“In Kin I wanted to write something for two older actresses to get their teeth into, with characters that are complex and contradictory, funny and flawed, passionate and playful – all qualities sadly lacking in most representations of older women on stage and TV, when they’re either a grandma or someone interested in buying a pre-paid funeral! I wanted these women to BE the action of the play, not supporting it but taking centre stage and for KIN to be a really great night out in the theatre!”



British Theatre Guide

Kin has lots of clever dialogue and a fascinating tale to tell. It is well worth your time and money. Tonight’s audience gives it a rousing ovation!       Martin Thomasson

Audience Quotes               

 "A total winner which kept me gripped right until the end"

"KIN reminded me again never to judge a book by its cover.  Your use of humour was exemplary".


"Very funny, quite dark and above all handling some very difficult subjects with sensitivity and boldness."

"I enjoyed Best Girl and this new production is just as fantastic.  You write great parts for women and weave so many important, controversial and current issues into your work."


"The mixture of humour and tragedy worked particularly well, taking the audience on a roller coaster of emotions with the characters, with all the twists and turns and ups and downs that involves."

Kin Logo


A reviewer called Christine ‘an emerging writer’ which she loved, though it made her laugh. Writing her first play in her sixties was not something she’d planned, but it felt absolutely right. After 3 days of R&D on the script of KIN in 2021, with amazing feedback from the audience, she applied for funding and was thrilled to receive a Lottery Grant from Arts Council England. With support from Best Girl Productions and the Dukes, KIN will be produced in Lancaster in May 2022!

"In KIN I wanted to write something for two older actresses to get their teeth into; parts that are complex and dynamic, funny and flawed, passionate and playful: all ingredients that seem sadly lacking in most castings, when you're either the Grandma or someone interested in purchasing a pre-paid funeral! KIN will be a full-length play with big revelations and a really great night out at the theatre!"

The all-female creative team will be lead by director Sue Jenkins with characters Kay and Steph played by Roberta Kerr and Kerry Willison-Parry.

KIN Audience Feedback Film

KIN Promotional Film

Sue Jenkins

Sue Jenkins

"I read the script of KIN as I would a bestselling thriller. A beautifully written play with superbly drawn characters, brilliant witty dialogue and great depth. Full of shocking surprises and dark family secrets, this will wrong foot the audience at every turn, making them laugh and cry in equal measure. I am delighted to be directing this terrific play."

Roberta Kerr

Roberta Kerr

"KIN is an intriguing story with a plot which constantly surprises. It twists and turns - you think it will go one way, and it could, but it doesn't! Charting a way through Kay's tumultuous journey in KIN is going to be exciting!"

Kerry Willison-Parry

Kerry Willison

"It's brilliant to be part of a project that delves into the rich lives and experiences of women, unedited and beautifully real and I'm incredibly excited to play Steph in KIN working alongside such talented, experienced, wonderful women. Steph is vulnerable, irritating, complicated and funny.  Christine has created a fantastically complex character for me to explore."


 Director Sue Jenkins
 Cast Roberta Kerr & Kerry Willison-Parry
 Designer Rachel Walton-Daniels
 Lightng Designer Katy Errington
 Stage Manager Lou Manifold
 Fight Director Kate Waters




KIN is sponsored by Women in the Food Industry and Joseph A Jones & Co. Christine is so grateful to them for believing in KIN, for supporting the work opportunities for several female creative practitioners, celebrating older women being at the centre of drama and challenging stereotypes.

Women in the Food Industry
Joseph A Jones



  1. Did you enjoy the show? 100%
  2. Were there any aspects you particularly liked? The writing. The performances.
  3. Were you able to follow the plot. There’s a challenge but it’s a compelling story!
  4. Would you recommend the show? YES! YES! YES!
  5. Have you seen new writing before? Plenty.
  6. Any other thoughts or comments? The play belongs in the centre of our society’s current obsession.

Pete Salmon

Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed the show. I was away in London during the week but managed to get to see it last night. Loved it. It's gained a lot of power since the initial reading and the performances are great. Bobbie broke my heart in the moment when she asked if Bertie thought she was a good mum. Lovely stuff.

Daragh Carville

Christine Mackie's second play KIN was an absolute triumph. She shows a light and sensitive touch for deeply emotional issues and yet somehow manages to make the audience hoot with laughter with her witty one-liners! This is an unforgettable show and Women in the Food Industry is very proud to been a sponsor. It fits perfectly with our remit to champion and celebrate women's stories.

