Lucy Caldwell

1981- ; b. Belfast; ed. Strathearn School and Queens’ College, Cambridge (grad. English/1st Class); studied creative writing at Goldsmiths College, London; wrote The River, prem. at Royal Welsh Coll. of Music and Drama (Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, June 2004), and travelled to the Edinburgh Fringe; winner of PMA Most Promising Playwright Award - sponsored by the Peggy Ramsay Foundation; appt. writer in residence at National Theatre, London, 2005;

wrote Leaves (2006), a full-length play, prem. at Galway with Druid Theatre Company, dir. Garry Hynes, 2006; transferred to Royal Court Theatre, London; winner of George Devine Award, 2006, and afterwards the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and the BBC Stewart Parker Award, 2007; followed by Guardians (2009), prem. at HighTide Festival in Halesworth;

Notes to Future Self, (Birmingham Rep Theatre, March 2011), dir. Rachel Kavanaugh, dealing with the preparations for loss when a 13-yr-old girl falls terminally ill; later abridged by Caldwell and recorded with original cast, prod. Heather Larmour (“Afternoon Drama”, BBC4, 22 Oct. 2012); issued a first novel, Where They Were Missed (2006), set in Belfast and County Donegal; short-listed for the Dylan Thomas Prize, 2006;

a second novel, The Meeting Point (2011), dealt with a young Irish woman Irish missionary at a marriage crisis, and her relationship with a troubled Muslim; winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize; wrote a radio play, Girl From Mars, prod. by Anne Simpson (BBC4, June 2008), depicting the effect when one sibling goes missing; winner of Irish Playwrights’ and Screenwriters’ Guild Award ["ZeBBie"] and Richard Imison Award (BBC), 2009;

a second radio play, Avenues of Eternal Peace (BBC4, June 2009), chosen as Pick of the Week; her story “Escape Routes” is shortlisted for the BBC International Short Story Award, 2012, and read by Laura Pyper on BBC4 (7 Sept. 2012); a new novel, The Meeting Point (2012); a new novel, All the Beggars Ride (forthcoming 2013); admires Salman Rushdie and Italo Calvo.

[ There is a Lucy Cauldwell website and a Wikipedia page. ]

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Drama, Leaves (NY: Dramatists Play Service 2009), 66pp.; Notes to A Future Self [Faber Plays] (London: Faber & Faber 2011), 61pp., ill.

Fiction, Where They Were Missed (London: Viking/Penguin 2006), 231pp.; Do. [Large print edn.] (Leicester: Ulverscroft 2006), 318pp.; The Meeting Point (London: Faber & Faber 2011), 279pp. Also a novella, The Furthest Distance (Netherlea [2009]

There is a Lucy Caldwell “performance and biography file” at the V&A (London); see also interview with Gerard Brennan on 21 July 2008 @ the Crime Scene NI blogspot [accessed 06.12.2012].

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Where They Were Missed (2006): Set in Belfast in the 1980s where Daisy and Saoirse are living through the hottest summer ever. The yard is too hot, their mother keeps flying off the handle and their father doesn’t come home until late. Things aren’t improved by the neighbourhood children who call them names and leave nasty things on their doorstep. Police sirens whine through the streets at night and Daisy asks why they can’t have a mural painted on their house like the other houses down the road. As the two girls dream of ice creams from Antonini’s and the characters from their bedtime stories, it’s clear that their parents are struggling with each other and the political violence outside that is forcing them ever closer together and yet is also smashing them apart. Then one day a tragedy occurs and life changes for good. Ten years later Saoirse is in Gweebarra Bay in Southern Ireland, living with her aunt and uncle, far from the sadness of her childhood in Belfast. She has managed to hook a good-looking local lad and is preparing for the school dance. But there is still an aching absence in her life and soon she will discover that her extended family is holding the secret to what really happened when she left her childhood home. "Where they were Missed" is a moving meditation on the beauty and sadness of northern Ireland as political violence bleeds into everyday life but above all it is the story of an ordinary family, about children and marriage and how loss can help us grow up, but also can undo us. (COPAC record - online.)

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Notes to a Future Self (2011)
When thirteen year old “Philosophy Rainbow”- better known as Sophie - is diagnosed with a terminal illness, she, her mother Judy, and her sister Calliope, return to live with their grandmother Daphne in Birmingham. Reunited for the first time in years, the three generations of women must try to prepare themselves for the inevitable loss of Sophie from their lives, while Sophie herself must come to terms with her own mortality. / As Sophie counts down the last weeks days, and minutes, of her life, tensions simmer and emotions bubble to the surface. At times Sophie hates her family; they have their futures, the rest of their lives to look forward to. But Sophie has her Future Self. Someday, she believes she’ll come back as someone else. Then she’ll have a different future. The future denied her now. And she leaves her Future Self some notes, some advice to remember, because after all, all stories about death are really stories about how to live.’ (See Lucy Cauldwell website - online; accessed 06.12.2012.)

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The Meeting Point (2011): When Euan and Ruth set off with their young daughter to live in Bahrain, it is meant to be an experience and adventure they will cherish. But on the night they arrive, Ruth discovers the truth behind the missionary work Euan has planned and feels her world start to crumble. Far from home, and with events spiralling towards war in nearby Iraq, she starts to question her faith in Euan, in their marriage and in all she has held dear. With Euan so often away, she is confined to their guarded compound with her neighbours and, in particular, Noor, a troubled teenager recently returned to Bahrain to live with her father. Confronted by temptations and doubt, each must make choices that could change all of their lives for ever. Compelling, passionate and deeply resonant, The Meeting Point is a novel about idealism and innocence, about the unexpected turns life can take and the dangers and chances that await us. (See Lucy Cauldwell website - online; accessed 06.12.2012.)

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