Judith Adams - Playwright & Dramatist

"Judith Adams and Gaynor Macfarlane: two of the safest pairs of hands in radio" Radio Times Choice

Current Projects


2015 / 2016


Project with Vision Mechanics, Edinburgh

Scotland / Norway

performed on Scottish beaches 2015 +

21-26 September 2016, Findhorn Bay Festival, Moray


Norway Coast Summer 2016:

25-28 May, Stamsund Theatre Festival

21-25 June, Arctic Arts Festival, Harstad

28 June - 3 July, Fossekleiva Kultursenter, Berger

Concert Version performed at Tron Theatre,Glasgow,20th January 2016, Celtic Connections.

My job: conceiving and composing a structure, concept and language for the project, and then writing a libretto for single voice. The story, songs and recitative were inspired by the "true tale" of Betty Mouat, a crofter from Shetland, who spent eight days drifting alone in the North Sea in 1886, and devised by the company during a winter residency on the Shetland Islands,2015.


****Scotsman: Joyce McMillan, July 4th, 2015

The music is an exquisite Shetland song-cycle, with music by Eddie Maguire, words by playwright Judith Adams, and vocals by Gerda Stevenson, in wonderful voice; the installations range from tiny, well-documented 19th century interiors to dream-like sculptures. And the whole show offers a rare opportunity to merge into the landscape for a while; to live inside Betty's story, and to think of the sea, of all it has meant to us, and of how it, too, now needs our protection, and our care.

*****Edinburgh Guide: June 15th, 2015

"......this absorbing and interactive piece of theatre is graced with the pool clear voice of Gerda Stevenson narrating in braw Shetlandic. Eddie McGuire's evocative and atmospheric music and Judith Adams' heart plucking libretto with lines like, 'Greet na fir yir faider bairnie, suin aa will be fetching hame' both round and complete this unique and affecting experience. This is a beautiful and moving salt breeze creation .....a beach trip like no other."(for more, click below)


Symon Macintyre (directed/producer), Judith Adams (librettist/writer) Eddie McGuire (composer) Gerda Stevenson (vocalist) Nik Paget-Tomlinson and Niroshini Thambar (soundscape artists), Kim Bergsagel, Iain Halket, Tony Reason, Alice Wilson and Adrian Barber (design),Stephen Moir (assistant designer),Ingrid Scholes (costumier), Charles Macintyre (construction)

Running time:




Dramatisation in 12 half-hour episodes of the classic books by Ursula K. Le Guin

Second Half 2016/17 - The Weaver's Fan Reversed - in construction

First Half:

BBC Radio 4E

Broadcast 2015, April 27/28/29/30, May 1st & 4th: 6-6.30pm.

producer / director: Sasha Yevtushenko

This epic project is a personal interpretation, through the fusion of all six books (Wizard of Earthsea, Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, Tehanu, Tales of Earthsea and The Other Wind). Distilled across six hours, this will be the creation of an immersive world to rival Middle Earth, Hogwarts, Gormenghast and Neverwhere. Although adored by teenagers for decades, Earthsea isn't simply a saga for the young. Le Guin layers her work with themes of self-discovery, relationships, isolation and connection, love and betrayal, violence and redemption. Earthsea has unique characters, a glorious geography and the energy of its own songs, sagas and myths.

It challenges all boundaries, especially those of gender, race and privilege.

Le Guin brings reality itself to the proving ground. Theodore Sturgeon

BBC Blog: Writer's Room



1st Jan 2017

With Fifty Nine Productions

In development:

Concept scenario for projections on Historic Royal Palaces'iconic Tower of London.

Lumiere Festival of Light, January 2017


In development.

Initial funding assistance from Opera North Assembly Rooms and Whitestone Arts

Workshop at Whitestone Arts studio July 8th-12th, 2014, with Judith Adams (scenario, lyrics), Clive Bell (music), Simon Warner (images) Stacey Johnstone and Steve Anderson (performers), Jo Nockels (producer, Opera North Assembly Rooms) and Pete Mycroft (technician, Opera North).

An evening with ghosts based on traditional Japanese Story telling and the novel Wuthering Heights.

In the depths of the Dark House and shadows, we placed Woman, marking her as the whitest of beings; but only the face and hands. The teeth were painted black, the lips green-black, the eyebrows shaved. She was as a spectre: might not the Darkness have emerged from her mouth and black teeth, from the black of her hair, like the thread from a great Earth Spider?

Tanizaki: In Praise of Shadows.



April 12th & 19th 2015

Dramatisation of the award-winning, ground-breaking and deeply influential novel by Ursula K. Le Guin

BBC Radio 4 Classic Serial, 2015

TBB April 12th & 19th, 3-4pm;

rpt. April 18th & 25th, 9-10pm

producer/director: Allegra McIlroy

Le Guin, daughter of an anthropologist father and novelist mother, takes apart the components of what it is to be human in this 'reality' and experiments with new environments in time and space that re-examine the very heart, muscle and bone of how to be more fully human in other, startling ways.

"A book does not come to me as an idea, or a plot, or an event, or a society, or a message; it comes to me as a person. A person seen, seen at a certain distance, usually in a landscape.....Once... I saw two of them. As my vision is not ironic, but romantic, they were small figures, remote, in a tremendous waste landscape of ice and snow. They were pulling a sledge or something over the ice, hauling together. That is all I saw. I didn't know who they were. I didn't even know what sex they were (I must say I was surprised when I found out). But that is how my novel The Left Hand of Darkness began, and when I think of the book, it is still that vision I see. All the rest of it, with all its strange rearrangements of human gender and its imagery of betrayal, loneliness and cold, is my effort to catch up, to get nearer, to get there, where I had seen two figures on the snow, isolated and together."

Ursula K. Le Guin: The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and (Science) Fiction.

BBC Blog: Writer's Room



2013 -

for 59 Productions

A multi-media re-working of the Hampton Court Palace visitor introduction to the King's Baroque Apartments in the reign of William lll and Mary ll.

A thrilling and quirky re-visioning of a period and style little known but richly rewarding, using a fine scale model of the Apartments and a deal of flair.



April 3rd 2015

for 59 Productions

and Historic Royal Palaces, Hampton Court Palace


Fifty Nine Productions


2012 -

Ongoing development of a project with Stacey Johnstone, exploring themes based on Simon Warner's lecture Isolating V5: Towards a Human Zoetrope, presented at the Magic Lantern Society/University of Westminster conference Old Media New Work 1 May 2010 & Hybrid art and science exhibition, Sheffield Institute of the Arts, February 2010

Currently devising a cross-art touring performance and/or installation.

A Whitestone Arts Development Project

project thumbnail


Our Yorkshire-based company, WHITESTONE ARTS established in 2003, now has a small residential and training facility in our converted farmhouse buildings on the moors near Haworth.

This is a newly converted research centre which is available for hire and aims to host the initiation and/or fostering of innovative shows, installations, exhibitions and other cross-disciplinary artistic and educational projects: our own, and those of other parties sympathetic to the company's aims.

To see more details, click on the link above.