Janie Ash Women in the Food Industry (Sponsor)

The production of KIN at the Duke’s Playhouse in Lancaster was a superb evening of theatre.
As a piece of new writing the script was exceptionally deft and skilfully crafted with plot twists and a structure that engaged the audience from the very start. The dialogue was pacy, witty and gave authentic voices to the two female characters. The unravelling of the narrative, with its complex series of revelations, belied the fact that this was a drama written by a ‘new writer’. The two female characters of mature years gave scope for reflection since women of this age are rarely seen as protagonists in drama. This has been the case since the time of Aristotle. One of the many functions of theatre is to reflect the lives and experiences of its audience and this play does this with insight and humour. It adds to the current imperative to make the arts truly representative of the wider community.

I was drawn into the play by the issues facing the two women - attitudes to pregnancy out of wedlock in the past that still has an impact on women today; class assumptions; female dependency on patriarchal family structures; abusive relationships. The playwright’s skill in incorporating all of this into a play that was entertaining yet had depth of subject matter was a tour de force, leaving the audience buzzing and with much to discuss in the bar afterwards. The KIN team and the Duke’s Playhouse is to be heartily congratulated on mounting this production as is the Arts Council for supporting its development.

I was fortunate to attend the opening night of Kin, and what a fantastic performance!
The plot was clever, keeping you thinking, but the brilliance of the actresses made it easy to follow. It was also fascinating to look over the director's shoulder, as she made notes (loved it when she laughed as much as the audience). It's been a while since I've seen new writing, and Kin has certainly left me wanting to see more. Many congratulations to all involved

Sue Dumbleton

1. Yes, very much indeed. It reminded me of some of Pinter's plays and I could imagine it having a run in Manchester or the West End in London.
2. The plot was easy to follow and I enjoyed trying to guess what the next revelation would be, as the play progressed. I very much enjoyed the blend of humour and awfulness. It reminded me of the blend in Shakespearian tragedy , though the specific textual allusions were a bit otiose.
3. See above
4. Yes, definitely.
5. Yes. I am professor emeritus of English Language and Literature at Lancaster University.
6. I could that if I were still teaching I would be recommending it as the subject of analysis for an MA dissertation. I also thought that the acting was excellent. My wife and I were really impressed by the whole production and performance. Well done all of you.

Mick Short

Loved the show, thank you. The bombshell just before the break was brilliant and completely unexpected. The first half felt funny well observed and the timing seemed right.
Easily followed the plot but didn’t foresee the twists. Would recommend. Seen other new writing before but not been asked my opinion about it. Refreshing and interesting to be asked. The second half seemed less dark humour and more farce. I think I felt this because of the rollercoaster of high emotions. One minute fuming next consoling and next questioning. If the play could have covered a longer period of time. Say a weekend then the extremes of emotion would feel more realistic.Eg. Wildly upset- storm off to bed -period of time passes -gets up wakes up sister in law and demands answers to questions. Back to bed. Morning -consoles and tries to understand. Then the build up of emotions again.
Only bit that really didn’t work for me was the husband leaving everything to his sister. I know she blackmailed him but it would be more realistic that he split the estate and that his wife would have to sell the house in the future not leave it immediately. Still be as devastating. Feel bad to criticise at all as I do think it was very clever. I loved seeing two older actors as well. Refreshing and best wishes for your amazing play.

Helen Butcher

My husband and I attended the first performance of Kin last night and we both thought it was excellent; it was a real tour de force by the actors - bravo!
I enjoyed the way it had been written with clues and facts slowly being revealed inviting you to become involved with the story. It was dealing with an extremely serious and sensitive subject but with a light touch which made the horror of what had happened to Steph all the worse. Our sympathy for Steph also changed as more was revealed. At first our sympathy was all with Kay; Steph seems so irresponsible and a liar but slowly we come to realise she is a victim. However, ultimately, she takes control of her life and stops being the victim and the play ends on a definite sign of hope with the arrival of their granddaughter. It's wouldn't have been fair for Kay to have been punished by not being allowed to see her.
Even though we never actually meet Robert, his character is deftly revealed - not to mention that of Pa. In fact, all the characters are very real and credible.
It's so refreshing having a play written entirely from a woman's point of view - and one which emphasises the importance of communication - if only Kay had listened to Steph after Pa's funeral. But then, would Kay have believed her?
I followed the plot - although I did spend a bit of time trying to work out how old people were when events took place, particularly the age at which Bertie was adopted.
I would definitely recommend this play to my friends; it's the first new writing I have seen and should certainly go on tour. I shall also look out for her next play!

