Zoe Cooper



Jonathan Kinnersley

Zoe is a playwright with two upcoming productions.

NORTHANGER ABBEY opens at the Orange Tree Theatre on January 20th 2024, then travels to Octagon Theatre Bolton, the Stephen Joseph Theatre Scarborough and Theatre by the Lake. It’s inspired by the Austen novel and will be directed by Tessa Walker.

“Catherine Morland (Rebecca Banatvala) knows little of the world, but who needs real-life experience when you have novels to guide you? Catherine seizes her chance to escape her claustrophobic family and join the smart set in Bath. Between balls and parties, she meets worldly, sophisticated Isabella Thorpe – Iz (AK Golding), to her friends – and so Cath’s very own adventure begins. Cooper infuses the plot and spirit of Austen’s original with her unique voice, resulting in a play fizzing with imagination, packed full of humour and brimming with love.” Tickets available here:

  • Orange Tree, London, 20th January – 24th February – BOOK TICKETS
  • The Octagon, Bolton, 1st March – 21st March – BOOK TICKETS
  • Stephen Joseph Theatre Scarborough, 27th March – 13th April – BOOK TICKETS
  • Theatre By The Lake, Keswick, 27th April – 17th May – BOOK TICKETS

Then on 1st February 2024 her adaptation of David Almond’s novel A SONG FOR ELLA GREY opens at Northern Stage, Newcastle. It is produced by Pilot Theatre and directed by Esther Richardson.

“A darkly romantic tale that sings of the madness of youth, the ache of love, and the near-impossibility of grasping death.”

  • Northern Stage, Newcastle (1 – 15 Feb 2024, BOOK TICKETS)
  • York Theatre Royal (20 – 24 Feb 2024, BOOK TICKETS)’
  • Theatre Peckham (27 Feb – 2 March, BOOK TICKETS)
  • Hull Truck (5 – 9 March 2024, Tickets available soon)
  • Liverpool Playhouse, 13 – 16 March 2024, BOOK TICKETS)
  •  Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, 19 – 23 Mar 2024)

Her short play THE KISS was performed as part of the Orange Tree Theatre’s Inside/Outside Series in April 2021, and OUT OF WATER also played at the Orange Tree Theatre in 2019. It was produced in association with the RSC. OUT OF WATER was named as a finalist in the 2020 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. It was also shortlisted for the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright at the Evening Standard Awards 2019, and nominated for the ‘Best New Production of a Play’ Award in the Broadway World UK Awards.

Praise for OUT OF WATER:

“Captivating… Whatever it is that distinguishes rare writing talent, Zoe Cooper has got it. ★★★★” The Guardian

“With a tang of authenticity and a powerful emotional undertow beneath its gently eddying surface, Zoe Cooper’s new play is a stealthy enchantment. A tale of gender, love, myth and motherhood drenched in the bracing brine and ozone of the Tyneside coast, it has a dreaminess that drifts through the ebb and flow of life in a small community…Out of Water is poetic, rich and strange; it’s also beadily observed and sharply funny. ★★★★” The Times

★★★★★ Broadway World
★★★★★ London Theatre 1
★★★★ Time Out
★★★★ The Stage
★★★★ The Upcoming
★★★★ Essential Theatre

Her play JESS AND JOE FOREVER won her the Most Promising Playwright Award at the Off West End Awards 2017 and was longlisted for the Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright Award for its production at the Orange Tree. It then went on a UK Tour, played at the Traverse during the Edinburgh Festival 2017, and was revived at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough in 2018.


★★★★ “If Zoe Cooper’s play looks like a country boy meets city girl story, it springs a whole heap of surprises before it’s done.” Matt Trueman, WhatsOnStage

★★★★ “This is a small play with a big heart, a romantic comedy that’s genuinely funny but also unexpectedly powerful.” Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard

★★★★ “very wise, very funny – and feels utterly authentic.” Miriam Gillinson, Time Out 

★★★★ “quirky, funny, moving and theatrically thrilling – a small play that packs a great emotional punch…it is Cooper’s choice of theatrical form that raises this small story to sublime heights.” Aleks Sierz, The Arts Desk

★★★★ “The lightness of touch and splashes of humour quietly, charmingly, deftly coalesce into heartrending and heartwarming beauty.” Tim Bano, The Stage

Zoe is also writing new plays for the National Theatre, Northern Stage and Leeds Playhouse.

She participated in Paines Plough and Fiery Angel’s The Big Room, which is a scheme for 5 established playwrights to create work for larger audiences. Zoe holds a PhD at Newcastle University, where she also lectures on drama. Zoe took the M Phil in Playwriting at the University of Birmingham and was on the Royal Court Young Writers Programme. Her plays NATIVITIES and PETRIFICATION were developed and produced at Live Theatre in 2012 and 2016 respectively. In TV, Zoe is the first recipient of the ScreenSkills New Writer’s Award.

Theatre Productions:

Commissioned by Orange Tree Theatre
Director Georgia Green

Commissioned by RSC and Orange Tree Theatre
Director Guy Jones
Finalist in the 2020 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Shortlisted for the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright at the Evening Standard Awards 2019. Nominated for the ‘Best New Production of a Play’ Award in the Broadway World UK Awards.

National Theatre
‘Let’s Play’ Initative

Producer Farnham Maltings & Orange Tree Theatre
Director Derek Bond
Commission from Old Vic New Voices as part of their TS Eliot Exchange project.
Winner of the Most Promising Playwright Award at the Off West End Awards 2017
Orange Tree Theatre, UK Tour, Traverse Theatre, Stephen Joseph Theatre

Director Mark Maughan
Developed for Telltale Theatre Co, Northern Stage and Live Theatre

Director Ruth Johnson
Stage adaptation of Simon Bartram’s children’s picture book.
UK Tour

Director Max Roberts
Live Theatre, Newcastle

Director Jane Fallowfield
Adaptation of an August Strindberg play
National Theatre Studio

Director Steve Marmion & Max Roberts
Soho Theatre/Live Theatre


Creative England film
Feature film for Creative England’s iWrite scheme

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Call Jonathan to discuss Zoe or other Writers

+44 (0) 207 467 0135