Northern Stage Writing


An Experimental Workshop/Play for Theatre

Noah’s Boats – Aimed at 12-15 year olds with audience collaboration in mind, the issues depicted provide opportunity to investigate situations in a community setting. Given that many young people feel they do not have a voice, this is a chance for them to determine what should happen and assess the consequences of their decisions thus encouraging engagement with social and political issues. The themes reflect topics relating to opposing value systems within society and although not part of the school curriculum this activity can be designed to fit English studies, along with investigation into issues such as people trafficking, the slave trade, the Suffragettes, and Human Rights and what it means have the voice of democracy.


Two tribes face the same dilemma, overcrowding and extinction. As they struggle to cope with the challenges, they create opposing philosophies to ensure survival. When these value sets collide, two tribes go to war.

Scope of writing for the Watt Residency at Northern Stage.

The tipping point of the play, a monologue spoken by Rib, the Wife of the leader of the Crib Tribe, female protagonist as she comes to terms with human sacrifice.

Extract from Noah’s  Boats

Listen to a recording of this piece Rib 2_0.m4a‎ (2 MB‎)

Wife of Crib Monologue – Call to Arms, turning point of the drama.


Dirty Dry Sea – The Land
Land Machines – Warm blooded land animals
Rib – (Rib of Adam )Wife of the Leader
Crib – Tribe and name of the leader The Crib
Bric – Tribe

Opening Music – ‘When Two Tribes Go To War’ (Frankie Goes To Hollywood) fades to a background of religious chanting. Rib begins as if in prayer humble and gentle. The energy changes as she works through the monologue ending with a call to arms and speaking as a suffragette enabling the audience to connect with the injustice of the Order of Crib whilst hoping for a better, fairer future for all.


Our Noah of Crib order.
I stand before you
lowly as the fish.
Cast out upon the waves to drift
Save our souls.

Our Noah, I am Crib.
Of truth and order
Holy Rib of Adam.
As the waters rise up, aid us.
Save our souls

We are sinking, sinking low.

I will never see my children nor their children, for I am to leave the Crib
today, leave my home to be torn apart by the waves. To be lost in a sea
that is cruel and uncaring.

Our wet thighs can bear no more, overwhelmed by the heaviness of outsiders.
They came amongst us and we freely shared our place.
At first they followed the law of Crib.
To stop us going down Man Crib was taken from Wife Rib.
But they met in secret and the babes still came, stealing space.
So he cast their unholy additions onto long boats to chance the motherless waves.
But it was not enough.

So we put our feet upon the dirty dry sea but there was nothing to eat
only the land machines.
It is forbidden to eat land machines, but they feasted upon the flesh and
became raging from the blood.

We abandoned them to madness.
The second sacrifice.
But it was not enough.

Leader of Crib communed with our ancestors
He said, it was to be, first in last out.
So he took the recent settlers.
But Rib said we must not lose our most powerful rowers.
He said release the elders to the storm.
But Rib said we cannot let our map minders go.
He said throw the sick and weak overboard.
But Rib said they have already passed.

(Pacing/ raging)

He ordered executions for the law-breakers.
Said he must sacrifice too. I was afraid, so afraid.
Not my son, he is small and strong and of my flesh; and not my
daughters for they are quick of mind with good catching hands.

He said, greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends.
He decreed the ultimate sacrifice,
Twenty-one wives.
At first I was willing, because I am Crib.

But now?
Now, in front of our children they have replaced us.
They have appointed 21 younger wives.
Long-standing Ribs are to be set aside,
left to drift and perish.

But I say
This law serves only Man Crib.
And Crib law is for all.
So Ribs take up your nets and unite.
For how long will it be before you too are sacrificed like trivial machines?
Strike now!
For we will starve them into submission, we shall riot and overrun them in
the night.
Our Bric sisters and brothers will support us.
Arm yourselves before it is too late!
Let Crib rules serve all kind
The Crib of All Rights!

I am not afraid any more.

Closing Music – When two Tribes Go To War (Frankie Goes To Hollywood)


Lee C Turner left a role in business consultancy to focus on her writing. Living in Northumberland, she is currently completing an MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle University to further develop her interests in Fiction, Writing for Young Adults and Crime. During her time at Northern Stage she was inspired to create a theatrical project and is passionate about developing this further.  Lesley has initiated a writers group in her local area and is completing a young adult novel based on the gripping themes of female fairytale caricature and jealousy. She also has in mind to write a political crime story set in the Northumberland Borders.