Elizabeth Baines - plays for stage, screen and radio



A forty-minute play presented at Pure Blue, Printworks, Manchester as part of the Manchester 24:7 Theatre Festival (23-29 July 2007)

Three women, separately lost in a hospital, end up together in a strange, indeed unearthly room, and discover something shocking about themselves...

Something like one of JB Priestley's time plays, a meditation on whether we can ever have any influence over our destinies. ... a stylised and slickly choreographed production of a thought-provoking comedy - UK Theatre Network

Playing creatively with the idea of the different stages of life and death, the play raised some interesting ideas and also employed a clever use of movement - Manchester Confidential

Fascinating piece ... thought-provoking - Manchester Evening News

Click for Elizabeth's blog posts charting her progress as she got a company together and produced the show.


A satirical monologue written and performed by Elizabeth Baines during the Manchester 24:7 Theatre Festival July 2005.
Directed by former Brookside actress Susan Twist

Hostess of a drinks party, the seemingly marvellous Natalie reveals the extent of her pretensions and vicious manipulations. Adapted from Elizabeth Baines' radio play
Dry Sherry which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4

'Amusing yet chilling, and you'll be glad you're not related' - Manchester Evening News

Photo: Ben White


Amanda Hennessy & Joe Atack as Carole and Jason

James Duncan Harris & Lynn Roden as Pete and Jane

Three sisters remember their childhood of abuse only to uncover truths about themselves and each other they hadn't guessed.
Winner of the South Tipperary Writers' Festival one-act play competition, 2002.
Semi-finalist in the 2003 Moondance International Film Festival stage play competition.

Presented at the King's Arms, Salford as part of the 24:7 Manchester Theatre Festival,
24-30 July 2004, with actors Ava Burton, Amanda Hennessy, Lynn Roden, Hayley Considine, Joe Atack and James Duncan Harris. Directed by Rhonwen McCormack.

Top of the Bill ... Definitely one to see
- City Life

Read an interview from the BBC website

Photos by Patrick Mackenzie

Previously presented by Nadine's Window at the Barons Court Theatre, 11th -16th November 2003
with actors (l-r) Gregory A Smith, Sarah Morrison, Jamie Vaughan, Camilla Corbett, Tina Meegan and
Dana-Lori Chalmers.

Directed by Nadine Hanwell.

First showcased by the Writers' Guild at the Tristan Bates Theatre, London, 14th November, 1997, with actors Sarah D'Arcy, Stephanie Schonfield and Carol Robb (left), Lizzie McPhee, Graham Arnold and John Talbot.

Directed by Richard Shannon




An earlier, fifteen-minute version of O'Leary's Daughters
Rehearsed reading, New Work '94, Contact Theatre, June 1994, in which male actors were cast as the sisters and John Henshaw (of Early Doors fame) played the youngest.
Directed by Ian Karl Moore

Four women in their thirties, old schoolfriends, meet again unexpectedly.
A one-act play. Rehearsed reading, North-West Playwrights' Workshops July 1985.
With Julia Ford and Jane Cox. Directed by Paul Clements


Six-minute short. Some pizza-parlour philosophers discover that there are things not dreamt of in their philosophy about the way society works and people behave. Based on Elizabeth's own short story (first published in London Magazine and included in her story collection, Balancing on the Edge of the World (Salt Publishing).
First-round qualifier in the 2004 Kaos British Short Screenplay Competition.


At a London party of media types and intellectuals, a precocious ten-year-old reveals to a listening young couple more than she intends about the lives and behaviour of her parents.
Afternoon Play, 20th June 2001. Dir. Michael Fox. Starring twelve-year-old Alice French, with Mark Chatterton and Sarah Nixon.
'Very funny, very sharp' - Gillian Reynolds, Telegraph.
'Cleverly conveys hypocrisy and self-delusion' - Matthew Bannister, Times.
'Said something about what we choose to listen to: what people say, or the way they say it' - Pascal Wyse, Guardian
Available for listening here

A couple try to patch up their marriage with a country idyll, only to come a-cropper over the forces of nature.
Afternoon Play, 26th December 2000. Dir. Michael Fox.
With Mark Chatterton, Martine Brown and Deborah McAndrew.
Available for listening here

With the help of their cat, two little girls weave a magic spell to bring their daddy back.
An adaptation by Elizabeth Baines of her own short story, first published inNorthern Lights, ed. Marian McCraith (Lancaster House 1994), & and Power, ed. Elin ap Hywel (Honno, 1997), and included in her story collection, Balancing on the Edge of the World (Salt Publishing).
Afternoon Play, 20th April 2000. Dir. Michael Fox. With Alice French and Alice Fox as the children and Kathryn Hunt and Ian Shaw as their parents.
'A strange, worrying and necessary play' - Peter Davalle, Times.

