Alice Birch is the latest playwright to make the leap from stage to screen, following in the footsteps of colleagues Dawn King, Lucy Prebble, Hanif Kureishi and Mike Leigh.
Among her list of upcoming projects is ‘Lady Macbeth’, a feature currently in development through Creative England’s iFeatures programme for low budget films. The film marks Birch’s screenwriting debut and follows a woman whose stifling marriage and increasing loneliness force her into the arms of a nearby farmworker. The feature will be directed by William Oldroyd and is due to shoot in summer 2015.
iFeatures aims to support the production of three micro-budget films of £350,000 that reflect the English regions. In 2013, the programme’s second round produced Alex Taylor’s ‘Spaceship’, Martin Radich’s ‘Norfolk’ and Guy MyHill’s ‘The Goob’, with the latter taking home the top prize at the 2014 Dinard Film Festival.
Known for injecting her work with a strong feminist attitude and balancing taboo topics like sex abuse with unflinching humour, Birch has received a number of accolades for her stage work which includes ‘Many Moon’s, ‘Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again’ and ‘Little Lights’. In 2014 she took home the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright and the Arts Foundation Award for Playwriting.
The rise in this popular transition proceeds the official launch of Creative England’s Regional Theatre Partnership which aims to assist theatre writers in making the jump to the big screen. More details on this new programme will be released later in 2015.