Alex Oates

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Alex Oates (born Newcastle, 1987) is an English playwright [1][2] from the North East.


Born in Newcastle, Oates was born to a nurse and police inspector and raised in Whitley Bay in the North East of England. He moved to London to attend Middlesex University in 2006 where he studied Theatre Arts. Oates also studied for a semester at New Paltz where he specialised in dramatic writing under Prof. Laurence Carr.[3]

On graduating Oates was selected to write for EastEnders: E20[4][5] and spent time in the story department at EastEnders. Oates was later selected out of thousands for the 2010 Old Vic New Voices 24 hour plays[6][7][8] which sparked his career in theatre.


Oates first play Fan Fiction was produced as a reading at the St. James Theatre directed by Dominic Shaw and starring Iwan Rheon, Russell Tovey and Rebecca Ryan.[9]

Oates then wrote Silk Road for the Edinburgh Fringe (Assembly). Silk Road tackles the issue of buying drugs online and was the first play funded by the digital currency Bitcoin,[10][11][12][13][14] it starred James Baxter[15] and was directed by Dominic Shaw.

Oates next play Pig was produced by Silent Uproar productions for Hull Truck Theatre July 2015[16] and later transferred to the New Diorama Theatre in September 2015.[17] Pig was based on extensive research and interviews with police officers and was about the state of the British police force.

Oates has collaborated with actress Katie Sheridan to create new online romantic comedy, Match Not Found[18] launched October 2015. Oates is also a recipient of the prestigious Peggy Ramsay Legacy grant.

Oates play All In a Row was long listed for the Bruntwood Prize in 2016 and a revised version won the Bolton Octagon's Top Five competition, being selected from 850 plays to receive a rehearsed reading in March 2017.[19]

Following the boom in price of Bitcoin Silk Road was revived for Vault Festival London and Live Theatre Newcastle starring Josh Barrow. To mark the production it was published by Bloomsbury Methuen

Silk Road transferred into the West End in August 2018 where The Times four star review described it as "Sharp witted, effortlessly engaging and surprisingly sweet"[20].

Oates next play All In A Row proved controversial at Southwark Playhouse for its use of puppetry and brutal take on the themes of severe autism. The Guardian's four star review described it as "a lively, compassionate and darkly humorous show with the unmistakable ring of truth". Oates was nominated for Most Promising Playwright at The Off West End Awards for the play.


  • Zombie Nation (2011) as part of the 24 hour plays, Old Vic Theatre, directed by Ed Stambolloullan
  • Fan Fiction (2012) Rehearsed Reading, St James Theatre, directed by Dominic Shaw
  • Silk Road (2014) Assembly Studios, directed by Dominic Shaw
  • Hansel (2015) Assemble Fest, Directed by Alex Mitchell
  • Pig (2015) Hull Truck and New Diorama, Directed by Alex Mitchell
  • Mutations (2016) Pleasance Islington, Reading in association with University of Oxford, directed by Gareth Taylor
  • A Memory For Forgetting (2017) Arcola Theatre, The Miniaturists 61, Directed by Dominic Shaw
  • All In A Row (2017) Bolton Octagon, Top Five Readings Season, Directed by Ben Occhipinti
  • Silk Road (How To Buy Drugs Online)(2018), Vault Festival, Live Theatre , Trafalgar Studios Directed by Dominic Shaw
  • Rules For Being A Man (2018), Norfolk Tour, Directed by Daniel Burgess
  • All in a Row (2019), Southwark Playhouse, Directed by Dominic Shaw


  1. ^ "The unmistakably cool Alex Oates". Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Alex Oates - John Fleming's blog - SO IT GOES". Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 October 2015. Retrieved 7 October 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "EastEnders: E20 - Alex Oates". BBC. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  5. ^ "EastEnders: E20 - Episode 1 - watch the full episode video". BBC. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Review: Old Vic New Voices 24 Hour Plays 2011". A Younger Theatre. 25 October 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  7. ^[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "The 24 Hour Plays: OVNV - winners". Archived from the original on 2 October 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  9. ^ "FAN FICTION". Alex Oates. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  10. ^ "'Silk Road' the Play Seeks Bitcoin Funding for Edinburgh Fringe Debut". 21 May 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  11. ^ "Silk Road, the play, scheduled to open this summer in London, Edinburgh". June 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  12. ^ "There is now a play about Silk Road". 21 July 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  13. ^ "Silk Road: The Play". 26 May 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  14. ^ "Silk Road play aiming to be first funded by Bitcoin". Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  15. ^ Hubert, Emily (15 June 2014). "James Baxter on Silk Road the Play". Retrieved 18 February 2017 – via YouTube.
  16. ^ "Pig - comic police drama at Hull Truck". Hull Daily Mail. 7 July 2015. Archived from the original on 10 August 2015. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  17. ^ "Rising Hull theatre company take to the London stage". ITV. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  18. ^ "Skype Series 'Match Not Found' To Premiere in October". Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  19. ^ "Top 5 scripts chosen out of 800 entries for theatre stage". This Is Lancashire. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  20. ^ Marlowe, Sam (2018-08-09). "Theatre review: Silk Road at Trafalgar Studios, SW1". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2018-08-23.