The Marlowe Papers on Stage – Jamie Martin as Kit

The Marlowe Papers on Stage – Jamie Martin as Kit


Jamie Martin as Kit MarloweThe first run of the Marlowe Papers opens in Brighton on Tuesday 26th January 2016. It’s on for just five days, with the final night on Saturday 30th. The director is my friend Nicola Haydn, who helped me adapt this one-man version from the book. The adaptation was no mean feat: the audio book version (which is unfortunately read very badly and which I cannot recommend) was 9 and a half hours and the play – with original music by by Fiddes Smith – runs to 110 minutes (plus interval). I worked closely with the actor and director to hone the script for performance am loving the results. There something really wonderful about your characters being brought to life in front of your eyes.

Jamie Martin (who was most recently in the Young Vic’s very successful World Factory) is tremendous, both as Kit and as numerous other characters. I hope many people who loved the book will get a chance to see it and well as many people who haven’t read the book at all. We plan to take the play to London, and perhaps tour it across the UK, even beyond if that proves to be feasible.  Come and see if you possibly can!


Update: 5-Star review: “It is impossible to take your eyes off Martin’s performance – which is a masterclass in how to perform a one-man piece.” – Brighton Argus, 29 Jan 2016.

First Fictions Festival 11-13th April 2014


First Fictions is a bi-annual boutique literary festival designed to celebrate and champion new writing and innovation in fiction, organised by Myriad Editions and the University of Sussex.

I’ll be resident all weekend at the First Fictions Festival at West Dean College Chichester, and taking part in two events.

Sat 12th April 9.30-10.45am

Ros Barber, Nina de la Mer, Natasha Soobramanien, Nye Wright
Chaired by Peter Boxall

Sunday 13th April 

Ros Barber, Philippa Gregory, Alison MacLeod, Sally O’Reilly
Chaired by Professor Andrew Hadfield

For the full programme and detail of how to book for the full weekend, or just part of the programme, see the website:


Cheltenham Literature Festival with Charles Nicholl


Friday 4th October 2013

Cheltenham Literature Festival

The Studio, Imperial Square


In celebration of the Desmond Elliott Prize 2013, we welcome Ros Barber to share her prizewinning verse novel The Marlowe Papers. Joining her is historian and author of The Reckoning Charles Nicholl, to discuss the treachery, conspiracies and real-life intrigue surrounding literary figures such as playwright Christopher Marlowe.




For details and to book tickets:

London Reading: Gypsy Hill Tavern


Beyond Words, Gypsy Hill Tavern, South London

Ros Barber reading from The Marlowe Papers.

Gypsy Hill mainline station is 25 mins rail journey from Victoria or London Bridge and just 15 mins from Clapham Junction. The Gipsy Hill Tavern is literally 100yds from the station entrance, and trains run back up to Clapham Junction and Victoria every 15 mins.

7.15pm doors 7.30pm start
£4/£3 concession

Marlowe in Stratford-upon-Avon


On the afternoon of Friday 26th April I’ll be appearing at the Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival alongside Professor Stanley Wells and Dr Paul Edmondson of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to discuss the works and lives of Shakespeare and Marlowe. Those of you thinking this might turn into a bun flight will be happy to know tea and cake are included in the ticket price.

Details and ticket booking here:

Tales of the City – Readings About London


Tales of the City

an evening of readings about London

Working Men’s College Library
44 Crowndale Road London NW1 1TR
Nearest tubes Camden, Mornington Crescent
Wednesday 6 February 2013 @ 7.00pm
To reserve a seat please email:

Ros Barber ( is the author of highly acclaimed verse novel The Marlowe Papers (Sceptre, 2012), a joint winner of the Hoffman prize and chosen by Benjamin Zephaniah for The Observer Books of the Year 2012. Her three collections of poetry include Material (Anvil, 2008), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. An engaging performer, her work has been featured on Radio 4’s Saturday Review and Poetry Please, Radio 3’s The Verb, and Meridian TV’s arts programme The Frame.   APOLOGIES: Ros will no longer be appearing due to a fractured coccyx. 

Chris Chalmers went freelance from his job as an advertising copywriter ten years ago to write novels. Five To One, was the 2011 winner of the debut novel competition run by digital independent, Wink Publishing, and is available on Amazon as an ebook. It has been described as “A poignant study of genuine love in our big and fantastically diverse city.” He was recently signed to Raimondi & Campbell.

Sheila Hayman is a writer & film maker. Awarded the BAFTA/Fulbright Fellowship in 1990, she was sent to Los Angeles where she conceived and designed a pioneering website for Sony, was official necrologist of the Oscars, designed musical computer interfaces with Peter Gabriel, and made more documentaries. Her novel, Mrs Normal Saves the World, was published in 2008 Sheila runs ‘Write to Life’, the therapeutic creative writing programme of Freedom from Torture. In 2010 her film, Mendelssohn, the Nazis and Me, was nominated for the Grierson Documentary Award for Arts. She is currently producing and directing iPad apps & other digital media.

John McCullough’s first collection of poems The Frost Fairs (Salt) won the Polari First Book Prize for 2012. It was also a summer read in The Observer and was named an overall Book of the Year by both The Independent and The Poetry School. He shifts between characters in nineteenth century London and the present. He teaches creative writing on the MA programme at the University of Sussex.

Roma Tearne is a Sri Lankan born novelist and film maker. She left Sri Lanka with her family, at the start of the civil unrest during the 1960s. She trained as a painter & filmmaker at the Ruskin School of Fine Art, Oxford and then was Leverhulme artist in residence at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Her third novel, Brixton Beach, was published to great acclaim in 2009. Her most recent novel, The Road To Urbino was published by Little Brown in June 2012. She has been short-listed for the Costa, the Kirimaya and LA Times book prize and long-listed for the Orange Prize in 2011. She lives and works in Oxford.