Frances Poet

Frances Poet Portrait


Frances is a Glasgow-based playwright with fifteen years of experience working in theatres across the UK as a dramaturg and Literary Manager.

Upcoming: FIBRES (Citizens Theatre/Stellar Quines)

Most recently, Frances' play GUT, which premiered at the Traverse Theatre, 2018, in associated with the National Theatre of Scotland, won Best Play at the 2019 Writers' Guild Awards.  

Her debut play, FAITH FALL, was presented at Oran Mor, Glasgow and Bristol's Tobacco Factory in 2012. Since then she has completed a number of free adaptations including DANCE OF DEATH (after Strindberg), Citizens’ Theatre, 2016, and THE MISANTHROPE (after Moliere), Oran Mor 2014.   

Frances’s play, ADAM, produced by National Theatre of Scotland, premiered at the Traverse Theatre during the festival in 2017, winning a Fringe First and a Scottish Arts Club Award, and toured Stirling and Glasgow. The NTS production also toured to Battersea Arts Centre, London and enjoyed a limited Off-Broadway run. WHAT PUT THE BLOOD played at the Abbey Theatre in autumn. Her adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy, THE MACBETHS, played at Citizens Theatre in Glasgow, also in autumn 2017. 

Frances TV and radio work includes RIVER CITY (Episode 2, Series 18, 2017) and THE DISAPPOINTED, aired on BBC Radio Scotland in 2015. Her short film, SPORES, starring Maureen Beattie and Lorraine McIntosh screened at the Edinburgh Film Festival and Bogoshorts Festival, Bogatá Shorts in 2016.  

As Dramaturg, Frances worked on ALADDIN (Lyric Hammersmith) and RICHARD III.

Frances is currently under commission to Perth Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Theatre Gu Leòr and RADA. 

21 January 2019

FRANCES POET wins prestigious Writers' Guild Award

FRANCES POET wins prestigious Writers' Guild Award

Frances Poet has won Best Play at the 2019 Writers' Guild Awards. 

Frances won for her play GUT which premiered at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, April 2018. Presented with the award by fellow playwrite Roy Williams, GUT joins a prestigious line of writers to win the award, including recent winners Lucy Kirkwood, Caryl Churchill and Timberlake Wertenbaker. 

04 May 2018

Frances Poet’s GUT premieres at the Traverse Theatre

Frances Poet’s GUT premieres at the Traverse Theatre

In her debut full-length premiere, GUT by Frances Poet opens at the Traverse Theatre, Scotland, to four-star reviews. This production features Design by Fred Meller and Music/Sound Design by Michael John McCarthy.

The Scotsman ★★★★

“the power of Frances Poet’s brilliant and intense new play lies in the ruthless honesty with which she lays bare the inner workings of our “age of fear”.”

“flawless – gripping, perfectly-structured, beautifully staged, and designed to ask fierce and vital questions”

The Herald ★★★★

“Poet’s play is troublingly in tune with a current wave of TV drama that picks at the psychological sores of a post-Yewtree climate”

“the ice-cool order of designer Fred Meller’s living room [is] noisily upended into chaos”

The Reviews Hub ★★★★

“Poet’s writing is cogent at stripping back the thin line between paranoid fear and trust.”

“A swing, arching back and forth across the stage reflect the child at the centre of this, but more so the tense emotions around him… Torrents of toys fall from the sky, shrieking the paranoid delusions of Maddy, all adding to the mise-en-scene sublimely.”

The Wee Review ★★★★

“This is Frances Poet‘s debut full-length play, yet her rich arts and theatre background shines through in the tightness of the script and the tying up of loose ends at the end.”

“Gut is a piece of great storytelling”

04 December 2017

Frances Poet’s GUT will premiere at the Traverse Theatre in 2018!

Frances Poet’s GUT will premiere at the Traverse Theatre in 2018!

France Poet’s new play, which was shortlisted for the Bruntwood Prize in 2016, will be the centrepiece of The Traverse Spring/Summer 2018 season, produced in association with the National Theatre of Scotland. This follows the success of her last play, ADAM, which won a Fringe First award at the Traverse in August this year.

