[...right now...]

Right now i’m working on:

Mess preview, Warwick Arts Centre, photo: Alicja Rogalska

Mess preview, Warwick Arts Centre, photo: Alicja Rogalska


- as director, for [Caroline Horton] and [China Plate].

WINNER: Stage Awards for Acting Excellence - Best Ensemble

WINNER: Argus Angel

Time Out Critics Choice

Nominated: Off West End Awards - Best New Play

"...perilously close to genius...Alex Swift’s production is often funny, often painfully sad, and even more often has a knack of managing to be both at once." - Time Out **** [read more]

"one of the oddest, funniest, saddest pieces of theatre I’ve seen in some time... this show is beautiful, just the way it is" - Independent **** [read more]

"Caroline Horton's play about anorexia, confronts this "uncomfortable" illness to breathtaking effect...beautifully staged... It's an exuberant, engaging and above all, honest portrayal of anorexia and recovery." - Emma Woolf for The Times [read more] (paywall)

Must See Show "... moving and insightful but also full of humour and warmth." - The Stage[read more]

"by utilizing humour rather than bleakness, it illustrates a hopeful, moving struggle to step out from under the duvet and relinquish a little control on life. Because it is messy after all. But that mess can be beautiful, just like this production." - What's on Stage ***** [read more]

"This performance doesn’t just break down the fourth wall, it stampedes and tramples it to dust" - Three Weeks ***** [read more]

"...clever and wise... It is a tribute to Caroline Horton and her team of producers, her director and advisors that she has produced a play that, whilst not easy to hear, is a delight to watch." - Total Theatre Review [read more]

"It ought not to work, but it does, charmingly." - Financial Times **** [read more]

"...deceptively profund..." - The Evening Standard **** [read more]

"...sublime in its simplicity... startlingly honest..." - Fest Magazine **** [read more]

"...first and foremost aims to entertain, yet manages to educate as well..." - The F Word [read more]

"Mess is ferociously funny, staggeringly generous, compassionate and wise... brave, moving, uplifting and deeply, deeply hopeful. Unabashedly recommended." - Postcards from the Gods [read more]

"Very much a must-see." - Theatre Guide London *****  [read more]

"... relayed with a quintessentially English frothiness that channels Angela Carter by way of The Comic Strip's Famous Five pastiche" - The Herald **** [read more]

"Uncompromising but not morose, honest but also hilarious, this heartfelt play was a delight to watch." - The Public Reviews (London) **** [read more]

"life affirming" - The Public Reviews (Edinburgh) **** [read more]


"... funny though it is, Mess is a whole lot more serious than it makes out...  a touching insight into the cruel grip of an eating disorder...  one show about anorexia you could recommend to anyone" - Scotland on Sunday [read more]

"Mess’s bravery comes from its level-headed, even-handed candour. The brilliance comes from the opposition of form and content." - New Statesman [read more]

"'things aren’t perfect, they never are.' Mess comes joyously close" - Metro **** (not available online)

"truly special" - Broadway Baby ***** [read more]

"Caroline Horton’s Mess is a funny, bright and insightful drama about anorexia that will turn your preconceptions of the illness upside-down and back to front." - TV Bomb **** [read more]

Josephine is putting on a play - Boris and Sistahl help. It's about anorexia. But don't let that put you off. Unflinchingly they confront big issues (and extremely tiny ones).

Today they will tackle a particularly thin elephant in the room. Obsession, addiction, and not wanting to get out of bed: a play with songs from 2010 The Stage Best Solo Performer Award winner Caroline Horton (You're Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy)

Mess runs at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, in August 2012 [book here] and will tour in Spring 2013.



“You were born a white man in mid-twentieth century industrial America. You came into the world armed to the teeth with an arsenal of weapons. The weapons of privilege, racial privilege, sexual privilege, economic privilege. You wanna be a pacifist, it’s not just giving up guns and knives and clubs and fists and angry words, but giving up the weapons of privilege, and going into the world completely disarmed. Try that.” — Ammon Hennacy, as recalled by Utah Phillips

Travesty has a guitar
Travesty has a cracked voice,
Travesty has a dress
Travesty has the wrong body,
Travesty dances.
Travesty got all dressed up to tell a story that doesn't make sense.
Travesty has been in training.
Travesty is dragged up
Travesty is broken down.




- (working title)
Violence is a system, a language, a closed fist, a threatening look, a memo drawn up on a Tuesday, a spotlight in the face of an activist or a torch in the face at a heavy-metal gig, the hum of drones overhead telling you you could explode at any minute, a button pressed, an authorisation signed with an expensive pen, a story written in frustration and rage, a video from a cave celebrating your fear, a fake vaccine, a two-chord thrash, the action of the camera, whispering itself to you as it screams from the sky.

A new work-in-progress collaboration between award-winning playwright Kieran Hurley and award-winning director Alex Swift, Violence is an unflinching investigation into the subtle and not-so-subtle ways in which violence shapes our lives, providing a space for reflection on and discussion of the manifold ways, both quiet and loud, that violence projects itself into our world.

Violence will start life with a sharing on 21 June 2013 at ARC, Stockton as part of the Festival of the North East.

paperhouses, Hackney Forge, photo: Lily Einhorn

paperhouses, Hackney Forge, photo: Lily Einhorn


- an interactive, participatory performance about cities and paper. And you.

Imagine a city.
What does it dream of?
Whose footsteps are those, echoing down half-deserted streets?
When you are gone, will it remember you?
It will. Your name will be written on the walls.

Fold here. Tear here.




- by Caroline Williams

Hi. Three years ago I looked after an injured owl. This doesn't mean that I love owls. This doesn't mean that I now want to be given cards or bags or jumpers with owls on them. Please don't give me any more.

Caroline will attempt to tell you about an owl; she will concentrate on the facts. She may be tricked into telling you rather more than she'd planned to.

Puffball is a darkly funny and deeply personal show about fear, hope, struggle and selfhood.

Work in Progress Performances 13-15 June at Battersea Arts Centre. More here.