Hold Out Your Hand


by Chris Thorpe

A play for any number of people. It’s an attempt to bring a group of people together, to remember what it was like to work together – it can work online or live. When I was writing it I didn’t want to presume what people might have experienced, or what they might want to say, so I’ve tried to make something that leaves spaces in it for young people to bring their own experiences, thoughts and feelings about the strange times we’re living through – and maybe help them help the audience think about their own lives, and how they can shape what happens next for them. It’s meant to be fast-paced, truthful, even a bit funny (at the expense of playwrights more than anyone), and hopefully every version of it can be different to every other version.

This is a play for any group of people who want to come together and talk about how weird it’s been being us for the past few months, and how we can make a future.

This is a play about the gaps where your voice should be – the words you bring to it are the most important part of it.

Age: 13+

Cast size: Any

Can’t decide? Read an extract here…

About the playwright

Chris is a writer and performer from Manchester. He is currently working with China Plate touring his solo piece Status internationally and developing the final show in his trilogy in collaboration with Rachel Chavkin. He is Associate Artist at the Royal Exchange, Manchester – work for them includes There Has Possibly Been An Incident and The Mysteries, and work with their community projects and Young Company. Other theatre work includes Victory Condition and The Milk of Human Kindness for the Royal Court, as well as an upcoming Royal Court/Methuen commission focusing on the climate crisis and the Royal Court/FT film What Do You Want Me To Say?, and several shows for the Unicorn Theatre including a new version of Beowulf.

He has on-going collaborations with Rachel Chavkin (Confirmation/Status/A Family Business), Lucy Ellinson (TORYCORE), Portugal’s mala voadora (Overdrama/House-Garden/Dead End/Your Best Guess, and in development Dying for the National Theatre of Portugal), Hannah Jane Walker (The Oh Fuck Moment/I Wish I Was Lonely) and Rachel Bagshaw, writing The Shape of the Pain in 2017 and adapting it for the BBC’s Culture in Quarantine in 2020. Chris was a founder member of Unlimited Theatre and is an Associate of Live Art/Theatre company Third Angel with whom he co-wrote and toured Presumption and What I Heard About The World globally. Other regular collaborators include Yusra Warsama, Javaad Alipoor and Nassim Soleimanpour. Recent work also includes We Are The King Of Ventilators directed by Tim Etchells and performed by Jim Fletcher for the Onassis Foundation New York. He is currently working with Melanie Wilson on her upcoming Artificial Intelligence Project for Fuel Theatre.

Chris’s work tours internationally and is also regularly produced for stage and radio throughout Europe and in the US, including Victory Condition at Residenzteater Munich, and the Italian productions of There Has Possibly Been an Incident and Confirmation were awarded the Premio Franco Enriquez 2018. His work has won multiple Fringe First awards. Chris was the Arvon mentor for playwriting, 2016/17 and works with the National Student Drama Festival.