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If Not Now, When? was originally performed at the National Theatre as the winning entry of New Views 2019.

(© Emma Hare)

CAPA College to stage student Isabel Hague’s award-winning play “If Not Now, When?” with the support from the National Theatre


CAPA College has received National Lottery Project Grants funding from Arts Council England to develop, If Not Now, When?, a play written by second year student and emerging young writer Isabel Hague. The R&D production, also supported by the Civic, Barnsley, will tour the Yorkshire region from May 2020.


With Dramaturgy mentorship from National Theatre’s Stewart Pringle, the play will be performed by CAPA College’s in house theatre company, Momentum Theatre, directed by in-house directors Stacey Johnstone and Katy Dartsch and supported by guest director, Joseph Hancock who will contribute to making If Not Now, When? a full-length studio performance of 80 minutes.


CAPA College is based in Wakefield and provides full-time, free, post-16 education in the arts: Dance, Drama, Performing Arts and Production Arts.  The 17-year-old, CAPA College student from Barnsley, South Yorkshire won the 2019 National Theatre New Views annual playwriting competition with her play If Not Now, When?. The play was then professionally produced with a professional cast, crew and creative team (as part of New Views) in the Dorfman Theatre at the National Theatre in July 2019.


If Not Now, When?, explores Liam’s turbulent relationship with his sister Chelsey. Liam is misusing alcohol, but Chelsey sees his potential. In a world fractured by their family’s past, Chelsey and Liam try to piece together their future. Isabel Hague says, “I target the truth of people and the significance of faults, the normality of contradiction in characters and the dynamics of everyday situations.”


The National Theatre say, “The National Theatre is thrilled that Isabel Hague’s first play If Not Now, When? is continuing to develop with CAPA College, and with support from Arts Council England. Isabel took part in the National Theatre’s New Views playwriting programme in 2018/19 and her play was selected as the winner from 350 entries across the UK. It was a joy to see her script brought to life on the Dorfman stage and we look forward to seeing its development with CAPA College.”


Pete Massey, Director, North, Arts Council England, says, “Congratulations to CAPA College on their National Lottery Project Grants funding for If Not Now, When?. It is great to be able to support young talented playwrights like Isabel Hague to develop their skills and hone their craft. It is fantastic that this funding not only enables Isabel get to share her awarding winning play with audiences across Yorkshire, but it also gives her fellow college students the opportunity to showcase their talents.”


Claire Nicholson, Principal of CAPA College says “CAPA College aim to become a flagship for arts education in the north and to address socio-economic barriers that results in many young people from the North of England being unable to access a high-quality, free arts education. We would like to thank the National Theatre and Arts Council England for their support and are incredibly proud of the maturity and sophistication of Isabel’s writing talents. We are thrilled that If Not Now, When? will be toured across Yorkshire, showcasing the CAPA College students immense talents.”


If Not Now, When? is set to tour across the Yorkshire region in May/June 2020 visiting Theatre Deli Sheffield on the 12th May 2020Theatre Royal Wakefield on the 29th May 2020 and The Civic, Barnsley on the 19th June 2020.


Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. By 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help deliver this vision.


Follow CAPA College on social media to keep up to date with the tour: @capacollege