Tony Earnshaw’s plays

Tony’s plays span a wide variety of subject matter but all mix topical debate with lighter, more humourous content, keeping the audience’s interest whilst dealing with areas that could otherwise be too weighty to be considered entertainment. Many of the earlier plays were written for amateur drama festivals but the emphasis has shifted, first with forays to the Fringes and to New York with Unfit Productions and subsequently with the formation of Damn Cheek Productions and professional tours. Most of the plays listed below are available for production under license,and others are in development.


  • Passion for the Planet
  • Sex is Another Language
  • The Door
  • Satin Doll
  • Grimm Reality
  • Visiting Time
  • Stabat Mater
  • Satin Doll
  • The Brothel Incident
  • The Speech
  • Little Brother

Varied subject matter, common themes

The subject matter of the plays varies but some common themes emerge.

Passion for the Planet is a community based promenade piece with looks at what the various faiths teach about creation and the environment, tackles issues such as pollution and clean water and draws in all ages in a feast of drama, song, dance and poetry – with a little planting thrown in.

The Door deals with recent issues of foreign policy, the tension between following orders and conscience and the adequacy of provisioning for the armed forces but takes in the existence of God, the best James Bond and the failings of reality TV along the way. Two characters, both male (but could be adapted for female). One act. Festival friendly.

Visiting Time explores the relationship between two very different men, thrown together by their work and sharing more than might be expected – struggles with AIDS, overseas aid, their fathers and the consequences of an act of betrayal. Three characters (2m, 1f). One act. Festival friendly. Available from Spotlight Publications –

Telling Mother explores family and prejudice but is, in the end, a love story. One act. Festival friendly. Four characters, all female. Available from the writer.

Satin Doll is a jazz themed romance. Can Ken and Renie rekindle the fire of their affair from twenty years ago, or will the secrets and deceptions of the past spoil this second chance at happiness? One act. Festival friendly. Two characters, 1m,1f. Available from the author.

Little Brother deals with three siblings, their relationships, idiosyncrasies and history. Alcoholism, separation anxiety and OCB are dealt with with empathy and humour.  Little Brother won the  Best New Play award at Woking Drama Festival in 2014.

The Speech is a dystopian vision of the not too distant future with the collapse of our institutions viewed with black humour. A PM and her speech writer struggle with truth, spin, responsibility and consequences. Part of an acclaimed tour by Damn Cheek Productions as a double bill with The Door.

The Brothel Incident is a full length play for four characters (2m,2f) and deals with similar issues to Visiting Time.

All are concerned with issues and struggles, all are populated by characters we can relate to, all are infused with humour.

Critical acclaim and awards

“Two former soldiers confront a painful piece of shared history in this unexpectedly powerful show.”

NY Post

“a tight, effective, hard hitting play with deft character definition and extremely strong momentum.”

Playing Around, NY

“A wonderful production with fantastic performances of a very strong script”

Sardines Magazine

“Masterfully written, … with unbounded depth of meaning, ‘The Door’ presents a blissful marriage between a fascinating script and captivating acting”

Three Weeks (Edinburgh)

“A great piece of writing worth seeing.”

Henley Standard

“Imbued with humour, pathos, tension and an explosive finale, this is a piece of theatre worth going a long way to see”

Fringe Review

“Powerful Theatre.”

Essential Surrey


  • Sir Michael Caine Best New Writing award in the Leatherhead Drama Festival 2009
  • George Taylor Memorial Award 2010
  • Sir Michael Caine Best New Writing award in the Leatherhead Drama Festival 2011
  • Runner up, George Taylor Memorial Award 2012
  • Best New Writing, Woking Drama Festival 2013 and 2014