Adapted Quentin Blake’s Mrs Armitage and the Big Wave (Ga Ga Theatre, London Autumn 2016).

Sound play There By Grace at RADA, July 2016.

Currently under commission to National Youth Theatre with new play Eugene Rising (2017).

buckets played London’s Orange Tree, 2015. “Startles, touches, wryly amuses” The Times. Playtext published by Nick Hern Books. Awarded 2014 Leverhulme Arts Scholarship. Also at:

  1. Theatre Royal Plymouth (young company) August 2016; Glasgow Citizens Nov 2017

  2. Guildford School of Acting (Autumn 2016); ALRA (2017); Central (Nov 2017)

Too Small To Be A Planet played Latitude 2012; in German at GRIPS, Berlin, 2014.

  1. New production in rep from June 2016 at Württembergische Landesbühne Esslingen. German rights: Felix Bloch Erben. Nominated for the 2016 Deutscher Kindertheaterpreis.

  2. Also translated into Norwegian.

Invisible played The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth (Playhouse Project, July 2015 & 2016)

Closer Scrutiny “an assured and ingenious work” Guardian played London’s Orange Tree 2014.

Eleanor Yates, Will Devey and Julian Forsyth in

Closer Scrutiny, Orange Tree Theatre.

(photo: Robert Day)

Sarah Malin, Rona Morison and Charlotte Josephine in buckets

photo: Robert Day


photo: Robert Day

Adam Barnard’s first full-length play... consists of 27 short scenes, has no defined characters or plot and offers a series of observations on life, longings, lists, lusts and mortality. A father vents his rage at his son’s imminent demise on a hapless doctor. An editor forces a journalist to turn a piece about terminal illness into a list along the lines of ‘Ten Things I Learnt from a Dying Child’. The transience of life is wittily caught in a scene where the human body is viewed as the property of Living Vessels Incorporated and the recipient is told, ‘your battery life is limited and will deplete from the moment you begin’… Barnard writes with a wounding intelligence about death. He has something to say... I'm interested to see where he goes next.”

– Michael Billington, Guardian

“Adam Barnard’s first full-length play is a puckish meditation on a fundamental theme: how we give purpose and shape to lives overshadowed by the knowledge of our own mortality… underscored by a fidgety sense of time running out, of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities slipping away, of bucket lists of unfulfilled wishes. The words “it’s too late” echo throughout the fractured dialogue. So too does the question “what’s the point?”. A suicide attempt on a station platform interrupted by a nervous mugger is wrenching and cruelly comic. A snippet in which a young hospital patient ruthlessly manipulates a pop star paying her a PR-friendly bedside visit nicely subverts the stereotype of the dying as paragons of courage and patience... The production delivers Barnard’s existential musings in some style and with a neat balance of absurdity and pathos... It startles, touches and wryly amuses.”

– Sam Marlowe, The Times

“Adam Barnard’s kaleidoscopic, darkly playful and witty piece muses on our human awareness that time is always running out in a series of interconnected scenes that range from the absurdist and fantastical to sudden jabs of painfully direct feeling. In Rania Jumaily’s very well-judged production, it’s performed by attractive, barefoot cast who are in complete control of all the tricky switches of tone, with James Turner’s spare design suggesting an apposite mix of playground, party and graveyard… The a-cappella singing of the community choir is kooky to just the right degree and it’s a great tribute to Paul Miller’s ground-breaking first season at the Orange Tree, which this show rounds off, that the majority of the audience at the performance I attended looked to be under 25.”

– Paul Taylor, Independent

“A piece about being satisfied without standing still; appreciating without being hindered by nostalgia; dreaming while living in the moment. It’s so impressive to build an experience that can change so sharply in tone from one second to the next and carry the audience throughout. What makes buckets so worthwhile though is its humanity both in portrayal and intent. It makes you look anew at life as a gift, exactly as it is.”

– Tom Shore, A Younger Theatre

“It is intriguing, intense and in some moments intoxicating. Although the themes of the play — love, life and longing — are quite serious, the tone is never too heavy, and there is a lot of wry humour in Barnard’s writing… This is an intelligent and thought-provoking piece of new writing.” 

– Aleks Sierz

Vibrant, poignant... while it looks at dying, it celebrates life and presents a wicked sense of humour.”

- British Theatre Guide

“Similar in its DNA to Caryl Churchill's Love and Information... buckets is a freewheeling series of vignettes on the subject of death... Exuberant, likeable and snappy...winningly absurdist... it will make you feel better about your own mortality.”

- Time Out


photo: Robert Day

Critics on buckets...

Other (short) plays include...

I.S.S.(Y) – Wilderness Festival 2013 and at COG ARTS 2014

Sixteen - Islington Community Theatre at Bare Bones, Old Red Lion;

later remounted as Fifteen, Turning at The Space

Joe’s Birthday (part of Sixteen) - Little Pieces of Gold, Old Red Lion 2016

How I Came To Be - Theatre 503 / WriteBites

The Spit of Me - Nabokov ‘Present Tense’

Herpetology – written for Company of Angels’ programme ‘The Commissioners’

Silence and Sound - radio play written for Company of Angels’ programme

‘The Commissioners’ in partnership with Reprezent FM

A Much Much Much Better World - WriteBites at RADA

The Principle of Motion - devised, Edinburgh Underbelly

“Top mention has to go to 'Sixteen', written by Adam Barnard and directed by Ned Glasier. I've seen a number of plays that address the 'youth of today' - their anger and malaise, their relationship with technology, adults and drugs - but none which packs a punch like 'Sixteen'. Jodie and Joe, both 16, take turns on stage; she is preparing for an internet blind date with 'a real man' - compulsively processing all her thoughts and fears through Facebook. That moment of sexual awakening, looming adulthood - and painful naïvete - are captured perfectly by (18 year-old) Hayley Thomas. Daniel O'Keefe (also 18) as a white boy from a screwed-up home trying to make good in a last chance special school for disruptive pupils is, if possible, even more compelling. In one long monologue that never loses pace he moves through all the moods of a life on the brink as his sixteenth birthday plays out; O'Keefe's delivery, emotion and physical presence combined to produce something very special. Both actors and director Ned Glasier, of Islington Community Theatre, got the best out of some very astute writing from Barnard. Exciting stuff indeed.”

- Five star review of Sixteen, remotegoat.

Daniel O’Keefe in Sixteen,

Islington Community Theatre

“...a hugely ambitious and inventive piece of devised theatre to which a young Tom Stoppard could well have been proud to stick his name.”

- The Stage review of The Principle of Motion

“The script is sharp, funny and frequently surreal enough to maintain interest in its more philosophical flights of fancy... A real beauty on the nature of truth... It’s a good ’un.”

- Four star review of The Principle of Motion, Edinburgh Evening News

“...writes with such charm and wittiness...”

gonetothewestend review of How I Came To Be

Charlotte Josephine in buckets

photo: Robert Day