“A taut psychological thriller exploring our instincts when it comes to who we can trust with our children, Gut ultimately asks the question of whether it is perhaps more dangerous not to trust at all.” 

Read more about the production, including thoughts from Frances, Zinnie Harris (director) and Orla O’Loughlin (Artistic Director of the Traverse): 

10 October 2017

Frances Poet’s THE MACBETHS opens at the Citizen’s Theatre

Frances Poet’s THE MACBETHS opens at the Citizen’s Theatre

Her new adaptation of Shakespeare’s MACBETH, drastically cut to focus on the murderous couple’s relationship, is directed by Dominic Hill, and plays in Glasgow until the 14th October.

The Herald Scotland

“Using a carefully cut version of the text, this two-hander, created by Dominic Hill (director) and Frances Poet (dramaturg), is assiduously modern. Imagine a version of Tracey Emin's famous 1998 artwork My Bed hosting, not the solipsistic detritus of a supposedly dissolute youth, but a powerful, human drama of loss, ambition and, above all, desire.”

“this is Shakespeare's play delivered in powerfully concentrated form, as if straight into the bloodstream.” 

The Guardian 

“In this adaptation, Shakespeare’s monologues become private confessions, night-time contemplations exchanged between husband and wife.” 


The Scotsman

“for this new vision of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, co-created with dramaturg Frances Poet, he turns to the most intimate kind of studio theatre, and to a brief 70-minute version of the text played out around the sweaty darkness of the bed where the Macbeths make love, and conjure up hatred and horror, in equal measure.”

“ends with a profound sense of human tragedy and waste that is often absent from larger and more lavish productions; and offers a rich evening of theatre for anyone who loves Macbeth, and also loves to see it reborn, in ever more challenging forms.”

18 August 2017

ADAM and THE SHAPE OF THE PAIN are Fringe First Winners!

ADAM and THE SHAPE OF THE PAIN are Fringe First Winners!

ADAM and THE SHAPE OF THE PAIN are among the second round of Fringe First Winners.

The second set of Fringe First Awards, recognising outstanding new writing premiered at the Edinburgh Festival, have just been announced.

The “hugely powerful” ADAM, is written by MLR’s Frances Poet, and is based on the life story of Adam Kashmiri.

THE SHAPE OF THE PAIN by Rachel Bagshaw and Chris Thorpe has Lighting & Projection by MLR’s Joshua Pharo and Sound Composition/Design by MLR’s Melanie Wilson. 

07 August 2017

ADAM by Frances Poet opens at the Traverse Theatre

ADAM by Frances Poet opens at the Traverse Theatre

ADAM, by MLR’s Frances Poet and Directed by Cora Bissett, tells the amazing true story of Adam Kashmiry, a trans man who travelled from Eygpt to Glasgow, from woman to man. It runs at the Traverse until the end of the Festival.


The Telegraph ★★★★★

“hugely powerful”

“an unforgettable thunderbolt of feeling”


Herald Scotland ★★★★★

“a powerful story of transcendence that comes in in many, many ways”


British Theatre Guide ★★★★★

“perfect…although it can be hard to watch, so strong are the underlying emotions”


Edinburgh Guide ★★★★★

“powerful enough to stop the heart”

“Frances Poet has written a wonderful text”

“All round punch in the gut theatre not to be missed”


The Stage ★★★★

“Moving true account of a young trans man’s journey”

“eloquently shows how the body is the one place from which we cannot escape”


Exeunt Magazine

"Lyrical, joyous and vital"

"I normally feel a bit uncomfortable and self-conscious participating in standing ovations. For Adam, I jumped to my feet almost as soon as the last notes had rung out. We stood together as an audience."


What's On Stage ★★★★

"smartly scripted by Frances Poet."

"There's also a lovely, looping line of enquiry into language – how it can be gendered but also how it can contain a multiplicity of meanings, how words can allow opposites to hang in suspense."

"Poet rounds the play off beautifully when Adam meets a young woman, and shares with her a series of optimistic contronyms – to wind up, to seed – that reveal this ending is, for Adam, just the beginning."