Plays by Nick Payne


Faber and Faber
Type: Text

What if every neuron in the human brain could be mapped and decoded? Every act of human behaviour catalogued and wholly understood? Elegy imagines a very-near future in which radical and unprecedented advances in medical science mean that it's possible to augment and extend life.

Through the beautiful and moving story of three women who've made the choice between love and survival, Elegy explores a world in which the brain is no longer a mystery to us. But at what cost?

Elegy premiered at the Donmar Warehouse, London, in April 2016.


Faber and Faber
Type: Text

The brain builds a narrative to steady us from moment to moment, but it is absolutely an illusion. There is no me, there is no you, and there is certainly no self.

Princeton, New Jersey. 1955. Thomas Stoltz Harvey performs the autopsy on Albert Einstein - and then steals his brain. Bath, England. 1953. Henry undergoes pioneering brain surgery. The surgery changes Henry's life, and the history of neuroscience. London, England. The Present. Martha is a clinical neuropsychologist. When her marriage breaks down she starts to make radically different choices.

Three interwoven stories exploring the nature of identity and how we are defined by what we remember, Incognito is an exhilarating exploration of what it means to be human

Incognito premiered at Live Theatre, Newcastle, in April 2014 in a co-production with nabokov and HighTide Festival Theatre.

One Day When We Were Young

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

I am scared, that once this war is over, and I am sent home, that you won't be here. That you will have left.

Leonard and Violet, young, restless and in love, spend their first night together knowing it may also be their last. It's 1942 and, in a hotel room in Bath, they dream of their future while preparing for Leonard's departure to the war. But the bombs begin to fall and their world will never be the same again.

In the year 2002, the couple look back at what might have been.

Examining the impact of the Second World War on two ordinary lives and a love that spans more than sixty years, Nick Payne's One Day When We Were Young premiered at the Crucible Studio, Sheffield, in October 2011 in a Paines Plough production.

The Same Deep Water As Me

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Had an accident at work? Tripped on a paving slab? Cut yourself shaving? You could be entitled to compensation. Andrew and Barry at Scorpion Claims, Luton's finest personal injury lawyers, are the men for you. When Kevin, Andrew's high school nemesis, appears in his office the opportunity for a quick win arises. But just how fast does a lie have to spin before it gets out of control?

The Same Deep Water As Me premiered at the Donmar Warehouse, London, in August 2013.


Faber and Faber
Type: Text

-Sex isn't just about how big and how long.

-What is it about then?

-All sorts of things.

Joy is struggling to remain interested in sex. Her husband thinks of little else. And their teenage son is ready to burst.

Nick Payne's frank and compassionate play explores sex and intimacy - and asks whether the two are inevitably and inextricably linked.

Wanderlust premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in October 2010.

Nick Payne’s If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet was staged at the Bush Theatre in 2009 and went on to receive that year’s George Devine Award. He is a graduate of the Young Writers’ Programme at the Royal Court, where his next play, Wanderlust, opened in 2010 and was shortlisted for the Evening Standard’s Most Promising Playwright Award. One Day When We Were Young, in a Paines Plough and Sheffield Theatres production, was staged at the Crucible Studio Theatre, Sheffield, in 2011, and later transferred to Shoreditch Town Hall as part of the Roundabout Season. Constellations, which opened at the Royal Court in 2012 and transferred to the Duke of York’s Theatre, won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Play. The Same Deep Water As Me was staged at the Donmar Warehouse in 2013 and was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. Blurred Lines (co-created with director Carrie Cracknell) was staged at The Shed, National Theatre, in 2014. Incognito, a co-commission between Nabokov and Live Theatre, Newcastle, toured the UK in 2014.