Margaret Hemming

My friend and I came to see KIN last night and we thought it was excellent. It was full of drama and suspense with a great plot which we followed easily. We would definitely recommend it. The two characters were entirely believable. Good luck with getting Arts Council funding to tour KIN.

Sharon Dexter

I thoroughly enjoyed the show. I loved the twist and turns within the storyline. The plot was very good at leading the audience in various directions, but very easy to follow.
I would absolutely recommend this new play to my friends, even though we had 8 in our party. I have seen new plays before, but not as mesmerising as Kin. We did not know, or want to know the plot of the play beforehand so we were enthralled from beginning to end. A very cleverly written and choreographed play, we were transfixed. Just when we thought we had solved the thread, there was another “Hang on a minute” moment. Wonderful to see two mature actors holding the reins, impeccably! Thank you so much!

Vanessa Williamson

I came to The Dukes this evening to see KIN. What a fabulous production - a cleverly written script with unexpected twists and turn perfectly delivered.
Did you enjoy the show? Were there and specific aspects you liked?
Very much from the script to the acting and the set dec.
Were you able to follow the plot? Yes it was very cleverly written with the back story drip fed and revealed bit by bit as the play unfolded.
Would you recommend this production to your friends? Without a doubt!
Any other thoughts or comments? Yes. As many people should see this as possible.

Rachel Gibson

Enjoyed the show, as did family members I saw it with. Good production design, performances and suspense created by plot turns and twists. Dialogue was lively and held everyone’s attention. The plot was clear and easy to follow. Yes, I’d recommend the production to friends. It would be ideal for touring. I’ve seen new writing and devised shows before but the standard of performance in Kin was exceptional, especially for a first night.
It’s great to be able to attend a live theatre event after such a long time of restrictions.

Leonie Pearce

Really enjoyed the show! Especially liked the shifts in power between the two women
and was able to follow the plot without too much trouble and would recommend the
production to friends without hesitation.I have seen a fair amount of new writing over the years of varying quality, but the quality of this writing was especially strong. I was totally engaged throughout the play and sensed that was true of the whole audience. The gasps over each revelation showed how much they were engaged with the characters’s lives. So good to get to see live theatre once again after such along time. Especially work of this quality. The writer, actors, director and whole production team deserve a huge cheer.
Having had around ten days to reflect on your play, two points resonate for me:
1: The devastating consequences that can follow our actions (selfish, lazy, uncaring etc).
2: The eternal possibilities of hope and optimism offered by forgiveness, compassion and human kindness.

Dave Pearce

Yes, I enjoyed the show. Great interaction between the two characters. I was able to follow the plot and I would certainly recommend the production to my friends. The plot was original too. I do not know if I have seen new writing before. Excellent play.

Jenny Bennett

Myself and my friend thoroughly enjoyed the play (last night). The plot was very easy to follow and I would recommend it to everyone. I haven't seen a great deal of new writing before as it's not normally something I'm drawn to. I'm an old-fashioned Shakespeare and traditional plays sort of girl! This attracted me because the writer is local as is one of the actors. You have to support local endeavours. The summary of the play in the Dukes brochure was very appealing and I was interested in the fact that it was written around two older female characters. The acting was excellent as was the script. The whole thing had a great build up of tension and it was enthralling to know what was going to happen next. I did slightly want Kay to win and keep her house but I was very satisfied with the ending.

Jane Curwen

1. yes, very much indeed
2. excellent actor articulation and voice projection
3. Completely (and enjoyably 'failed' to predict the outcome)
4. Certainly, already have done
5. Not really
6. A most enjoyable evening’s entertainment, there is nothing like a good play that captivates and engrosses in equal measure.

