Wilde in 2000, was written specifically for Sheila Hancock and Corin Redgrave. The smaller-scale pieces collected in his anthologies Solo Voices ( 2005) and Queer Voices  ( 2012) – all written for either himself or close colleagues – have proved difficult to revive, since they are nearer in form to documentation of individual performances than conventional playwrighting- but have proved an effective and popular quarry for audition speeches. The latter contains his 2011 adaptation of  Oscar Wilde's The Remarkable Rocket. His latest play, Stella ( 2016) uses two actors to embody the compelling figure of the Victorian cross-dresser Ernest Boulton.

All enquiries concerning performance rights for the following pieces of Neil Bartlett’s work should be addressed to Fay Davies at ; to find details of publishers, please just click on the title

Bartlett A VISION OF LOVE REVEALED IN SLEEP (published in Gay Plays Volume 4 )
IN EXTREMIS
NIGHT AFTER NIGHT
SOLO VOICES ; MONLOGUES 1987-2004 (includes; Where Is Love ?, That’s How Strong My Love Is, That’s What Friends Are For, A Vision of Love Revealed in Sleep ( solo version), Night After Night ( solo version), The Seven Sacraments of Nicolas Poussin, The Verger Queen, Does You Good, Improbable) .

OR YOU COULD KISS ME  a new play by Neil Bartlett and Handspring Theatre Puppet Company,Oberon, London, 2010

THE GIRL I LEFT BEHIND ME  ( with Jessica Walker), Oberon, London, 2011

QUEER VOICES ; more monologues,  (including Oscar Wilde's The Remarkable Rocket  along with Helpless, Sleeping Beauty  and  What Can You Do ? )  Oberon, London, 2012

THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY  Oberon, London, 2012

STELLA  Oberon, London, 2016


Dickens A CHRISTMAS CAROL , OLIVER TWIST, GREAT EXPECTATIONS
Sophie Faucher/Robert Lepage LA CASA AZUL
Dumas CAMILLE
Genet SPLENDID’S.
Kleist THE PRINCE OF HOMBURG.
Labiche THE THREESOME.
Marivaux THE DISPUTE , THE GAME OF LOVE AND CHANCE ,THE ISLAND OF SLAVES.
Moliere DON JUAN
THE MISANTHROPE
THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES

Racine BERENICE
Stevenson TREASURE ISLAND unpublished ; please contact  

 

Genet THE MAIDS unpublished ; please contact The Agency

 

EVERYBODY LOVES A WINNER (2009) unpublished; please contact The Agency