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Blue/Orange is a play written by English dramatist, Joe Penhall. A sardonically comic piece which touches on race, mental illness, and 21st-century British life, it premiered at the Cottesloe Theatre in April 2000, starring Bill Nighy, Andrew Lincoln and Chiwetel Ejiofor. It went to London's West End in 2001.

Blue Orange (Penhall play - book cover).jpg
Written byJoe Penhall
Date premieredApril 2000
Place premieredCottesloe Theatre
Original languageEnglish
Settinga London psychiatric hospital

In 2007, an audio production of the play was released starring Daniel Davis, Teagle F. Bougere and Matt Letscher.

In 2008, Plain Clothes Theatre Productions toured the show around the South-West. Venues included the Tobacco Factory, Bristol; and Cheltenham Everyman and the Rondo Theatre, Bath.

In 2012 Brighton Theatre Royal Productions ran a production starring Robert Bathurst, Gerard McCarthy and Oliver Wilson.[1]

A 2016 revival at the Young Vic directed by Matthew Xia starred David Haig, Daniel Kaluuya and Luke Norris.[2]

A 2019 production at the Birmingham Rep starred Thomas Coombes, Richard Lintern and Ivan Oyik. It was directed by Daniel Bailey. [3]


Blurb of the published edition:

In a London psychiatric hospital, an enigmatic patient claims to be the son of an African dictator - a story that becomes unnervingly plausible. BLUE/ORANGE is an incendiary tale of race, madness and a Darwinian power struggle at the heart of a dying National Health Service.

Film adaptionEdit

In 2005, the play was adapted for a television film directed by Howard Davies for BBC with stars, Brian Cox, John Simm and Shaun Parkes.

Awards and nominationsEdit


  1. ^ Norman, Neil (September 21, 2012). "Theatre review: Blue/Orange, Theatre Royal, Brighton". Daily Express. Daily Express.
  2. ^ "Blue/Orange". Time Out London. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  3. ^ "Full Cast Announced For Joe Penhall's Blue/Orange". Retrieved 2019-02-15.


Further readingEdit

  • Penhall, Joe (2000). Blue/Orange (First ed.). London: Methuen Drama. ISBN 0-413-75270-4.

External linksEdit