Paul Sellar

Writer

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Film, TV & Theatre

Agent: Giles Smart
Associate Agent: Jennifer Thomas

Film, TV & Theatre

Current work includes an original Radio 4 Drama Series for the BBC.

Recent work includes The Gold Killing, a two part thriller for Radio 4 which was Drama of the Week; And a new untitled stage play written with ACE funding and additional support from The Farnham Maltings and The Jerwood. The Moonflask a BBC Saturday drama for Radio 4 was repeated Easter Saturday 2015. His previous play The Takeover (BBC Radio 3) was nominated for The Prix Europa, Berlin and shortlisted for The Imison Award (2013).

The film version of his stage play 2Graves premiered at the Genesis Cinema, Whitechapel for the EEFF distributed via Trinity Film. 

Past commissions have included The National Theatre Studio, BBC Radio Drama, Film 4 and Warp X Films.

Several of his plays have been performed overseas. And in the UK he has had two transfers to London’s West End (The Arts and Trafalgar Studios respectively). His plays have been developed and/or produced at theatres including The Bush, The National Theatre Studio, AJP, Soho Theatre, Live Theatre Newcastle, The Old Vic, BAC and in Edinburgh at theatres including The Assembly Rooms and The Pleasance. Recent work has won a Curtain Call Award in Australia, and a Special Jury Prize at The ITSELF Festival in Warsaw.

The Bedsit is published by Faber and Faber and 2 Graves, The Dead Move Fast, The Man Who Fell Out Of Bed & Worlds End are all published by Oberon Books.

In Development

ProductionCompanyNotes

UNTITLED

2018

BBC Radio 4

4 x 45'
Directed & Produced by Sally Avens
A four part international thriller

UNTITLED THEATRE COMMISSION

2018

Arts council commission (support from Maltings and Jerwood)
Rehearsed Reading Dir: Rebecca Hill (2015)
A contemporary thriller

Radio

ProductionCompanyNotes

THE GOLD KILLING

2015

BBC Radio 4

2 x 45'
Directed by Sally Avens
Drama of the week - Two part thriller about a boxer turned businessman who invests mafia money in a Ghanaian gold mine

THE MOONFLASK

2014

BBC Radio 4

1 x 60'
Produced and Directed by Sally Avens and Marion Nancarrow
Saturday Drama - A group of jobseekers pool their resources to pull off a heist

THE TAKEOVER

2012

BBC Radio 3

1 x 60'
Directed by Sally Avens
Two half-brothers unite over a hostile takeover bid that sparks a war amongst rival business interests
*Nominated for Prix Europa, Berlin. Best radio drama in Europe
*Shortlisted for the Imison Award / BBC Audio Awards

Theatre

ProductionCompanyNotes

THE AUDIT

2011

Itself International Festival. Warsaw

Prod: Lincoln Company. (Performed in English with Polish Surtitles)
*Special Jury prize: Jury included Peter Stein, Krystoff Zanussi and was led by Stacey Keach
An earlier version of this play premiered at the LPAC and then Edinburgh entitled “The Man Who Fell Out of Bed” (2010)

WORLD'S END

2008

Pleasance Edinburgh / Trafalgar Studios

Director: Paul Robinson (Edinburgh) / Guy Retallack (London)
A bitter sweet relationship drama set in contemporary London
Cast included: Fiona Button (Charlotte Lucas in London), Merryn Owen (The Stage best actor nominee)

2 GRAVES

2006

Pleasance Edinburgh / The Arts

A young man avenges the death of his father in an East End Underworld.
Dir. Yvonne McDevitt
Cast: Jonathan Moore

THE DEAD MOVE FAST

2000

Edinburgh Festival

A comedy thriller set in the twilight world of 1950’s pulp.
Cast included: Sylvester McCoy

THE BEDSIT

1999

Tabard Theatre / BAC* / Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh

A lone gunman awaits his fate in a London Bedsit
Dir. M.C. Friend
Cast included: James Ellis
*Part of Time Out’s Critics Choice Season

Film

ProductionCompanyNotes

THE TAKEOVER

Warp / Film 4

Original feature commission for Warp X / Film 4: Caroline Cooper Charles / Robin Gutch

2 GRAVES

2013

Trinity Films. Premiere EEFF

Film adaptation of play
*Michael Nyman: Best original soundtrack (nominee) EEFF

THE GOLD KILLING

“The Gold Killing, Paul Sellar’s follow up to his acclaimed play The Moonflask, is a gritty two part thriller that cements his place within the vanguard of the genre.” Radio Times. Critic’s Choice.

“The Gold Killing (Monday, 2.15pm, Radio 4 FM) an engaging thriller in two parts… Robert Glenister plays a rough diamond… helping Russian oligarchs via a corrupt peer to invest in West African mining. Clearly this is a mistake…” David Hepworth. Guardian. On Radio.

