Nick Payne

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Nick Payne Playwright

is a British playwright[1] who studied at the University of York and subsequently at the Central School of Speech and Drama. He is also a graduate of the Royal Court Young Writer’s Programme.

Payne’s first play If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet which won the George Devine Award[2] opened at the Bush Theatre in October 2009 and received a very strong response from critics[3] with the Evening Standard calling it “a comic tour de force” and the Financial Times “a knockout”. In September 2012 it was staged at New York’s Laura Pels Theatre, starring Jake Gyllenhaal.[4]

Payne’s second play Wanderlust opened in September 2010, directed by Simon Godwin, at the Royal Court Theatre upstairs and also garnered excellent reviews.[5]

In November 2010, Payne was shortlisted for the Evening Standard’s Most Promising Playwright Award,[6] but lost out to Anya Reiss.

He took part in the Bush Theatre’s 2011 project Sixty Six Books, for which he wrote a piece based upon a chapter of the King James Bible.[7]

Constellations opened at Royal Court Theatre on 13 January 2012.[8] Directed by Michael Longhurst and starring Rafe Spall and Sally Hawkins, it explores love, friendship and the notion of free will against the backdrop of quantum physics. It was extremely well received, with Charles Spencer in the Daily Telegraph commenting that “Nick Payne’s drama lasts just over an hour but packs in more than most shows manage in three times that length. It is playful, intelligent and bursting with ideas, but also achieves a powerful undertow of emotion”[9] while Paul Taylor in the Independent wrote that “one would be hard put to begin to do justice to the dazzling way it creates it own rules, while at the same time being wise enough not to jettison the old rule book either”.[10] It transferred to the Duke of York’s Theatre in November 2012. That month it won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Play. In January 2013 Payne revealed that a film adaptation was under way.[11] This plan was later shelved.

In August 2013 his play The Same Deep Water As Me opened at the Donmar Warehouse, with a cast including Nigel Lindsay, Daniel Mays and Marc Wootton. In January 2014 Blurred Lines, a piece he devised with the director Carrie Cracknell, opened at the National Theatre’s Shed. In 2014, two episodes of The Secrets which were written by Payne will be broadcast on BBC One.



  • Flourless rehearsed reading at the Soho Theatre 2006
  • Lay Down Your Cross rehearsed reading at the Royal Court Theatre 2007
  • Switzerland Hightide Theatre Festival 2008
  • If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet Bush Theatre commissioned by Paines Plough 2009
  • Starling reading at Royal Court as part of the Royal Court Young Writers Festival 2009
  • The Lost Mariner 2010
  • Interior adaptation of Maurice Maeterlinck’s book The Gate Theatre 2010
  • Wanderlust 2010[12]
  • One of the short plays forming part of ‘Sixty Six Books Bush Theatre
  • Constellations 2012 Royal Court Theatre
  • The Same Deep Water As Me 2013 Donmar Warehouse



  1. “Curtis Brown Profile”. Curtis Brown. Retrieved 2010-08-07.
  2. “George Devine Award 2010 – South West New Writing Network”. Retrieved 2010-08-07.
  3. “Bush Theatre”. Bush Theatre. 2009-11-21. Retrieved 2010-08-07.
  4. Financial Times review of New York production, 24 September 2012.
  5. “Wanderlust Reviews”. Retrieved 2010-12-19.
  6. “Nick Payne Shortlisted for Evening Standard Award”,, November 22, 2010, accessed December 19, 2010.
  8. “Nick Payne’s Constellations Reviews”,, February 1, 2012
  9. Daily Telegraph review of Constellations, 20 Jan 2012.
  10. Independent review of Constellations, 20 Jan 2012.
  11. Independent profile of Nick Payne, 2 January 2013.
  12. “Nick Payne”. Retrieved 2010-08-07.



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