Plays by Leo Butler

All You Need Is LSD

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

The drug laws in this country- the drug laws IN THE WORLD - all stem from this attitude that pleasure is a bad thing...

In 2015, acclaimed British playwright Leo Butler accepted an invitation from former Government drugs tsar, Professor David Nutt, to be a guinea pig in the world's first LSD medical trials since the 1960s. Monty Python, Being John Malkovich, and Alice in Wonderland all resonate in this exhilarating and original comedy as we watch Leo jump down the rabbit-hole of a medical trial in search of enlightenment - and a good story.

Along the way he meets an array of characters from Aldous Huxley and The Beatles, to Steve Jobs and Ronald Reagan, whose own stories in the history of LSD are hilariously and poignantly uncovered.
Does the world still need a psychedelic revolution? And will Leo make it back home in time for tea?

Part history, party wild fantasy, this darkly humorous new play illuminates the drugs debate that won't go away and examines the freedom we have to make our own choices in life, and death.


Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

In this vivid and troubled story of an isolated young man, playwright Leo Butler casts a sharp eye over the city and picks someone for us to follow.

A bleak portrait of modern London and a scathing critique of the economic forces that destroy communities and promote isolation, Boy provoked considerable debate upon its first production. Michael Billington wrote in the Guardian that “there are distinct echoes of Georg Büchner’s fragmented drama Woyzeck in the portrayal of the hero as a victim of social circumstance”, while writing in the Telegraph Laura Shilling observed that “its power to disturb is all the more troubling because it offers neither accusation nor redemption. You find yourself wondering about the morality of turning hopelessness into a beautifully crafted theatrical experience. But what would be a more virtuous alternative?"

Boy received its world premiere at the Almeida Theatre, London, on 5 April 2016.


Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Modern life isn't easy and it never has been.

This explosive play by Leo Butler transports us through time, looking at what happens when the next generation begin to find their feet in an ever-changing world.

Through a kaleidoscope of characters, we see tensions rocket and values crumble, exposing the best and worst of what it means to be human.

This epic roller coaster of a play combines euphoria and despair as different generations of young people ask the same question: where do we go from here?

Decades received its world premiere at Ovalhouse, London, on 7 June 2016, in a production by Brit School for Performing Arts and Technology.


Aurora Metro Books
Type: Text

Do you believe in paradise? Do you believe in family? Do you believe in god? Do you believe in war? Commissioned and toured by the Theatre Centre, Leo Butler exposes war and its aftermath among a group of confused young people in this George Devine Award-winning piece of theatre.

Leo Butler was born in Sheffield in 1974. His first play, Made of Stone, was produced as part of the Royal Court Theatre Young Writers' Festival in 2000. His other plays include Redundant (Royal Court Downstairs, 2001), winner of the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright; Lucky Dog (Royal Court Upstairs, 2004), and The Early Bird (Queens Theatre, Belfast, 2006), produced by Ransom Productions as part of the Belfast Festival. Other work includes two war plays for teenagers, Devotion (Theatre Centre, London, 2002) and Heroes (National Theatre, 2007), and I'll Be the Devil (Tricycle Theatre, London, 2008), produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Leo Butler lives in London with his wife and daughter.