Phillip Coughlan

I was at the Dukes last night on the front row. Not been to the theatre for years. Well, what a night! I absolutely loved it. I liked everything. The small cosy theatre. I felt I was there, involved like a fly on the wall. I was so engrossed in the story. Everything was in it: love, betrayal, incest, friendship… Yes I could follow the plot and I am French. Left you reeling with shock at the end of every scene, wanting more. It was brilliant. I will not stop talking about it for the next few days. I never go the theatre but my friend Daryl Fiswick who is an actor convinced me to go. And I definitely will make going to the theatre a priority in my life.

Armelle Boyes

I very much enjoyed the play Kin. I was with a group of 5 female friends. We all enjoyed it, found the set admirable and the acting excellent . My attention was totally engaged and I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot which I found easy to follow. I hope the play is very successful

Elizabeth Roberts

We have just seen Kin at the Dukes in Lancaster. I thought it was absolutely brilliant, witty and surprising, very well written and acted. My overwhelming thought by the end was that it merited a wide showing and was good enough for a London stage.
I hope it receives the wide acknowledgment it deserves.

Ann Morris

We just wanted to say how much we enjoyed yesterday's performance of KIN at the Dukes. The acting was superb, the storyline chilling and the characters well thought out. There were enough twists and turns in the script so that just when we thought we'd "got it" we were surprised with a little more shocking information. Brilliant! We liked the way the tension built and built, the fact that finally there was a decent play for older women to show what they're made of and real topics that were both relevant and hard hitting. This was the first new writing that we'd seen and we certainly would be looking forward to seeing more - so refreshing and daring - it left us talking for hours after it was over!!
Best wishes and good luck with the Arts Council Funding

Helen O'Neil & Gerry Uhrig

1. Really enjoyed show!
2. The twists and turns of the plot, the mix between the heavy subject matter and the light comedy moments, and the superb acting.
3. Yes I was able to follow the plot easily.
4. Yes I would recommend this production to a friend.
5. Yes I attend the theatre quite regularly.
6. Just thank you for a fantastic performance.
Thank you!

Orla Collier

Thoroughly enjoyed this show. Intriguing plot with a few twists. Amazing, incredible actors. I will recommend to all my friends. My first new writing show. Eager for more!

Maria Grinham

I thoroughly enjoyed the show. I really enjoyed the comedy aspect alongside the touching moments. Some of the lines were outrageously funny. I also loved the fact that two mature women were the leads.The plot was easy to follow with great twists and turns along the way. I have already recommended this performance to friends. I have seen a lot of new writing. What stands this play apart was that I genuinely would like to know what happens next! It left me wanting more. The ending left me feeling warmly towards both characters who came together at the end with a common purpose & wish you all luck with it.

Gregg Scott

I ABSOLUTELY loved Kin, everything about it: plot, characters, staging. A real masterpiece.
Yes, the plot was easy to follow once I’d realised who was related to whom. I even guessed Robert’s dark secret before it was revealed, but the audible shocked gasp from the audience suggested that not everyone had clicked! I have told all my theatre loving friends about it. I do get to see new writing whenever possible and am involved in 2 local amateur groups where we like to devise our own pieces wherever possible. Best of luck with your funding application, you so richly deserve support. Kathy Talbot

Hi Best Girl Productions! A big thank you from my wife and I, we really enjoyed KIN, it was an amazing piece of writing with the ability to shock and surprise in equal measure. We were both exhausted by the end and elated. It’s a while since I’ve been in a theatre where the reception and applause was so warm and enthusiastic. In these difficult times for regional theatre it’s great to see new writing of such a high standard, quality productions bring in the audience not quotas. The cast, design, and lighting were flawless, I can’t think of anything negative to say, apart from why isn't Christine Mackie given the job as Artistic Director at the Dukes? It used to be a great producing theatre. My wife is very partially sighted, but the quality of writing engaged her throughout, best radio play she’s seen for ages! Come on arts council put your money where your mouth is, the future of theatre is in new writing, support artists not administrators. Good luck funding for a national tour.

Paul & Jane Kondras

To answer your first question, we most certainly did enjoy the show. The storytelling was spot on, enhanced by the sharp direction of your script, performed so convincingly by the two actors. We felt in the ‘action’ from the start and the quality of the setting and props helped you into that space. If anything I would have dressed the set with perhaps a bunch of flowers, sent before the funeral and although I know difficult I would have thought there would have been a few more bereavement cards around…..just me being picky!

The plot was we felt really easy to follow, humour, pathos and a few cliff-hangers thrown in, pace and length was about right, if anything it could have run another 10 mins or so for us.

