I’m Simon Marshall, a playwright, writing facilitator and producer from Derbyshire, living in Sheffield. As Associate Artist of Derby Theatre, I have been proud to develop my working practice in my home city, and be a part of initiatives in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire enabling disadvantaged people to explore their creativity. My writing and facilitating practice seeks to empower rural and marginalised narratives and LGBTQ+ individuals, and has been informed by collaborating with charities, care-experienced groups and communities local to me.
My playwrighting practice blends a strong Midlands heart with a continued exploration of sexuality, belonging & ambition. I tend to write comedy-dramas, with an onus on realistic dialogue and unpicking relationships.
Recent work includes:
Bonfire (in development, Autumn 2019-Present)
[directed by Alice Fitzgerald, starring Oliver McLellan, choregraphed by Robia Milliner]
'Honest, brave and acutely written work from Simon Marshall, often sharply funny too, with a terrific performance from Ollie McLellan. It should get further life' - Lyn Gardner on Bonfire [Work In Progress]
‘Bonfire’ is a tragicomic monologue-play exploring bodies, identity & the experience of a young queer digital native left to it alone in the wilderness.
It was shared at Departure Lounge 2022, following support from Derby Theatre, Boundless Theatre, The ReCreate Agency & New Diorama Theatre. In its future life we hope it to reach studio theatres, rural communities & Fringe audiences.
The piece was the recipient of the IGC Artist Support Fund 2019, with an R&D supported by Arts Council England, Déda & Derbyshire LGBT+, presented as a sharing (Déda, Autumn 2019) with consultations for Derbyshire LGBT+ Youth Services groups in Chesterfield & Derby.
Saving Mel Spencer (in development):
A short audio drama exploring how a nightmare causes chaos between a gay couple on a farm in rural Derbyshire. Commissioned by Podium.me.
a new audio play inspired and dramaturged by care-experienced young people and lgbtq+ young people in Derbyshire. It follows 2 queer young people from Derbyshire, exploring young love, sense of self and making somewhere home.
Come To Where I Am Derby: Beau Repaire: (Online, June 2020)
A monologue-poem recounting a journey through Belper and the way we keep inhabiting our past, commissioned by Paines Plough in partnership with Derby Theatre. Video
Island Nation – (The Space London, October 2018),
A short duologue exploring grief, sense of home and ASMR for Little Pieces of Gold.
Wading (Create Theatre Mansfield 2018, developed with Vision West Nottinghamshire College)
[longlisted for Royal Court’s Lynne Gagliano Award 2019]
A full-length dystopian comedy-drama set in a future Nottinghamshire, where sea levels have risen 13 metres, and society is split between those building the future and preserving the past.
Holly And/Or Ivy (Arcola Theatre November 2017 & Bread and Roses Theatre for The Platform January 2018)
Brave Face, (rehearsed readings, Mountview Academy 2017 & Place Theatre Bedford 2018)
Zips, From Devon With Love festival (Exeter Bikeshed 2017)
'So ambitious as it takes audience on a journey; at heart a mediation on home, what you leave behind, what you take with & standing on the shore facing the future.' Lyn Gardner on 'Odyssey.'
Co-created 'Odyssey' VR audio-play with care-experienced young people from Plus One, navigating growing up, ambition and hope.
[Derby Roundhouse, July 2022]
Co-created 'Reimagine: What the Stars Mean To Us', an original musical written from young people's contributions across North and South Derbyshire on what their futures, dreams and hopes mean to them. [Derby Theatre, February 2022 - July 2022, Buxton Opera House Sep 2022]
Drama & Creative Writing Workshop Leader for BBC Radio Sheffield & Creative Lives' 'Where We Belong' workshop series, inspired by the musical film 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' at Theatre Deli (6th November 2021)
Produced, programmed & hosted 'Derby Loves You: A Night of New Writing' for Derby Theatre in the Market Place venue, featuring original writing by Paines Plough, Boundless Theatre & Charlotte Vickers [August 2021]
Co-created original film 'Our Place' with Derbyshire LGBT+ & Junction Arts, exploring the queer experience of Chesterfield, see adjacent (July - August 2021)
Co-created animation scripts with 3 Derby city primary schools for Reimagine with Derby Theatre (July 2021)
Déda, Learning Coordinator (This Is Derby & Reimagine) [Part-Time] (Jan 2019 – July 2021)
Leading on communications, programming & evaluation of sports & arts activity for schools & community venues in Derwent & Chaddesden as Hub Coordinator for Déda. Reporting to Derby’s Cultural Education Partnership, working alongside Youth Workers and partnered primary & secondary schools, community centres & young people. Facilitating development of creative talent, including producing young performance companies & young poets for national symposiums.
Plus One creative writing Half-Term Residency with Zee Musiq (October 2020)
‘Homegirl’ by Alex Wheatle Online Book Club (Summer 2020)
Reimagine Audio Plays (Summer 2020) online
- nine original audio dramas facilitated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Care About Care, Newcastle (October 2019)
Short play co-created with care-leavers and care-experienced young people, alongside Derby Cultural Education Producer, for national ‘Care About Care?’ Conference hosted by Curious Monkey Theatre (Gosforth Civic Hall, October 2019)
As a Creative Mentor with Plus One for Derby Theatre since 2019, I regularly lead 1to1 creative sessions and enable participation in cultural activities for care-experienced young people. My participation efforts in 2020-21 earned me a nomination in the top 3 for the Mainframe Award 2021's Rising Digital/Creative Star Under 25.
Hubbub Theatre, Development Producer [Part-Time] (Dec 2019 – Present)
- Leading on major fundraising & developmental bids including successful Arts Council England, National Lottery Community Fund & COVID-19 Response funds.
Working alongside the Artistic Director & Co-Producer across creative production development, organisational growth & outreach plans for SEND schools & Learning Disabled orgs.
Administrates & expands company’s Board and partnerships. Achieved ‘Creativity for Good’ Mainframe 2020 award & launched successful individual giving & press campaigns.