NOVAE theatre

Don’t Look Away


This is like throwing a punch at a tidal wave. It’s not going to make it stop or slow

down. It’s just going to engulf you, and me. Until there’s nothing left.

2015. A young man enters a community centre, covered in flour and looking for help. He finds Cath, a cleaner, who reluctantly lets him stay in her son’s room. A split second decision which will change her life forever.

Don’t Look Away is a powerful new production from NOVAE theatre, sister company to internationally renowned ensemble Idle Motion. Directed by Nicholas Pitt ( Mistero Buffo , Underbelly and Arcola Theatre, Winner of the Stage Award for Acting Excellence) and written by Grace Chapman ( It’s Not A Sprint , Pleasance Edinburgh) this is daring theatre inventive in it’s form and astonishing in it’s delivery. A critical tale of compassion and an investigation into our collective response to the international refugee crisis.

Don’t Look Away will preview at Cornerstone and Harrogate Theatre, before transferring to Pleasance Islington. Made with support from Cornerstone, Harrogate, The Civic, Birmingham Hippodrome, Pleasance Theatre and Arts Council England.

Cornerstone Arts Centre / 16th - 17th April 2019 / 7:30pm / Book Here
Harrogate Theatre / 24th - 26th April / 7:45pm / Book Here
Pleasance Theatre / 7th - 18th May / Various Times / Book Here



NOVAE theatre is Grace Chapman and Ellie Simpson. Sister company to Idle Motion, NOVAE theatre produce female led new work inventive in its form and astonishing in its delivery. We are theatre makers, writers, performers and friends. We want to give voice, humour and physicality to the issues we've found impact upon us, our society and the women we know working visually to tell bold stories based on real life experiences. Our fifteen year collaborative partnership and friendship is at the heart of everything we do.

Grace Chapman , Co-Artistic Director of NOVAE theatre and Idle Motion. Playwright and Producer

Grace is an award nominated theatre maker with over 10 years experience telling stories on stage. As a playwright credits include; BENEATH THE WEEDS (Lion and Unicorn Theatre), THE BARRICADE (Theatre503) and FIXTURE (Produced by Pensive Federation. Her first full length show IT'S NOT A SPRINT was supported by Arts Council England and premiered at the Space in 2018. It then performed at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where it was included in The Guardian’s “Best Shows To See” list before transferring to the Pleasance, VAULTS Festival, Birmingham Hippodrome and Brighton Dome. Most recently she has been nominated for the Adopt A Playwright Award.

Ellie Simpson , Co-Artistic Director of NOVAE theatre and Idle Motion. Director and Producer
Assistant-directed alongside David Byrne, Artistic and Executive Director of New Diorama, on Secret Life of Humans a co-production with the Pleasance, which transferred off-Broadway in Summer 2018 and co-produced the recent revival of Contractions by Mike Bartlett in collaboration with Deafinitely Theatre Company, one of the UK ’ s leading deaf theatre companies. Previous General Manager at Blind Summit and assisted playwright and practitioner Steven Berkoff. Current Associate Producer at Pleasance Theatre Trust.

We are grateful to Arts Council England for their continued support and thank you to our benefactors Richard Gladstone and Allan Wilson for their generous support that makes it possible for us to continue with our work.