I have seen lots of new writing in the past, both plays and musicals, I well appreciate sometimes they hit the mark and other times they don’t. Much of this is of course a personal view. I like to be entertained, to smile, to laugh and cry and sometimes to be moved by what I see. KIN did all this. I have seen new writing that has left me wanting more or a little confused, we had none of this, which for me is important.

Judging from the audience reaction they agreed. I did recommend it and lots of my friends supported it and are Dukes regulars, all giving really positive feedback. I was very proud of what we watched, proud of you and the team plus of course the part the Dukes played. We both came away saying this needs to tour and be seen by more people. I hope these comments are useful, wishing you best of everything in the future.

Neil Townsend

Thank you Christine for writing and putting on Kin at the Dukes.
1. Absolutely!
2. No. That is: it was all good. It was not uneven with interesting bits and boring bits - the revelations emerged at just the right rate to hold one's attention throughout.
3. Yes, apart from some temporary confusion about whether Bertie was the same person as Robert (aka Bob) or a different person.
5. Yes, at the Dukes and at the Royal Court in London amongst others.
6. The play was advertised as "A new dark comedy about Power, Money and Succession". At first that put me off, and I thought that we might give it a miss. "Dark comedies" are often not at all funny and can be emotionally harrowing. The synopsis of the play made me think of "A Long Day's Journey into Night", which for me was just a long night of miserable surprises - which eventually become predictable and almost funny. Only when the Dukes sent me an invitation to attend did I decide to come. Thankfully, the play was not particularly dark. The dialogue included some wit, but I would not describe it as a comedy. "Death in Paradise" always starts with a dead body and includes a few jokes, but it is not a dark comedy. Kin is primarily a mystery puzzle that challenges the audience to figure out what Bob had been up to but keeps throwing in surprises along the way. It is about power and money, but sadly it does not rouse the audience to "smash capitalism"! I liked the fact that it ended on a positive note with hope for the next generation. The programme stresses that the production was brought to the stage by an all-female team. This did not put me off.

John Whitehead

Just to say I really enjoyed the play….especially the first half..and didn't see the bombshell coming at all! So inspiring to see a play featuring older women, for a change, too.
Some great dark humour..but have to confess I felt it got a little silly towards the end and felt a bit like a farce as opposed to a dark comedy… I feel spreading the timeframe over a few days would have made it more humorous than farcical…BUT..I did really enjoy it..and the whole twists were superb. I’ve seen a few new writing productions at the Dukes and have really enjoyed them and feel part of the evolution of them which is a great experience. Thanks also for asking for feedback and our opinions, it means a lot to an audience too.

Nikki Woodhead

1. Yes I did enjoy the show. It kept me engaged. I wanted to know how it ended.
2. I liked the interplay between the characters. I loved the development of the sister in law , should she be trusted should she not. The development of the wife: what did she know/what did she not know about her deceased husband. Watching her put it all together in her mind
3. Yes. The plot was very simple to follow. Once you have the idea that the deceased husband is likely to be the biological father of the adopted son you know it is heading towards incest/familial sexual abuse/ a grandchild or such like etc quite soap opera in that respect. I found the twists and turns easy to follow.
4. Yes I would encourage others to see the production, very much so. It would be great to be able to hear their perception/views of the performance and reflect upon these
5 Yes in film and tv as opposed to theatre
6 Thank You for an enjoyable evening and Great to see the theatre so full.
Karyn Brand
My husband and I really enjoyed the production. The set was perfect (not too cluttered but enough "stuff" to feel like a real home) and both actors did a great job of their roles, each of them playing their parts very naturally and not seeming as if they were acting at all. The dialogue was really well paced with its ups and downs, swinging between tragedy and comedy. Yes, we found the plot very easy to follow. We would definitely recommend the production to friends. Yes, we have seen many new plays of various genres (and with great variation in quality!) No further comments other than, "Keep up the good work!"

