Alistair Beaton

Plays by Alistair Beaton


Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

William Paterson was a financial adventurer who devised one of the most daring and disastrous speculations of all time. His plan: to found a Scottish colony on Darien in Central America and turn Scotland, one of the poorest nations in Europe, into a colonial power. He invited the public to invest. And they did – in a big way. Within weeks a vast proportion of the nation’s wealth had been subscribed.

The plan went wrong though, and badly so, so that, within a few years, the Scots – demoralised and impoverished – were forced to give up their nation’s independent status and sign the 1707 Treaty of Union with England.

Inspired by documents, journals, letters, songs and poems of the period, Caledonia is both a tribute to heroic ambition and a darkly witty take on the deceptions and self-deceptions of rich and poor alike. It was first performed at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, on 21st August 2010, in a co-production between the National Theatre of Scotland and the Edinburgh International Festival.


Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Feelgood is an outrageously funny satire on modern politics and the fine art of spin. Alistair Beaton's wonderful play, part farce, part biting satire, is set in the plush seaside hotel of a party conference. As anti-capitalist riots rage in the streets below, sinister and obsessive press secretary Eddie and young speech-writing aide Paul are trying to finalise the PM's conference speech.

But Eddie's manipulative skills are to be tested far more by the scandal that George, dim-witted lord and close friend of the PM, gradually reveals – not helped by the arrival of Eddie's ex-wife and investigative journalist, Liz.

Described by The Times as 'a play for our time', Feelgood premiered at the Hampstead Theatre, London, in January 2001, in a production directed by Max Stafford Clark.

Picture of Alistair Beaton

Alistair Beaton is a well-known Scottish playwright and political satirist, whose plays and translations include Feelgood, King of Hearts and Follow My Leader, Max Frisch's The Arsonists, and Brecht's Caucasian Chalk Circle.

For television, he wrote the award-winning A Very Social Secretary (2005) and the Channel 4 film The Trial of Tony Blair (2007). His most recent play, Caledonia, was a co-production between the Edinburgh International Festival and the National Theatre of Scotland and was staged at the Kings Theatre Edinburgh in 2010.