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James Varney

James Varney

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James is a writer, dramaturg and theatre maker. He makes work as a solo artist and collaborates with other artists on music, academic research, and theatre projects. He facilitates creative writing and theatre workshops for all ages, and has worked for Manchester Literature Festival, The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester International Festival and First Story. He also writes about theatre on his website and for Exeunt magazine.

This year, James has worked with Manchester City of Literature to create content for a creative care package sent to vulnerable young people; produced a writing workshop exercise video for New Writing North’s Young Writers Summer programme; and delivered an online workshop on writing arts criticism for The Writing Squad.

James is currently developing King of Rome, a play about compulsory purchase, housing, and the UK’s crumbling labour market.

In 2019, James wrote and performed Prince Gorge, a musical theatre performance in which Prince George of Cambridge grows up to become a Queer cult leader. In the summer he worked with Manchester International Festival on their Creative Critics programme, working with a group of young people to develop their critical thinking about art and write pieces of criticism of work at the Festival.

In 2018, James was First Story writer-in-residence at Hull College, working with students to foster their confidence as writers and produce a published anthology of their work. He was also commissioned by the Royal Exchange Theatre to conduct an Artistic Evaluation of their Open Exchange Network programme of artist support.

In 2017 he wrote and directed Macbrew, an accessible family theatre piece incorporating British Sign Language alongside spoken English, and worked as assistant director on Cosmic Scallies, produced by Graeae and the Royal Exchange Theatre.

In 2016 James debuted one-on-one performance Treason at WROUGHT festival in Sheffield and saw Get Yourself Together featured at the Paines Plough Roundabout at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.


Recent work:

Prince Gorge (2019) highlightreel

Creative Critics at Manchester International Festival 2019

'A Building Dreams' - imaginary review for Exeunt Magazine

Releases by James Varney

bout bloody time

bout bloody time

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