The Apologists • Theatre


The Apologists presents three topical stories which combined provide a powerful examination of the meaning of the act of apology, the complex power play at work between the giver and the receiver of an apology, and whether we are responsible for the context of our actions. Each solo story focuses on a female character, a high-profile woman, and the issues raised also shine a light on gender inequality and social justice.                                              

A Secretary of State for Health and Social Care makes a racist comment to her attending doctor when her child is rushed into hospital; a prominent travel writer is held responsible for a suicide after a scathing review; an employee of an aid organisation demands the recompense she truly needs from the CEO after a disingenuous public apology.


The show was first piloted at the 2019 VAULT Festival and received critical acclaim and now returns to London for six nights. Performed by critically acclaimed Australian actress, Gabrielle Scawthorn (The Doctor Blake Mysteries, The Killing Fields, Village Bike)and directed by Jane Moriarty (RSC, The National, Shakespeare’s Globe). Both collaborated on the show’s development with writersIskandar Sharazuddin (Punchdrunk,The Royal Court), Lucinda Burnett (PainesPlough)and Cordelia O’Neill (HighTideFestival).


Gabrielle Scawthorn says:In many ways, the public apology is the ultimate act of solo performance. We see so many acts of public apologies these days. You only have to read or hear the news to find public apology, or in some cases non-apology, all the time. Prince Andrew, The Pope, Justin Timberlake. We are constantly deconstructing the authenticity of this act, the way one might deconstruct a piece of theatre. This show will be a really challenging triptych of monologues that asks a lot of questions.”


Jane Moriarty adds:“There are so many questions around the act of apology that are really ripe for drama. Who is the beneficiary of an apology? What does it change? What makes an apology successful? The pieces really delve into the complex power play that is at work between the giver and the receiver of an apology, and whether we are responsible for the context of our actions.”

The Apologists is a predominantly female-led production showcasing the work of a female working-class performer, a female director and two female playwrights, as well as the work of a South-East Asian Muslim writer to a wider audience.


Broadway World UK

“Gabrielle Scawthorn is magnificent”

Lyn Gardner


“A vivid portrayl of emotional struggle in the face of public shame”

The Upcoming

“An hour of exceptionally high quality drama”

The Plays The Thing

Creative team

Writers and their stories

Iskandar Sharazuddin      ACT 1 – Excuses

Cordelia O’Neill                   ACT 2 – Seven, The Sweetest Hour

Lucinda Burnett                  ACT 3 – New Universe


Cast                                             Gabrielle Scawthorn

Director                                   Jane Moriarty

Lighting Designer               Saul Valiunas

Composer                               Robert Tripolino


Omnibus Theatre, London

Mar 3 – 8, 7.30pm

£13 / £11 Concessions   or  0207 498 4699

Take a look at the trailer

About Gabrielle Scawthorn

Performer Gabrielle Scawthorn has appeared in countless productions in Australia including Hurt (Old 505, Belvoir), E-Baby (Ensemble), (Broadway World Award Nom), Village Bike (Red Line Productions, Cross Pollinate Productions), (Sydney Theatre Award Nom, Broadway World Award Nom) and most recently appeared in the role of Darja in Ironbound (KXT Bakehouse),(Sydney Theatre award nom) and in the world premiere of Ear To The Edge of Time (Sport For Jove). Her TV credits: The Killing Fields (Cornerstone/Channel 7), Doctor Blake Mysteries (ABC), Freshblood (ABC2, ABC iView), Deadly Women (Beyond Entertainment). Film: Dick’s Clinic (Smack Art).

 About Jane Moriarty

Director Jane Moriarty’s theatre credits include Diamond (Bush Theatre and Underbelly), Blue Stockings andAs You Like It (Mountview), Because (Theatre Royal Haymarket for Moving Stories), Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down and Night of January 16th (White Bear), Boston Marriage (Cockpit). She was also Assistant Director for: The Inheritance (Noel Coward Theatre), The Birthday Party (Harold Pinter), Queen Anne (Theatre Royal Haymarket and RSC),The Christmas Truce (RSC), Fortune’s Fool (Old Vic), The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare’s Globe), but i cd only whisper (Arcola) and Life for Beginners (Theatre503).

About Iskandar Sharazuddin

Iskandar Sharazuddin is an alumni of the Soho Theatre Writers Programme and the recipient of the 2014 Soho Theatre Young Writers’ Award for his play The Life of Cardboard, currently under development. In 2015 Iskandar was long listed for the Bruntwood Playwriting Prize and nominated by Soho Theatre for the Off-West End ‘Adopt A Playwright’ initiative for which he was short-listed. Recent writing and devising credits include: Three Women (Women In The Arts Festival, Tristan Bates) Citizen Squid (Lyric Hammersmith & Watford Palace), Flesh (Little Angel Theatre), If and When (Soho Theatre), and Silently Hoping (Arcola Theatre). In addition to work as a playwright Iskandar is a director and actor, most recently directing a new work at the Criterion Theatre. Iskander has developed work with a number of leading companies and organisations including but not limited to Headlong, Punchdrunk, The Royal Court Theatre, Dreamworks SKG, the BBC.

About Cordelia O’Neil

Writer, Cordelia O’Neill’s theatre credits include, The Stolen Inches (Edinburgh 2015), No Place For A Woman, (May 2017, Directed by Kate Budgen), Exageand A Different Kind Of Friendship (RoseBruford first years, Directed by Huw Parmenter), Anything Is Possible If You Think About It Hard Enough (The Vaults 2018, directed by Kate Budgen), The Vote (E17 Puppet Project, Hightide Festival, Directed by Nigel Munson).

About Lucinda Burnett

Writer, Lucinda Burnett’s credits include: Correspondence (Old Red Lion Theatre), Talking To Alice (Brockley Jack Theatre), Green Living(reading) Old Vic New Voices Festival, Come to Where I’m From and Organised(Paines Plough Theatre Company), Siri 5.0 (Theatre 503), Some Of Us (Oval House Theatre), and George’s Dad (Jackson Lane’s Youth Theatre).

About Unlikely Productions

Unlikely Productions is an emerging production company dedicated to turning unique artistic ideas into action. Formed in 2013 by Hugo Chiarella and Gabrielle Scawthorn, Unlikely Productions work across a variety of platforms and mediums to bring untold stories to international audiences. Unlikely Productions produced the critically acclaimed, sell-out, Australian premiere of Diana Son’s play Stop Kissin association with ATYP’s Under The Wharf program and The Mardi Gras Festival. The team behind Unlikely Productions are also founding members of the sketch comedy group, I’m With Stupid and have produced content for ABC iView, ABC2, Funny or Die and The Big Smoke.

About Omnibus Theatre

Omnibus Theatre is a multi award-winning independent theatre in Clapham, South London. Finalist in the Fringe Theatre of the Year 2019 The Stage Awards, Off-West End award winner 2018 and recipient of the Peter Brook/Royal Court Theatre Support Award 2016. The heart of the organisation’s ambitious programme, inspired by the building’s literary heritage, lies in both classics re-imagined, modern revivals and new writing. Omnibus Theatre also provides a platform for LGBTQ+ work and aims to give voice to the underrepresented and challenge perceptions. Led by Artistic Director Marie McCarthy. Patrons include Dame Judi Dench, Lord Michael Cashman, Sir Michael Gambon, Matthew Warchus, Sir Richard Eyre and Maggi Hambling. The organisation is a registered charity and receives no core funding. @OmnibusTheatre




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