Elaine Riley

Thank you for such a stimulating and thoughtful production of Kin. I really support your application for Arts Council Funding; I think this would make an excellent touring play.
I hadn’t known what to expect and was slightly nervous having attended a few family funerals recently where tensions had run high and wondered if I’d find it upsetting. In a way it was, well moving. I liked the way it started slowly, seemed regular enough; two women who knew the deceased, one obviously the wife and the other related but not quite obvious how, who were different personalities, one practical, one provoking and manipulative, then gradually unfolding in ways I couldn’t have imagined or predicted. As it unfolded I was completely taken by surprise, I didn’t see any of the plot twists coming. I still didn’t like the Steph character at the end but could see the awful life events she’d had to deal with had probably contributed to her behaviour. I felt that Kay had been manipulated and lied to all her married life and was surprised that the revelations of one evening hadn’t confused and upset her as much as they had me!
Great to see two such strong women, women Are strong but we’re too often portrayed as needy, emotional, unhinged, pathetic; this showed the awful life events and stresses that women have to deal with and keep going
I thought it was very well written, extremely well acted. It must be so hard for two actors to have the energy to hold the stage for so long. At least one was older than me and I couldn’t have remembered the lines for more than 5 minutes.
I liked the fact that it raised the topic of babies being taken off young/unmarried mothers, the stigma, the mental anguish for life, the cascading events that such brutal policies create for mother and child. Although only obliquely alluded to (financially supporting Steph, taking the boy to visit her) there’s also the issue of where was the father in this at any time of the child’s life, their responsibility and their loss. But it was good that it concentrated on just the women’s side as it’s another area of woman’s experiences and history that is never alluded to, airbrushed out of history. I would definitely recommend it to friends, women’s groups eg WI, soroptimists, etc, groups including men too. 6th form groups, college groups etc. So many taboo subjects, incest, possibly rape, the treatment of young/unmarried mothers, all would be good for discussion afterwards. I thought it was totally believable.
I enjoyed the evening, I’m very glad I saw the play, it’s stayed with me, I’ve been going over it, discussing it with the friends I went with, having more thoughts about it especially as I heard Ann’s testament after the play.
I actually knew someone who found out by accident when she was 18 that who she thought was her godmother was her real mother and had been conceived during alcohol/date rape in the mid 1930’s. She died a few years ago in her early 80’s but she was puzzled and hurt for life to put it mildly. I was privileged that she recounted her amazing life to me so that I could transcribe it before she died.

Yes I’ve seen a number of new writing plays at the Dukes over the nearly 30 years I’ve lived here. It’s wonderful that The Dukes can facilitate this for writers, actors and audiences.
Thank you and very best wishes with the funding application so that many more audiences can see this play.

Ruth Haigh

I really liked the play. I liked the way the perception of the characters changed as different things were revealed. As a man I didn’t feel I was being bashed so to speak I was just intrigued by the dynamic between the two characters. I liked the twist and turns and was pleased that I had worked out that the son who had died was the same character. Then in the second half the whole thing took off and was a roller coaster in terms of changing perceptions and revelations. I really enjoyed the way the wife’s character changed in response to revelations and then return to her original position. Then there was another revelation and it changed once again. I liked the ending where the sister had been apparently becoming more ruthless (not the right word - less of a victim) but was generous despite her sister in law’s hardness. It was great and really entertaining. As I left l heard, as I’m sure you did, people discussing all the very unexpected twists and turns.

Alex Smith

I’m in awe, I really am. I didn’t expect to be treated to a drawing room drama with the wit of Oscar Wilde, the stage craft of Somerset Maugham and the ingenuity of Agatha Christie. Talking of Agatha Christie, I would have much preferred for Steph to come to the sticky end which she so richly deserved, but apart from that it was perfection. Congratulations, and I do hope you will be able to stage it elsewhere and it will get the recognition your play deserves.

Jonathan Denby

Kin triggered a wide range of emotions ranging from the uncomfortable (revelations of previously undisclosed - not to mention illegal- relationships) to the joyous (wonderful humour). I particularly enjoyed the use of humour in this production. As we grew to understand the characters, it was easy to feel that we, the audience, were being included in an ‘inside’ joke - not always recognised by the other character. The plot was easy to follow, but not too easy! There were surprises along the way, each one revealing something deeper about the backstory and the character dropping the bombshell…I would certainly recommend this production to my friends and anyone who is interested in a well-written plot. I am a latecomer to new writing, but love the idea of seeing something that I can watch completely objectively, without the previous reflections of others. I do think that Kin would also make a good radio play, but the casting for the stage was perfect and ensured that the audience was hooked from the very beginning. The set was superb, and lighting excellent, creating an intimacy that contributed to drawing the audience into the world of Kin.