“A gritty, well written thriller” (Weekend Choice – Mail on Saturday / Weekend Supplement)

“This two parter about mafia money and a gold mine hits a rich seam of drama and intrigue right from the off.” Susan Jeffreys. Daily Mail (Radio Choice)

“Robert Glenister packs a punch as likeable bruiser Joe in a role that fits him like a glove.” Tom Goulding. Critic’s Choice & Pick of the Day. Radio Times

 

THE MOONFLASK

“The Moonflask will light up your day… this drama by the talented playwright Paul Sellar will keep you guessing right up until the end…. a drama of bluff and double bluff, smoke and mirrors where nothing is quite as it seems.”  Jane Clinton Sunday Express

There is no mistaking the signature of writer Paul Sellar – the master of deception layered upon deception” Moira Petty The Stage (Saturday Pick).

“An exhilarating plot… capers don’t crop up often on radio so this is a drama to cherish”. RADIO TIMES (RT Critics Choice

“The Moonflask is a crime caper with a difference” TELEGRAPH (Weekend Highlight)

 “A group of job seekers pool their resources to pull off a heist." Recommended in MAIL ON SUNDAY (weekend magazine).

“An ingenious riff on recession-fuelled crime unfolds in The Moonflask… – as the audience become as deliciously duped as the characters… the action gives way to a thrilling heist, and getaway and yet more astonishing twists….” Moira Petty The Stage & Television Today

 

THE TAKEOVER

“Plotting doesn’t come any cleverer than in The Takeover, another success from Radio 3.” Moira Petty The Stage

“...an ingenious tale of the soft underbelly of business: double-double-cross and then some”  Martin Hoyle Financial Times (Critic’s Choice/Weekend Choice)

“Lays bare the evils of capitalism… contained the kind of wanton cruelty reminiscent of Jacobean revenge tragedies.” Lawrence Raw, Radio Drama Reviews Online

“this weeks highlight, a fast moving play The Takeover.” Gillian Reynolds Daily Telegraph

The twist at the end is both surprising and moving… A well constructed story, beautifully told.” Judges at BBC Audio Drama Awards (2013)

 

THEATRE

2 GRAVES

“There’s an Oresteia like magnificence to this revenge cycle… which contains the years most bleakly beautiful lines…” Fiona Mountford Evening Standard (Critic’s Choice)

“Engaging and rewarding… poetic tales from the underworld” Jonathan Gibbs Time Out (Critic’s Choice)

“The genius of the writing...  humour flashes through the piece like lightning… a stunning drama.” Patrick Marion What’s On (Five stars & Critic’s Choice)

“A blistering script… A joy. A bullseye!” Sarah Hemming The Express

“all proves unexpectedly compelling and distinctly Euripidean.” Charles Spenser The Telegraph

“Raw blunt stuff. And it’s absorbing too.” Benedict Nightingale The Times (Critic’s Choice No 1)

Beautiful… Powerful, brave drama holds us spellbound.” Sunday Express

“The Arts reopens with a theatrical cracker in 2 Graves. A rarity – a modern verse drama that works.” Paul Taylor The Independent

an ingenious offering… a work of rare skill… intense artistry.” Quentin Letts Daily Mail

“A fascinating piece of contemporary verse" Paul Vale The Stage

 

WORLD'S END

“An intriguing play with cracking dialogue… confirms its author’s growing reputation for chronicling the feel of 21st century life.” Jeremy Kingston The Times

“I strongly advise anyone to see this new play… it’s a delight” Fiona Mountford Evening Standard

a searing… gut wrenchingly honest drama written with a clear, contemporary pulse of its own.” Dominic Cavendish, Daily Telegraph (Top 10 show)

“A thrilling hour of drama. …the play ends with two quite brilliant twists that had me gasping in admiration. Paul Sellar has turned into a writer we can cherish” Lloyd Evans The Spectator

 

CELL G159 aka THE DEAD MOVE FAST

“A rib tickling comedy full of surprise... more twists than a rattlesnake on laughing gas” Daily Mail (Top 5 Show)

“Succeeds as both comedy and as thriller… keeps you guessing right up to the end.” The Scotsman (Critic’s Choice)

“The script is both eloquent and poetic. This comic psychological whodunit is a must for all lovers of the macabre.” Jonathan Preminger The Evening News

“A Machiavellian play with enough labyrinthine twists to fox Theseus… Laughter is uncomfortable but unavoidable.” Zoe Green The Independent

 

THE BEDSIT

“A highly charged political play because the personal stakes are so high… thrilling… the sustained dramatic tension is stunning.” Simon Reade ​Time Out (Critic’s Choice Season)

“bristling drama... a fast-paced, vicious experience thick with tension.” Evening Standard (Critic’s Choice)

“Cleverly crafted play involves us not just as a thriller, but as a thought provoking study of fear and idealism” Alison Huntley Times Literary Supplement

...surreal and brutal drama. Mark Cook The Guardian (Theatre Choice)

“Almost defines the term thriller” (Five StarsDawn Kofie The List (Hit List)

“Also recommended is this taut little play; essentially a thriller, and a good one, with some clever twists and a satisfying surprise ending.” John Gross The Sunday Telegraph

“Real life events serve as a savage reminder of the plays extreme relevance” Rachel Halliburton The Independent (Theatre Choice)

“I long to mention the closing moments. But this would be an unforgivable offence. I must not give away the end.” Jeremy Kingston The Times