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LOSS AND HOPE: A Trilogy of Audio Plays written by Luke Barnes, Tife Kusoro, and Rafaella Marcus.

Design Kate Gabriel Allen for 45North

2020        Part of 45North's audio season Written on the Waves

co-production with 45North, Ellie Keel Productions, and North Wall Arts Centre

Three new audio shorts inspired by Alchymy Festival, an annual celebration of new work at The North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford which was due to happen in March 2020.

LOSS AND HOPE reflects the creativity and connections events like Alchymy inspire. Each play shares a connection with the festival. Luke Barnes' THIS IS A MAN and Tife Kusoro's WE HAVE SINNED began life as part of it, one as an original Alchymy Monologue and one as part of the Catalyst Arts Lab for early-career playwrights. Rafaella Marcus' THE GIFT came about in direct response to lockdown and the postponement of SAPwhich would have been developed further in residency at Alchymy 2020 following the success of Atticist's 2019 Alchymy Monologues, THE UNICORN by Sam Potter and THIS IS A LOVE STORY by Iman Qureshi.

Rehearsed and recorded remotely across the UK and Europe.

For more episodes in the lockdown audio series Written on the Waves, including how to support the project, please visit 45North.

THE GIFT [05:19]

So. I'll tell you what I think magic is...

A girl recounts an impossible meeting in which something is lost - and someone is found...


Written by Rafaella Marcus

Performed by Olivia Marcus

Director Jessica Lazar

Sound design, editing, composition Tom Foskett-Barnes

Stagedoor (Lyn Gardner): 'a tiny winking gem that suggests that maybe we don’t get a choice in the ghosts we see and we always see the ghosts we need.'

THIS IS A MAN [15:04]

We just sort of sit there and he says. You've got to be strong now yano. Hold it together.

And I do. I hold it together.

At a group counselling session, Greg tries to tell his story. But will he finish it? A powerful investigation of masculinity and grief.


Written by Luke Barnes

Performed by Liam Jeavons

Director Madeleine Kludje

Sound design, editing, composition Tom Foskett-Barnes

The Reviews Hub (Maryam Philpott): 'a family tragedy which Barnes imagines in poignant detail.'


I guess the real big sin I've come to confess is...fornication. I just thought about it a couple of times.

Okay well a lot of times.

Three separate confessions by one girl to her priest. Esther goes to a girls-only Catholic school. David goes to the school across the road. Esther's body is feeling things its never felt before, and her mind doesn't know what to do with all that guilt. 


Written by Tife Kusoro

Performed by Seraphina Beh

Director Grace Cordell

Sound design, editing, composition Tom Foskett-Barnes

The Reviews Hub (Maryam Philpott): 'The strength of Esther’s voice is its strongest asset...Kusoro well captures the naïve certainty of a teenage girl – whose age is never revealed – thinking she is in charge of her life but easily swayed.'

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