Judith Adams - Playwright & Dramatist

"Judith Adams' script is dense as thick, black treacle but has the lightest of touches, melding myth and poetry with the everyday..." Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

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Whitestone Arts Research Centre

Creative Workshop Space, West Yorkshire

Adapted 17th Century Pennine longhouse

[email protected]
+44 (0)1535 644644

Current Projects


Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-2018) shared our journey of adaptation - reading all the scripts as they developed and warmly approving the results.

Sadly, though she read the final scripts, she has not been able to hear the second half.

This dramatisation is dedicated to her spirit and genius and to her deliciously witty and trenchant support. I sorely miss her emails. Judith Adams

"Honestly, I wish the people who want to make films out of Earthsea would find adapters/scriptwriters of the calibre of Judith Adams. These brief audio dramas require enormous compression of scenes and events, but her sensitivity to what the books are about, what the heart of them is, where the whole story goes, guides her choice of what can and can't be cut, and where to put it. She's just about unerring". Ursula Le Guin, Sept.2016

Dramatisation in 12 half-hour episodes of the classic books by Ursula K. Le Guin

Season One (repeated): Friday 5 October - Friday 12th October 2018

Season Two (premiere): Monday 15th October - Monday 22nd October 2018

producer / director: Sasha Yevtushenko

This epic project is a feminist interpretation, through the fusion of all six books (Wizard of Earthsea, Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, Tehanu, Tales of Earthsea and The Other Wind). Distilled across six hours, this will be the creation of an immersive world to rival Middle Earth, Hogwarts, Gormenghast and Neverwhere. Game of Thrones has used may of its key tropes. Although adored by teenagers for decades, Earthsea isn't simply a saga for the young. Le Guin layers her work with themes of self-discovery, relationships, isolation and connection, love and betrayal, violence and redemption. Earthsea has unique characters, a glorious geography and the energy of its own songs, sagas and myths.

It challenges all boundaries, especially those of gender, race and privilege.

Le Guin brings reality itself to the proving ground. Theodore Sturgeon

BBC Blog: Writer's Room



In development 2016-18

Arashi no ie / Stormy House is an Anglo-Japanese installation/performance project running 2017-20 and initiated by Whitestone Arts (Judith Adams playwright, Simon Warner film-maker, Stacey Johnstone performer) to explore Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (1818-48) through the prism of traditional Japanese ghost stories and their landscape settings, as transcribed by Greco-Irish polymath Patrick Lafcadio Hearn / Yakumo Koizumi (1850-1904).

Working in our studio on Haworth Moor in collaboration with designers Leo Warner and Jenny Melville and film-maker Jessie Rodger from the creative technology company 59 Productions (London and New York), five visiting Japanese Artists (Misuzu Kosaka, Ima Tenko, Riko Murakami, Natsuko Toyoshima and Ayaka Morimoto), theatre students from CAPA College (Wakefield) and performers Zoe Katsilerou (Athens) and Aaron White (Kent), we created moving silhouettes (ghosts) and scenarios and captured them on film. We also worked with pupils from Haworth and Copthorne Primary Schools and ran public workshops, demonstrations and calligraphy sessions in Haworth and central Bradford.

Using the material and resources gathered, Whitestone Arts will stage an installation 3-10th November 2018 in the Old School Room, Haworth and in Theatre in the Mill 2019 (dates tbc) as part of the Emily Brontë birthday celebrations and to celebrate Patrick Lafcadio Hearn’s unique literary excellence as well as his neglected contribution to the understanding of Japanese sensibilities and culture.

Tanizaki: In Praise of Shadows.

Soul-swallowing (Japan trip blog link)

ARASHI Workshop Report June/July 2018


Judith Adams
Simon Warner
Stacey Johnstone
(Whitestone Arts)



Two powerful BBC Radio 4 Full-Cast dramatisations by Judith Adams, based on the best selling novels of


published on 6 CDs



Sasha Yevtushenko and Allegra McIlroy



With Fifty Nine Productions

Initial concept and outline narrative scenario for projections on Historic Royal Palaces' iconic Tower of London - a UNESCO world heritage site.

Using the multi-layered architecture of the curtain walls and Beauchamp Tower, 59 Productions will create the largest projection canvas London has seen, with the live band Public Service Broadcasting driving the visual and musical narrative.