Carole Carne

Congratulations. What an achievement. You created two characters in a wildly dysfunctional family which I found very disturbing. It’s a play with enormous depth, and I hope you have positive plans for its future!

Michelael Greenhalgh

I and my two friends enjoyed the show very much. In fact we agreed that it was the best play we had seen in years. Since the lifting of Covid restrictions we have been to a number of productions but this one stood out. The acting was excellent and the setting perfect. The plot was easy to follow with lots of twists and turns, funny, sad, emotional, in fact, everything you could want. We would certainly highly recommend this play to others.

Christine Bowles

Saw Kin at Dukes last Saturday, loved it! Great script, lots of twists and turns and brilliant acting, would highly recommend it to friends. What more can I say apart from think about taking it on tour to the smaller theatres (Beetham etc) and more please from the three of you!

Deborah Collier

I recently saw the production of Kin at the Dukes in Lancaster and really did enjoy it.
I liked the slow unfolding of the dark secret and followed the plot, guessing the hidden story within the first half but without knowing for certain as it continued to the end.
I would recommend the production.
I admit to seeing little new writing as it’s not easily available. My regular theatre of choice is the New Vic in Newcastle under Lyme.
I liked that ultimately the two women were able to come to terms of the reality of what had occurred and support one another. However, incest is such a terrible crime and a shameful thing that a victim must want to hide perhaps it was slightly underplayed between both women. But then they did put that aside I suppose to support the child.

Norma Llewelyn


The best play!! Perfectly cast, brilliant timing, sensational. And not one element that hasn’t happened in real life I’m sure :-(

Work trip to see Kin at the Dukes last night. Exploration of hidden family histories and a surprise Will popping up made us feel right at home! Wonderful writing, acting, directing, design and fighting! @garyrycroft (sponsor from Joseph A Jones & Co)

Double-dipped this (so worth it).laughed out loud but also deliciously dark with more twists than a curlywurly. Too many excellent one-liners to remember and of course I cried... Needs to be seen by more peeps. TOUR IT!!!



The R&D finished with a script-in-hand sharing in front of an audience of mixed ages and genders followed by a Q&A session. Here are some of their written comments.

Here is what Director Sameena Hussain had to say and the audience.

"KIN explores some very sensitive themes but with such care and tenderness towards the audience, which is very rare when it comes to work addressing such issues. As a director I am excited about how to bring this play to life and respond to some of the questions it asks of us: how do women communicate with one another? How as women are we complicit in creating misogynistic and patriarchal society? It's a story that tells us we can be the change we need at any age".

YES! I would like to see a full production. YES! The characters did engage me. YES! I cared about them. And I really enjoyed the reveals, and that there was a deeper political commentary. It was great to see political theatre presented accessibly.


I was blown away by your funny and thought provoking play, it is also important on a social level. I heard an horrific fact once that approximately one in five people have experienced some form of sexual abuse as a child.  Your play deals with incest and sexual exploitation in a remarkable way, by first establishing a picture of a what looks like a ‘normal’ family congregating after the funeral of a loved one, before taking us on an extraordinary journey to reveal how our first impressions of someone’s ‘odd’ behaviour can often be wide of the mark, and that more can lurk behind the way people behave as they do.  Your play reminded me again never to judge a book by its cover.  Your use of humour was exemplary when dealing with such a difficult topic, it also helped bring the audience along with you on such a difficult journey. 


As to the ending…..I thought that maybe one or two more questions about the daughter would have given Kay’s character the chance to demonstrate more longing to be involved in the child’s life, before she appears to leave.  But that is a personal opinion. I wouldn’t change anything else though.  The ending was magical where both women turned and waited to greet Steph’s daughter.  How wonderful to let us decide what happens next.


I also wanted to say that Kay’s decision to walk back in after leaving at the end also reflected the character you have built for her which shows her to be practical, sensible, (seen at the beginning of the play through her dialogue and as she tidied up, made tea etc), and the only one not directly involved in the abuse, which makes this a story of hope in my view.  Steph has more chance of ensuring that her child does not experience the same abuse with Kay supporting her. I loved it Chris!  And I will definitely watch it and tell other people to watch it when it opens in a theatre.  Please thank the actors who did a magnificent job yesterday and tell them what a joy it was to go shopping and then pop in to Moor Space to be transported into another world. Boy have I missed live performance!

