Nicola McCartney

Reader, Writing for Theatre and Performance


Nicola McCartney is a Scotland-based playwright, director and dramaturge. Originally from Belfast, she trained as a director at Charabanc Theatre Company, Belfast and the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow/ G&J Productions. She was Artistic Director of Glasgow-based new writing theatre company, lookOUT from 1992 to 2002. In 1996 she directed the national tour of TRAINSPOTTING by Irvine Welsh adapted by Harry Gibson (1996) for the Citizens Theatre/ G&J Productions. As a playwright her work includes: LAUNDRY, EASY, HOME, CAVE DWELLERS (7:84 Scotland Theatre Co.), HERITAGE (Traverse), CONVICTIONS and 1 IN 5 (Tinderbox), UNDERWORLD (Frantic Assembly), LIFEBOAT (Catherine Wheels) which won the TMA/ Equity Best New Show For Children & Young People 2002), A SHEEP CALLED SKYE, (National Theatre of Scotland), BOG PEOPLE and MELMOTH THE WANDERER (Big Telly), STANDING WAVE:DELIA DERBYSHIRE IN THE 60S (Tron Theatre/ Reeling and Writhing), CRAZY JANE (Birds of Paradise). In 2019 she wrote HOW NOT TO DROWN (Thick SKin/Traverse/ Tron Theatre) with Dritan Kastrati which won a Fringe First and which will tour in 2021. Nicola has worked as a dramaturg  for a range of companies including Playwrights Studio Scotland, Tron Theatre, Theatre Hebrides, Birds of Paradise, Traverse Theatre, NTS, Stellar Quines,the Edinburgh International Festival 2005 and Vanishing Point. Nicola was one of the inaugural Associate Playwrights of the Playwrights Studio Scotland. She was a recipient of a Creative Scotland Award 2003 to work on her first novel. Nicola has written extensively for radio, TV and film. She has been Writer in Residence at University of Ulster and Shetland Arts amongst others. She is also a practitioner of Applied Theatre working with a range of client groups including refugees and asylum seekers, those within the criminal justice system within UK and USA and young people in the care systems in various countries. She is ambassador of the Traverse Theatre flagship public engagement project, Class Act, pioneering it in India, Russia and Ukraine since 2004. She is also a foster carer for Glasgow City Council. In 2018 she was a recipient of a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Olwen Wymark Award for encouragement of new playwriting in the UK. 

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