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Denise Stephenson


GILGAMESH. Two sisters meet again after 30 years as the waters of an apocalyptic flood slowly rise around them. Each carries a suitcase with their essentials for survival, Violet has brought vacuumed packed sandwiches, Ada has tequila, Lady Marmalade and party dresses. What follows is a violent struggle to reconcile their tortured history. 




I met Janet Prince 30 years ago, we have laughed together ever since. Last year we wanted to do a play together so I said ok I’ll write one. England was flooding. I began with two women forced together, a kind of prison of a space, something began to tumble out, an old betrayal cut deep in my flesh, the loss of my sister to madness and death, a confrontation within made real on stage. I told Jan I written us a little comedy. Even though Jan is no longer with us, I look forward to carrying on her memory through this piece. 


Our designer, Mayou has worked a lot with site specific theatre and film.

We have two directions for the design: a suspended raft that hovers above ground, with the characters trapped on it, providing a metaphorical space. It is an idea that we feel strong on exploring.

The second direction is the creation of a negative acting space using drops of transparent material, giving the impression of time standing still, as in the violent glass waves below. Finally we are still exploring the use of projection. 


Gilgamesh image
Gilgamesh image 2

The Company


Denise Stephenson, writer, actor.

Lispa and LAMDA trained. Gilgamesh is my fifth play. ‘Stand Up and Be Counted’ a play for four actors, was performed in Edinburgh in 2011 and a TV script version was performed in London in 2012.  I wrote a solo piece ‘Pentimento' in 2014 and performed it at the Gilded Balloon at the Edinburgh Festival. The Sorting Office is a short play written in lockdown 2020 and filmed on zoom. Finding Melania, my second solo show, was created in 2021 and is ongoing. 

I have written several short stories and poems.

My acting CV can be found on this website.


Mayou Trikerioti,  designer

One of Greece's most established theatre designers, working at all the major theatres and festivals including the National Theatre in Athens, London's West End, the Young Vic and Riverside Studios.

Since 2007 Mayou has designed feature and short films that have travelled across the globe screening at international film festivals, including Venice Film Festival, Berlin and Toronto IFF.


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