I was intrigued to hear your inspiration for the core of KIN. You deal with real life issues in such a way with words that it resonates deeply. I found myself drawn to Kay - the person who just wanted to be a good Mum and was unaware of the duplicitousness around her. Despite the shock of the revelation she was still able to conduct herself with dignity and empathy.


The play resonated deeply at numerous points but the emotion was then relieved by a quick comical comment - excellent timing. I would love to see a full staged production. Both characters in the play kept me engaged till the very end.  Stephanie....was she a fantasist, unreliable, manipulative and vengeful or was she someone who has suffered so much abuse at the hands of her father and brother (other men by implication) that she had become a crazed Medea figure? I even thought she might have killed Bertie and/or Bob. My sympathies jumped from one character to the clever of you that in the end BOTH women were equally relatable and understandable.
Well done. Real potential. Have spoken at length to Roberta about the story... and such positive vibes in the Q&A.
I hope you are feeling elated at the reaction to your new play. I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it. Also how it surprised me. It was complex and layered and as it unravelled I felt quite tense and worried for the outcome especially for the widow as the sister of the deceased, although terribly damaged by her life,   appeared more and more in control, dropping bomb after bomb. A play that leaves you thinking and pondering and unsettled is surely a success. Thanks again.

We both enjoyed the sharing immensely. Very funny, quite dark and above all handling some very difficult subjects of abuse, family, dysfunctional relations, emotional honesty and family memory with sensitivity and boldness. I loved how the audience attention is held by the twists and turns of the plot and how sympathies shift in favour of one or other of the characters throughout. As was so rightly pointed out, without the full effect of sound, a proper set and subtleties of lighting it is difficult to get the theatrical impacts of the end of the piece. We discussed the idea that Kay would not leave the stage in a full production - thus making it clear by her reactions that she was re-grouping and deciding her strategy and giving that moment time to breathe. None of this may be necessary of course in a full production where moments can be drawn out and can breathe more/beats of action explored. But all credit to you for such a brilliant piece. We loved the one-liners - Bessie Bunter/Tio Pepe/the Angel joke and many others - inspired!

I was totally engaged by the play and the actresses for the entire performance.   They gave a brilliant portrayal of their characters – both of whom were flawed and had me rooting for them both at different times.   Not being much of a wild child myself, I think my sympathies veered more towards Kay!    But as the play progressed it became clear that Steph was very much a victim and deserved the sympathy of the audience.    I thought the mixture of humour and tragedy worked particularly well, taking the audience on a roller coaster of emotions with the characters, with all the twists and turns and ups and downs that involves.  About half way through I was able to anticipate the strange nature of Bertie’s parentage but had not foreseen the additional twist at the end with the change of Robert’s will and the appearance of his granddaughter.   It was very interesting to see how, in an instant, the positions of Kay and Steph were reversed.


I don’t think it matters that the ending is ambiguous, because it’s not actually an ending is it – but the start of the next stage of their lives.   I think Steph could have more than one motive for returning at the end – to have somewhere to live/stay in her house, to see her granddaughter and have a part in her life, to start again with Steph now she knows the truth of what has gone before. That’s a true reflection of life isn’t it?


I enjoyed Best Girl in Manchester and this new production is just as fantastic. You write great parts for women and weave so many important, controversial and current issues into your work.

What can I say than the most enormous congratulations on your fabulous new play? A total winner which kept me gripped right until the end. Twisting and turning and just WOWSERS. I wish you just the most gigantic success. Please keep us posted with progress.


Many thanks for staging your script in hand work in progress ‘KIN’. I liked the way the ‘truth’ was layered in a slow reveal, about the revelations in the will, making the house belong to Steph and their grandchild and therefore ousting her sister-in-law through no fault of her own. Steph knew the contents of the will from the very beginning so had the upper hand right from the start, and yet chooses to reveal her family history in an almost manipulative way (my interpretation anyway) and also in a hurtful way but she is a person very much damaged by the awful experiences she has had to endure of a dysfunctional family and class distinctions. Anyway I would certainly like to see a full production, I hope that you have access to any support for new writing and script development. I wish you all the luck with this endeavour.

WELL DONE! LOVED IT! Helen thought it was REALLY good too....can't wait to see what happens to it next.