2015 / 2016


Project with Vision Mechanics, Edinburgh

Scotland / Norway

performed on Scottish beaches 2015 +

21-26 September 2016, Findhorn Bay Festival, Moray


Norway Coast Summer 2016:

25-28 May, Stamsund Theatre Festival

21-25 June, Arctic Arts Festival, Harstad

28 June - 3 July, Fossekleiva Kultursenter, Berger

Concert Version performed at Tron Theatre,Glasgow,20th January 2016, Celtic Connections.

My job: conceiving and composing a structure, concept and language for the project, and then writing a libretto for single voice. The story, songs and recitative were inspired by the "true tale" of Betty Mouat, a crofter from Shetland, who spent eight days drifting alone in the North Sea in 1886, and devised by the company during a winter residency on the Shetland Islands,2015.


****Scotsman: Joyce McMillan, July 4th, 2015

The music is an exquisite Shetland song-cycle, with music by Eddie Maguire, words by playwright Judith Adams, and vocals by Gerda Stevenson, in wonderful voice; the installations range from tiny, well-documented 19th century interiors to dream-like sculptures. And the whole show offers a rare opportunity to merge into the landscape for a while; to live inside Betty's story, and to think of the sea, of all it has meant to us, and of how it, too, now needs our protection, and our care.

*****Edinburgh Guide: June 15th, 2015

"......this absorbing and interactive piece of theatre is graced with the pool clear voice of Gerda Stevenson narrating in braw Shetlandic. Eddie McGuire's evocative and atmospheric music and Judith Adams' heart plucking libretto with lines like, 'Greet na fir yir faider bairnie, suin aa will be fetching hame' both round and complete this unique and affecting experience. This is a beautiful and moving salt breeze creation .....a beach trip like no other."(for more, click below)


Symon Macintyre (directed/producer), Judith Adams (librettist/writer) Eddie McGuire (composer) Gerda Stevenson (vocalist) Nik Paget-Tomlinson and Niroshini Thambar (soundscape artists), Kim Bergsagel, Iain Halket, Tony Reason, Alice Wilson and Adrian Barber (design),Stephen Moir (assistant designer),Ingrid Scholes (costumier), Charles Macintyre (construction)

Running time:




April 12th & 19th 2015

Dramatisation of the award-winning, ground-breaking and deeply influential novel by Ursula K. Le Guin

BBC Radio 4 Classic Serial, 2015

TBB April 12th & 19th, 3-4pm;

rpt. April 18th & 25th, 9-10pm

producer/director: Allegra McIlroy

Le Guin, daughter of an anthropologist father and novelist mother, takes apart the components of what it is to be human in this 'reality' and experiments with new environments in time and space that re-examine the very heart, muscle and bone of how to be more fully human in other, startling ways.

"A book does not come to me as an idea, or a plot, or an event, or a society, or a message; it comes to me as a person. A person seen, seen at a certain distance, usually in a landscape.....Once... I saw two of them. As my vision is not ironic, but romantic, they were small figures, remote, in a tremendous waste landscape of ice and snow. They were pulling a sledge or something over the ice, hauling together. That is all I saw. I didn't know who they were. I didn't even know what sex they were (I must say I was surprised when I found out). But that is how my novel The Left Hand of Darkness began, and when I think of the book, it is still that vision I see. All the rest of it, with all its strange rearrangements of human gender and its imagery of betrayal, loneliness and cold, is my effort to catch up, to get nearer, to get there, where I had seen two figures on the snow, isolated and together."

Ursula K. Le Guin: The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and (Science) Fiction.

BBC Blog: Writer's Room



2013 - 2020

for 59 Productions

A multi-media re-working of the Hampton Court Palace visitor introduction to the King's Baroque Apartments in the reign of William lll and Mary ll.

A thrilling and quirky re-visioning of a period and style little known but richly rewarding, using a fine scale model of the Apartments and a deal of flair.



April 3rd 2015

for 59 Productions

and Historic Royal Palaces, Hampton Court Palace


Fifty Nine Productions

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Our Yorkshire-based company, WHITESTONE ARTS established in 2003, now has a small residential and training facility in our converted farmhouse buildings on the moors near Haworth.

This is a newly converted research centre which is available for hire and aims to host the initiation and/or fostering of innovative shows, installations, exhibitions and other cross-disciplinary artistic and educational projects: our own, and those of other parties sympathetic to the company's aims.

To see more details, click on the link above.