Tess Berry-Hart is a nonbinary author, screenwriter and playwright whose work deals with both political and personal themes such as the refugee crisis, LGBT rights and modern miscarriages of justice.
Tess’s most recent play, The Story, commissioned by The Other Room Theatre as part of their Violence Season, explores the language of violence and the stories we tell ourselves to justify violence against others. The Story is published by Oberon Modern Plays and premiered at The Other Room in Cardiff in 2019, touring the UK in Jan-Feb 2020. The Violence Season won the LPT 2020 award for Best Transfer to a London theatre (Theatre 503) in October 2021.
“Incisive and clever” – British Theatre Guide
“A well written thriller” – The Stage
Tess was shortlisted for the inaugural BBC Wales Writer In Residence Award 2019 in partnership with NT Wales and BBC Wales.
In 2016 Tess’s stage play Cargo premiered at the Arcola Theatre, about a group of refugees travelling to Europe in the back of a cargo container inspired by on-the-ground experiences volunteering in Calais and running refugee aid and advocacy group Calais Action.
★★★★★ ‘A play for our times’ – Broadway World
★★★★★ ‘Expertly crafted’ – London Theatre1
★★★★★ ‘One of the most memorable new plays of the year’ – The Theatre Tourist
★★★★★ ‘Timely and welcome. Compelling political theatre’ – Live Theatre
Previously Tess was commissioned by the King’s Head Theatre to produce a verbatim theatre piece Someone To Blame (2012), to highlight the real-life case of Sam Hallam, a 17-year old convicted of a murder he did not commit.
“There is theatre that entertains and then there is theatre that challenges, changes views and raises awareness. Someone to Blame is such a play.” – ★★★★ WhatsOnStage
The King’s Head Theatre also commissioned Sochi 2014 (2014) about the persecution of LGBT Russians and the Russian anti-gay propaganda laws in the run up to the Winter Olympics. Gala fundraising performances of Sochi were held in New York and LA as part of human rights campaigns worldwide.
“A compelling new drama” The Independent
“Informative and chilling” The Evening Standard
Tess is also a speaker and writer of the refugee solidarity movement, having appeared on BBC, ITV, international news media and documentaries to speak on grassroots aid issues, as well as delivering keynote addresses at the UNHCR in Geneva and ALNAP in Stockholm. They are also a director of the Citizens of the World Choir of Refugees and Friends which has performed on BBC TV and radio, the Houses of Parliament and St Paul’s Cathedral.
Most recently Tess contributed two academic chapters on the history of the Calais Jungle and refugee solidarity in the UK for “The New Internationalists: Activist Volunteers in the European Refugee Crisis,” published by Goldsmiths University Press, released January 2021.
Their young adult futuristic novels Escape From Genopolis and Fearless are published by Scholastic Books.