An adaptation of the short story by Arnold Bennett, one of a series of five.
Afternoon Play, Radio 4, 11th April 2000, dir. Michael Fox. With Gerry Hinks, Stefan Escreet, Rachel Smith and Susie Hawthorne.

Six-part satirical series about an unconventional babysitting circle.
Now available as an
Audiobook titled The Babysitting Circle
First broadcast Radio 4, beginning 29th April 1999. Dir. Andy Jordan. With John McArdle, Sherry Hewson, Jane Hazlegrove, Andrew Whyment, Maxine Burth, Lyndam Gregory.
'It isn't every writer who in the space of a little under 30 minutes can juggle with three married couples, their respective children and their attempts to strike a balance between parenthood, neighbourhood and livelihood.' - Peter Davalle, Times.
'Some sharp-edged satire' - Mail on Sunday.

An ex-wife organises the funeral of her ex-mother-in-law and comes up against the tragi-comic protocol problems of divorce-extended families.
Afternoon Play, 5th March, 1999. Dir. Michael Fox. Starring Deborah McAndrew.

A life of high hopes and foolish pretensions recorded in Christmas letters down the years.
Afternoon Play, 18th December, 1998. Dir. Diane Whitley. Starring Helen Atkinson-Wood.
'Very good … will find an echo for the millions of people who form relationships early in their lives but are forced to maintain them later in life via the mail… A satirical, witty tale' - Peter Barnard, Times.

A vampire is attracted to the sweet blood of a sixteen-year-old diabetic girl.
Late Night Serial, Radio 4, 21st Feb - 7th March 1998. Dir. Diane Whitley. With Con O'Neil as the vampire and Rebecca Callard as the girl.
'Moody drama. Recommended'- Linda O'Callaghan, Daily Mail
'Vampire fans will enjoy' - SFX Magazine.

A young mother goes missing for no apparent reason.
Researched with the help of the Missing Persons Helpline and Greater Manchester Police.
Afternoon Play, 4th March, 1995. Dir. Michael Fox. With Brigit Forsyth, Naomi Ratcliffe, Rachel Smith and Andy Wear.
'A perceptive script… Pick of the week.' - Stephanie Billen, Observer.
'Skilfully portrays the irrational guilt of relatives and the mounting outside pressure they face.' - Harold Jackson, The Guardian.

A dark comedy. Missing parts of the jigsaw of a family's life come to light at a very strange funeral.
Monday Play, 27th February, 1995. Dir. Michael Fox. With Ellie Haddington and Jane Hazlegrove.

Monday Play, Radio 4, 17th February, 1992. Dir. Michael Fox. Starring Barbara Marten. With Robert Pickavance, David Fleeshman, Sue Jenkins, Jane Hazlegrove, Mark Chatterton, Kathryn Hunt. Elizabeth's adaptation of her own critically-acclaimed first novel.
'A scalpel-sharp satire' - Geoffrey Hobbs, Western Mail

A forty-year-old career woman pregnant with her first child focuses her worries on the choice of pram.
Afternoon Theatre, August 1989. Dir. Susan Hogg. With Linda Bassett and Barbara Marten
Winner of a Giles Cooper Award
Published in Best Radio Plays of 1989, Methuen 1990.
'Splendid play'
- Anne Karpf, Observer.
'A tightly constructed two-hander' - Nina-Anne Kaye, The Guardian.
'What sets The Baby Buggy apart is the skill with which Baines handles her material. She uses radiophonic technique to slide in and out of internal monologue, in and out of flashback – sound effects in the former, crossfades in the latter, both perhaps counterintuitive and thus all the more effective.' - Roger Wood. Full review here.


A feminist takes a single mother in hand.
Afternoon Theatre, August 1989. Dir. Robert Cooper and Tony Cliff. Starring Harriet Walter.
Nominated for two Sony Awards, Harriet Walter winning Best Actress for her portrayal of Rebecca.
'A very funny parody of the humourless excesses of a certain kind of feminism… Elizabeth Baines has, in this her first play, produced a finely tuned and funny script.' - David Self
'A wicked exposure of the self-deluding pretensions of the sillier end of feminism… Wonderfully recognisable socio-babble/modern educational jargon… Elizabeth Baines is another new find' - Val Arnold Forster, Guardian
'Quite beautifully achieved … it is done with such skill that its grip is irresistible'- Nigel Andrew, Times



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