Zoe Lewis, Playwright

Zoe LewisZoe Lewis, 40, lives in North Devon with her daughter Iris. The second child of liberal journalists, she spent her formative years in Yorkshire and Manchester as her parents joined a movement to start a workers revolution. They were involved in left wing politics and sold newspapers outside the pits of Yorkshire, a time that Zoe has vivid memories of.

Aged fifteen she wrote her first play, Loyalties which won the North West Young Playwright Award in 1986. In 1987 she won the same award for her play In Too Deep but the play was deemed too controversial to stage. She moved to London to sit her A levels and gained a place at Cambridge University to study History.

After graduating she went to live in New York and worked for the Red Hot Aids Charitable Trust. She gained several credits including director’s assistant on the award winning documentary Stolen Moments, about AIDS in communities of colour. She also gained album credits producing and coordinating multi artist albums including Red Hot and Cool and A Tribute To Marvin Gaye, working with artists ranging from Herbie Hancock to Madonna and Stevie Wonder.

Age 25 she returned to London to coordinate the EMI album A Tribute to Noel Coward for the Red Hot Aids Charitable Trust. Aged 27 she achieved an M.A. in Playwriting Studies under the tutelage of David Edgar. She then joined The Really Useful Group as recordings manager for Lord Lloyd Webber. In 1999 her play Paradise Syndrome opened on the fringe in London and achieved general acclaim and the rights were sold to Really Useful Group. In 2000 she became a full time playwright and wrote Glastonbury and Flanders Mare, while living in Andalucia. In 2002 she toured her play Glastonbury through the UK, in a big top tent with set designed by Damien Hirst and directed by Keith Allen. (The subject of the BBC 3 documentary MUD SWEAT AND TEARS). In 2003 Zoe’s play Pool Death premiered at Salisbury Playhouse. In 2005 her play Flanders Mare premiered at Sound Theatre Leicester Square. In 2006 she performed her own one woman show Touched, to sold out audiences in Edinburgh Festival. In 2009 Touched opened at Trafalgar Studios London, starring Sadie Frost. In 2011, her new play Like A Virgin premieres at Edinburgh Festival at the Underbelly.

Her writing work takes in ghostwriting several major celebrity autobiographies, including Grow Up: Keith Allen and she writes regularly for The Times, The Daily Mail and is often guest editor of The Big Issue.