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Out of the Margins Playwrights Auction - News

Tom Stoppard, Wole Soyinka, Caryl Churchill, David Hare, Jez Butterworth, Richard Curtis, Tina Fey, Tanika Gupta, V (formerly Eve Ensler) and Inua Ellams are just some of the 50 leading playwrights who are donating annotated first and special editions of play texts and musical scripts to be auctioned in support of refugee artists in the UK for the Out of the Margins Auction organised by Good Chance Theatre, hosted by the Auction Collective, in collaboration with Christie’s.

An extract from The Theory of Everything script annotated by Anthony McCarten

The 50 annotated texts being auctioned in aid of refugee artists include some of the world’s best loved theatrical productions such as Leopoldstadt, Jerusalem, Prima Facie, The Vagina Monologues, The Doctor, Closer, The Empress, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Play What I Wrote, Wicked, Jerry Springer: The Opera, Mean Girls and Matilda the Musical. Each text has been annotated by hand, giving unique insight into the writer’s creative process, and reflections, memories, thoughts and feelings since, often in a highly personal and intimate way.

The Out of the Margins auction represents the largest collection of annotated play texts and scripts in theatre history, providing an unprecedented record of the private thoughts and feelings of some of the world’s greatest living contemporary playwrights, covering some of the most significant moments in the last fifty years of theatre. Out of the Margins brings these texts together for the first time, providing a unique opportunity for members of the general public, theatre lovers, and collectors alike to bid for a piece of theatrical history.

Annotations of the Leopoldstadt script by Tom Stoppard

Out of the Margins is an online three-week timed auction hosted by The Auction Collective from 15th September - 6th October 2023. A free exhibition of selected texts will be on public display from 20th to 28th September 2023 at Christie's Auction House in St James’s, London.

Highlights from the Out of the Margins auction will include:

● A heavily annotated rarely available boxed first edition of Leopoldstadt by Tom Stoppard, awarded Best New Play at the 2023 Tony Awards

● Nobel prize winner Wole Soyinka’s annotations of a first edition of his adaptation of The Bacchae of Euripides

● A fully annotated first edition of the Barber Shop Chronicles by Inua Ellams

● Jack Thorne's notes on a first edition hardback of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

● Annotations of some of the best-loved musicals such as Wicked (Winnie Holzman), Mean Girls (Tina Fey), Six the Musical (Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss) and Matilda the Musical (Dennis Kelly)

● V (formerly Eve Ensler)'s annotations of a rare edition of The Vagina Monologues that was printed only for the first ever V Day event in 1998

● Annotations of scripts of screenplays and films including Love, Actually by Richard Curtis and The Theory of Everything by Anthony McCarten.

For more information on how to register to bid and take part in the Auction from 15th September, visit

The proceeds of the Out of the Margins charity auction will fund Good Chance Theatre's work supporting refugee artists in the UK. Since it was founded in the Calais Jungle refugee camp 8 years ago, Good Chance Theatre (which does not receive public subsidy) has provided 250 refugee artists with 1-2-1 support in the UK as well as placing over 750 artists from refugee and migrant backgrounds in paid employment and training. Good Chance Theatre runs several full-time programmes supporting migrants and refugees in the UK including the Good Chance Ensemble, a programme which tackles barriers to entry for refugee artists in theatre and art today through various projects including:

● Change the Word a creative writing and performance project which has so far involved thousands of people in Coventry, Sheffield, Barnsley and Bradford, giving people from refugee backgrounds and local settled communities the chance to meet, make new connections, learn new skills, discover their city afresh and create new written work to publication- and performance-level standard

● Stage Door and Back Stage Door providing opportunities for young people from refugee backgrounds to gain paid experience working in the theatre industry and smash the barriers the affect people from refugee backgrounds disproportionately

● One-to-one support inviting refugee artists to directly collaborate on new plays and art initiatives that Good Chance is developing. For example, Good Chance met Majid Adin in the Calais Jungle refugee camp, when he came into the Good Chance Dome and began drawing again for the first time since leaving his country. Since then, after settling in the UK, he has animated Elton John’s Rocket Man video (seen by over 136 million people), has his first graphic novel coming out, and has joined the Board of Trustees of Good Chance. Majid is currently co-writing a new play, developed as part of the Ensemble, called The Conference of the Trees, which has been awarded a Writers Guild New Play Commission.

Good Chance Theatre was founded in the Calais Jungle refugee camp in 2015 by playwrights Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson. The company collaborates with hundreds of refugee artists, including many people they originally met in the Calais Jungle, and with whom they are still making new work today.

Annotations from the Wicked script by Winnie Holzman

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