Neil Rathmell – writer

100+ essays on literary topics


During my time as a drama teacher, I wrote and directed many plays for performance by young people. More recently, I have been writing for adults too. The plays below have all been successfully performed and are now available on Kindle. Click on the Kindle logo for details.

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If you don’t own a Kindle, download the free app to your tablet or phone.

Before you buy, you can read the first few pages of any play by clicking on the ‘Extract’ link below the details.

To enquire about performance rights, send an email to


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Unspoken, was written in collaboration with speech and language therapist Dr Trudy Stewart. It was first performed at The Carriageworks, Leeds, in a sell-out run of five performances, in July 2017.

The aim was to create a play which would enable audiences to understand what it feels like to stammer by sharing in the experience of a particular individual who is trying to overcome and come to terms with his stammer. It does not set out to inform, but to raise awareness and understanding. The play is in one act and runs for about 75 minutes.

It is available from Amazon both as an e-book and in paperback.




Where’s Hanuman? The monkeys are looking for him everywhere. Rama and Lakshman are looking for Sita. She’s been abducted by Ravana, twenty-headed god of the demons. Hanuman turns up just in time to take one of his famous leaps across the ocean and find her in Lanka, where the demons live. Hanuman and his monkey army join Rama and Bharat to rescue Sita in a battle to end all battles – literally!

My dramatisation of the Ramayana was first performed by a youth theatre group in Shropshire.



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1957. Mr Atkins is suffering from a nameless post-war malaise that leaves him lacking the energy even to look for a job. Mrs Atkins soldiers on. Their daughter Doreen has a half-day holiday from grammar school. Their son Colin has been sent home too, but in his case it’s for wearing luminous pink socks. Enter the first British teenager.

This comic recreation of post-war Britain keeps the audience guessing as well as laughing. At its first performance, at a Shropshire Drama League festival, it “stole the show – and most of the laughs.” It will be revived in July 2018 as part of a double-bill in a production by Leeds Arts Centre at The Carriageworks.



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Odysseus is on a mission – to get home. His loyal crew are with him all the way. Or they would have been if he didn’t keep losing them. What with witches and one-eyed giants and sirens and storms, by the time he gets there he’s the only one left.

All the well-known characters and events from Homer’s Odyssey are included in this well-crafted and entertaining short play for young performers.



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The women of Ithaca await the return of Odysseus, his wife Penelope is plagued by suitors, his son Telemachus (with a little help from Athene) prepares for his return. In disguise, Odysseus sees what is happening and lays his plans.

This play for performance by young people turns the return of Odysseus into an exciting, funny and sometimes troubling drama.




Muggins is a mixture of fairy tale, farce and Carry On. It tells the story of a put-upon peasant in medieval England. The cast includes a donkey, a bear and a frog. The hero is Muggins, the villains are Wild Eric and the Queen.

It was written for a young theatre company to perform at fêtes and carnivals, in village halls and in the open-air. Perfect for amateur drama groups looking for a family show.


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