• Tim Mascall designs lighting for THE ONLY WAY IS DOWNTON
  • Anya Reiss' new adaptation of SPRING AWAKENING tours with Headlong
  • Catch Sanjeev Bhaskar in LEWIS at 9pm on ITV
  • Gregory Clarke designs sound for TWO INTO ONE at the Menier
  • Tim Mascall designs lighting for RUBY WAX: SANE NEW WORLD (touring)
  • See Sue Kelvin as Madam Morrible in WICKED West End
  • Tim Mascall designs lighting for JULIE MADLY DEEPLY
  • Read Joanna Trollope's BALANCING ACT, out now in harback and on kindle
  • Rob Brydon stars in THE TRIP TO ITALY at 10pm on BBC2
  • Buy Julian Barnes' exquisite LEVELS OF LIFE, out now in paperback
  • Douglas Dunn has won Queen Gold Medal for Poetry 2014
  • Blanche McIntyre directs TONIGHT AT 8:30 for the Nuffield / ETT
  • See Les Dennis starring in THE PERFECT MURDER, on tour
  • Tim Mascall designs lighting for THE NOTORIOUS MRS EBBSMITH
  • Gregory Clarke designs sound for A STEADY RAIN at the Ustinov Studio
  • Read Robert Lautner's ROAD TO RECKONING out now in hardback and kindle
  • Buy Felicity Cloake's mouth-watering PERFECT TOO, out now
  • See Deborah McAndrew's AN AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY LARK
  • Abbey Smith directs THE NOTORIOUS MRS EBBMITH at Jermyn Street Theatre
  • Gregory Clarke designs sound for TONIGHT AT 8:30 (Nuffield / ETT)
  • Tim Mascall designs lighting for MARTINE at the Finborough Theatre
  • James Cotterill designs HOBSON'S CHOICE at the Oldham Coliseum
  • Tom Wainwright's THE ROOM IN THE ELEPHANT tours the UK
  • Buy THURSDAY'S CHILDREN by Nicci French, out now in hardback
  • Read Louise Levene's THE FOLLOWING GIRLS, out now in hardback

News article

PAM GEMS 1925 - 2011

PAM GEMS 1925 - 2011

It is with great regret that we announce the death of Pam Gems who died peacefully in her sleep on the evening of Friday 13th May.

It is well documented that Pam only took up writing in her forties – but in the years that followed she carved out a reputation as a passionate, political and fiercely funny playwright with an oeuvre that tackled the great women of history, as well as a startling number of original plays and adaptations of work by Ibsen, Chekhov, Lorca and many others.

Originally from the New Forest, Pam studied Psychology at Manchester University and made her West End debut in 1976 with DUSA, FISH, STAS AND VI – a feminist play with a beating, palpable heart.  QUEEN CHRISTINA, a year later, marked her debut as a Royal Shakespeare Company playwright.

This was swiftly followed by arguably her most famous play, PIAF, celebrating (with a refreshing absence of nostalgia) the life of the great French chanteuse.  The play transferred to the West End then Broadway where its star, Jane Lapotaire, was awarded the 1981 Tony Award for Best Actress.  Her further work for the RSC includes adaptations of CAMILLE and THE BLUE ANGEL.

Her work at the National Theatre includes an acclaimed adaptation of THE SEAGULL (with Judi Dench as Arkadina) and STANLEY.  This evocative life of the Cookham artist Stanley Spencer was another West End hit, winning the 1996 Evening Standard Award for Best Play, and in the following year, the Olivier Award for Best New Play.  It also transferred to Broadway, where it was nominated for the 1997 Tony Award for Best Play.

She also went to Broadway in 1999 with MARLENE, which had been written for Sian Phillips, and was nominated for Tonys.

Pam’s adaptations were varied, bright and powerful – THE CHERRY ORCHARD revived by Jonathan Miller in 2007; THE LADY FROM THE SEA at the Almeida in 2003; and YERMA (with her friend and collaborator Denise Black) at the Royal Exchange in 2003 to name a few.

We will remember her wit, her passion and her generosity of spirit.  

She will be greatly missed.

Link to Lyn Gardner's obituary of Pam Gems


Site by Zone