New play – production call

Black and white photograph of George Lamb, c.1916 in miltary fatigues, courtesy of writer and descendent Peter King.

The writers of a new play seek a production company or group to take on performing Wake of an Empire.

Below is a pitch document for production companies, schools, amateur dramatics groups or other interested parties to rehearse and deliver a brand new theatre show, licence free, potentially as part of Liverpool Irish Festival.

Wake of an Empire: pitch

This outline offers up a new theatre piece for a licence free production, ready for someone to take on. It has been written (in Liverpool, UK) by Peter King and Steve Nolan.

Aims of the pitch:

  • Raise awareness of a new, grassroots, locally resonant play
  • Develop links with an individual, organisation or company with an interest in or current competency to stage the play, initially at a local venue and eventually touring to a wider audience. This could be a school group, am-dram group or professional company.

The writers, and peers at Liverpool Irish Festival, would be available to assist with funding applications, venue brokerage and promotion, with reasonable notice.


Wake of an Empire is the sequel to Liverpool Lambs, previously staged in 2016, as part of the centenary of the Easter Rising. It follows the story of the King family (from whom writer Peter King is descended), during momentous events in the history of Ireland, the War of independence and the Irish Civil War. It tells the hitherto untold history of the Kings’ involvement, specifically including Liverpool’s Irish diaspora activity during this time.

It’s based on research of real incidents/events, with some dialogue recounting the oral history of the King family -passed to Peter King- from characters who appear in the play. Wake of an Empire highlights the deep historical links between Liverpool and Dublin and their role in key moments of Irish history.

Though there is not a formal age rating to the piece, we would suggest it will be of most interest to an 11-years+ audience.


It’s 1920; the King family have settled into post-World War I life in Liverpool. Young Thomas is hoping to settle down with Lil, his bride to be, but events in Ireland and at home, threaten to spoil the peace and quiet of domestic life. A treaty has ended the War of Independence, only to be replaced by a vicious civil war. The fault lines running through Ireland lead to bitter divisions, where few are left untouched.


The play explores the relationships within a family and reflects the complex and often confusing relationship between Britain and Ireland across a sustained period of conflict. During this time, Britain relinquished control over most of the country, resulting in a partly independent, but still divided Ireland. 1920s loyalties were divided primarily by family ties and personal relationships, but also political allegiance and historical events, which included geographical and economic factors. Irish people were forced to examine their cultural identities and relationships within a framework of rapid change, which many felt was imposed upon them. The effect of these changes led to turmoil and trauma on a local and national scale, often with tragic consequences.


  • Play-text: The writers have completed the script in draft form and are willing to work with interested parties to refine and/or develop it to a standard suitable for production and -ideally- publication
  • A List of Characters can be found below
  • Props: Many of the props used during the production of Liverpool Lambs are available and may be suitable for Wake of an Empire
  • Bid writing support for funding: The availability of funding for the project will be explored through collaboration with interested parties, if they are not brought by the producing company.


It’s our aim, providing funding and suitable partnerships are established, to have the play ready for production during the Liverpool Irish Festival in October 2023 though we are open to longer term planning and expanded tours. If progressing for Oct 2023, we will link Wake of an Empire to their theme of anniversary, straddling -as it does- the Decade of Centenaries linked with Irish independence.

Initial deadline for production pick-up:

We would hope to have all expressions of interest in to us at [email protected] no later than 9am on Mon 26 June 2023. Interested parties should email us in advance of this deadline with any follow up questions or to arrange conversations that enable them to build their pitch.

Making your pitch:

We would expect a pitch to cover at least the following:

  • Who would run the production
  • How they might fund the production
  • Who they intend to cast in the production (not individual names necessarily, but is it a local drama group, school group or professional casting)
  • A provisional budget
  • Activity outline/milestones plan
  • List of any additional needs (e.g., bid writing support, venue brokerage, etc).

Download a print friendly PDF of this pitch.

Wake of an Empire

List of Characters

  • Mary King
  • John King
  • Pat King
  • Sean King
  • George King
  • Tom King
  • Lil Kelly
  • Frank Kelly (Lil’s father)
  • Mr Deacon (magistrate)
  • Mr Cripps (solicitor)
  • Mr Lynskey (solicitor)
  • Frances (barmaid)
  • Philomena (washhouse customer)
  • Veteran
  • British soldiers (x4)
  • Irish soldiers (x2/3)
  • Watchman
  • Party guest.