National Theatre award-winning play If Not Now, When?, produced by Momentum Theatre, set to embark on debut Yorkshire tour with funding from Arts Council England
21 October 2021
Students from Wakefield’s CAPA College (Creative and Performing Arts College) are regularly making headlines with their award-winning performances – from reaching the finals of BBC Young Dancer and making West End debuts to wowing judges on Sky 1’s Got to Dance. But winning the National Theatre New Views scriptwriting competition in 2019 was a particular highlight for Barnsley-based alumna Isabel Hague.
At the age of 16, Isabel Hague entered the prestigious New Views scriptwriting competition which gives young people the opportunity to develop their writing skills with support from the National Theatre and, for the winner, to see their work performed at the Dorfman Theatre. Isabel’s script If Not Now, When? was chosen above applications from schools nationwide (making it the second consecutive win for a CAPA College student; the competition was also won by Alice Schofield with If We Were Older in 2018) and was performed in July 2019.
But this was just the beginning of the journey for the young playwright. In early 2020, Momentum Theatre, CAPA College’s in-house professional theatre company, were awarded funding from Arts Council England to develop If Not Now When? into a regional research and development tour. The project is also supported by the National Theatre and The Civic, Barnsley.
After delays caused by Covid 19, this exceptional, award-winning new play will now be performed in theatres across Yorkshire. After a rehearsed reading at Theatre Royal Wakefield on the 26th October, If Not Now, When? will open at The Civic, Barnsley on 12th November and then progress to Junction, Goole on 18th November.
Whether you’re fans of new writing; advocates of young creatives; lovers of the National Theatre; or simply want to return to the magic of live theatre, this is a performance not to be missed.
With dramaturgy mentorship from the National Theatre’s Stewart Pringle, If Not Now, When? has been developed for Momentum Theatre by in-house directors Stacey Johnstone and Katy Dartsch and will be performed by a talented young cast of CAPA College students in a full-length studio performance of 80 minutes.
The script, which celebrates the playwright’s Northern upbringing, explores the turbulent relationship of protagonist Liam and his sister Chelsey. Liam is misusing alcohol, but Chelsey sees his potential. In a world fractured by their family’s past Chelsey and Liam try to piece together their future. Isabel Hague says, "I target the truth of people and the significance of faults, the normality of contradiction in characters and the dynamics of everyday situations."
“We are thrilled that Isabel Hague’s first play If Not Now, When? is continuing to develop with CAPA College, and with support from Arts Council England”, say the National Theatre. “Isabel took part in the National Theatre’s New Views playwriting programme in 2018/19 and her play was selected as the winner from 350 entries across the UK. It was a joy to see her script brought to life on the Dorfman stage and we look forward to seeing its development with CAPA College.”