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Alphabetti Theatre presents the World Premier of
hope is a 4 letter word

Written by gobscure

Directed by Ali Pritchard

Performed by Zoe Lambert and Rebecca Glendenning Laycock

Tues 16th April – Sat 4th May 2024 

Times:                                       7:30pm plus 1pm Saturday Matinees

Tickets:                                     Pay What You Feel (16th – 20th April)

                                                     £15 - £3 (23rd April – 4th May)

Age Recommendation:     16+

Access performances:       Captioned, Wednesday 24th,

                                                      Audio described, Wednesday 1th,

                                                      Relaxed, all Saturday Matinees

Twisted humour that liberates you from imprisonment, mixed with explosions of childlike wonder, beauty, and freedom, results in a magical, joyous, poetic, political, and likely snowy concoction of love and rage. 

About the Show

Experience a groundbreaking production crafted by an award-winning creative team – two intertwining monologues that delve into similar themes from opposing perspectives. 

‘I lost my way. Twelve years underground, isolation, different names, a lost self. I had arrived at a deeply wrong way of responding to social problems. Prison lies at the end of a road taken. ... now more than twenty years in prison, I share with other women daily issues of parenting, education, and health. I have turned sixty. I think about how do we protect our planet’ These profound words are from Kathy Boudin, a convicted terrorist and founding member of the US militant Weather Underground organization. The group engaged in bombings of government buildings to express opposition to U.S. foreign policy and racism.  


The second narrative unfolds after enduring two serious crimes without support. Our character finds themselves in a psych-ICU-prison, where they encounter Kathy Boudin's words. This unbelievable and true tale is rife with ridiculous and cruel absurdities. Beginning in a psych-ICU-prison and concluding in a river with water cooling and drowning the insane narrative, it liberates our character as a kingfisher gracefully flies past. Witness an extraordinary journey that challenges perceptions and captivates audiences with its raw, emotional intensity. 


About the Writer

gobscure : writing - performing - exhibiting internationally - making award-winning soundart. previously artist-in-residence with Disability Arts Online & Museum of Homelessness (both lived experiences); Future’s Venture Foundation supported artist; Newbridge Project artist in residence; Moniack Mhor literary fellow (Scotlands new writing centre); Society of Authors award; Royal Court writers attachment; Graeae alumni. film commissions include Northern Broadsides, Live Theatre, Spot On Lancashire, DASH, Graeae. music theatre for GIFT festival & Sage Gateshead; two Sound&Music awards; Auxiliary Teesside app-based outdoors sound-walk commission. 6 exhibitions internationally - Venice, Wakefield, Belfast, Athens, Gateshead, Edinburgh. mad(e) for Mandala Theatre was shortlisted for untapped award; collector of tears 'play of the year'(British Theatre Guide), New Wolsey Theatre Testing Ground commission joey was 'experiment of the year' (British Theatre Guide) most recently trio of solo shows spiralling out of our lived experiences of homelessness. other supporting work includes album, films, installation exhibition, publications, more. collectively this is housing contains the word sing collectively this body of work has been supported by Third Angel Mentoring Scheme in association with Sheffield Theatres; MGC futures bursary and Graeae Beyond bursary; Slung Low Leeds seed fund; CPT seed commission; Arc Stockton residency; Level Centre funded residency; Art of Protest : Bethlem Gallery group exhibition; Newcastle fringe festival / Alphabetti Theatre bursary; Futures Venture Foundation; Sound&music awards, the NewBridge Project; Curious Arts queer arts north bursary; Museum of Homelessness associateship 'great and singular artist, no other justifications or conditions needed.' Alma Zevi Venice 'a dark and angry heart, but what a heart ... gobscure is a loving writer' Jack Thorne 'intelligent, unsettling & entertaining in equal measure.' Disability Arts Online 'a voice rarely heard, if ever, in theatre. it is complex and at times dazzling.' Cardboard Citizens ' 'dizzying and hypnotic, cutting edge ... spellbinding''. Museum of Homelessness majestic. MGC futures 'heartfelt weaves the personal and the political, the witty and the raging into the most fascinating map of how on earth we got here. A must watch' Slung Low 'eloquent, poetic and passionate story telling. with pomegranates.' Graeae

Candid of Ali Pritchard, a middle-aged white man with stubble and wearing a beanie and trench coat.


Ali Pritchard

Ali Pritchard is an award winning theatre maker, he founded Alphabetti Theatre in 2012 at the age of 22, making him one of the UK’s youngest artistic directors running a venue.   Ali was named as one of the Rising Stars of the UK theatre industry in The Stage 100, 2023. 

headshot of zoe lambert, a middle aged, white woman with twinkly eyes and wispy, short blonde hair.


Zoe Lambert

Originally from Yorkshire Zoe has been based in The North East for over 30 years and has worked with many companies within the region. For Alphabetti she was in Tiny Fragments Of Beautiful Light, Walter, Suffragette and Landslide. Most recently she appeared in Cinderella A Fairytale at Northern Stage. Zoe is an associate with Open Clasp Theatre company and productions with them include Lasagna, Sugar, Rattle and Roll, Swags and Tales and Twist Of Lemon. For Durham Gala productions include Brassed Off, sleeping Beauty, Mad Hatters Adventures and Talking Heads Bed Amongst The Lentils. For Live Theatre, Tyne, Tales from the Backyard, Personal Belongings, Cabaret. Other companies include The November Club, The Customs House ( Duke in The Cupboard ), curious Monkey and New Writing North. Work outside the region includes Comedy Of Errors and The Winters Tale with the RSC.

TV credits include Emmerdale and Coronation street. 

headshot of rebecca glendenning laycock. a female-presenting white actor with blonde hair in their late 20s


Rebecca Glendenning Laycock

Rebecca is an actor, writer, and theatre maker based in Newcastle Upon Tyne. As a maker Rebecca’s work is funny, and bold with a tender middle. She believes in the power of joy, especially when tackling big themes. Rebecca is a Graeae supported artist through their BEYOND scheme and was a part of the BFI’s Script Lab Cohort 22-23. As a performer Rebecca has most recently worked with Live Theatre, Alphabetti Theatre, The Customs House, and Curious Monkey. 

 Rebecca was also a founding member of queer theatre company Bonnie and The Bonnettes, and made shows with them from 2016 until their close is 2022. These shows included: Drag Me to Love, And She, Bonnie and Fanny’s Christmas Spectacular.

As part of this run we are delighted to present eighteen

micro-commissions with local artists please click here for more information

Praise for previous work:

“intelligent, unsettling & entertaining in equal measure.” 

Disability Arts Online, about gobscure 


“gobscure weaves the personal and the political, the witty and the raging into the most fascinating map of how on earth we got here. A must watch” 

Slunglow, about gobscure 


“Ali Pritchard’s sparsely staged production does a skilful job of keeping the audience off balance with abrupt changes in tone. The audience is invited to laugh at comic misfortune one minute, and then made choke on that laughter the next.”

The Stage 


“Zoe Lambert delights in wringing some surprising comedy unsolicited by the bards original”

Stratford-upon-Avon Herald, about RSC’s The Comedy Of Errors  


“Elsa’s single mother (Lambert) emerges as a quietly heroic figure, full of love and loyalty.”  

The Guardian, about Tiny Fragments of Beautiful Light 

“Rebecca Glendenning-Laycock is an absolute showstopper”

The Stage

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