Inua Ellams

Out of the Margins Auction for a Noble Cause

Theatre’s glitterati takes centre stage in an event unlike any other. Imagine the amalgamation of brilliance from 60 playwrights, including the likes of which include Lynne Nottage (Sweat), Inua Ellams (Barber Shop Chronicles), Roy Williams (Sucker Punch), Tonderai Munyevu (Mugabe, My Dad and Me), and Clint Dyer (Death of England), uniting for a charitable auction.

Their mission? To support UK refugees with funds raised. Their method? Donating first editions of their works to the “Out of the Margins” online auction in collaboration with Christie’s Auction House. Led by Good Chance Theatre, this auction offers a unique collection of annotated scripts unlike anything seen in theatre history. It provides a glimpse into the thought processes of today’s leading playwrights and captures fifty years of defining moments in theatre, reflecting the vibe of modern-day Britain.

What propels these maestros of the stage to embark on such a venture? It’s the realisation that art, in all its forms, possesses the potential to catalyse change. Or it’s the time-honoured tradition of the arts giving voice to the voiceless, providing refuge, much like the beneficiaries of this auction, to those seeking a sanctuary.

What’s particularly enchanting about this auction is the promise of exclusivity. These aren’t just any first editions. These annotated versions allow theatre aficionados and literary enthusiasts to peek into the very psyche of their beloved playwrights. It’s akin to unravelling the sketchbook of a revered fashion designer – raw, unfiltered, and profoundly intimate.

Lynn Nottage
Wole Soyinka
Tina Fey by Miller Mobley
In-Sook Chappell

Key pieces at the “Out of the Margins” auction include:

  • Wole Soyinka’s annotated first edition of his adaptation of “The Bacchae of Euripides.” As a Nobel laureate, his insights are particularly coveted.
  • An annotated first edition of “Barber Shop Chronicles” by Inua Ellams, provides a deeper look into this modern classic.
  • Tonderai Munyevu offers an annotated edition of “The Moors.” The Zimbabwean writer and actor is known for his award-winning play “Mugabe, My Dad and Me.”
  • An exceptional contribution comes from an annotated first edition of “Death of England” by Roy Williams and Clint Dyer, with Dyer recognised as the Deputy Artistic Director of the National Theatre.
  • It’s also worth noting that Roy Williams’ “Death of England: Closing Time” premiered at the National Theatre on 13th September.
  • Lynn Nottage’s play “Clyde’s” is gearing up to open at the Donmar Warehouse on 13th October.

And as if this star-studded theatre ensemble wasn’t dazzling enough, the auction is set to feature works from global theatre giants: Tom Stoppard (Arcadia), Tina Fey (Mean Girls), Jez Butterworth (Jerusalem), and more.

But beyond the brilliance of these annotated play texts, the auction is a testament to theatre’s enduring capacity to mirror society. In a world that often feels fragmented, initiatives like Out of the Margins, helmed by Good Chance Theatre, serve as poignant reminders of the collective consciousness of the arts.

Those in pursuit of a tactile experience fear not. Christie’s London will metamorphose into a sanctuary of theatre heritage from the 21st to the 28th of September. A temporary exhibition, where the tangible traces of genius can be touched, felt, and revelled in.

To be a part of this historic marriage of art, altruism, and forward-thinking auctioning, enthusiasts needn’t jet off to an exclusive location or secure an elusive invite. The spectacle unfolds online at theauctioncollective.com, democratising access to this trove of theatrical treasures.

In a world often defined by transience, the arts – theatre, literature – stand as enduring pillars of expression, resistance, and solidarity. This auction is not merely a transaction of valuable artefacts. It’s an exchange of ideas, a celebration of diversity, and a pledge of support to those in need.

One thing remains abundantly clear: theatre is defined not just by its ability to create and captivate but also by its capacity to care. And the UK’s theatre maestros have showcased that in unparalleled style.

Richard Curtis, Mr and Mrs Jones - Annotations (1) (c) Guy Bell

Auction Information

Duration: Bidding starts on 15th September and concludes on 6th October at 2.00 pm (UK Time).

Auction Link: Out of the Margins

Lots Available: 55

Bidding Instructions: Bidding is exclusively online. During the auction, the current highest bid will be displayed. The highest bidder at the end of the countdown is the winner. 

Support for Bidders:

Exhibition Overview

Dates: 21st – 28th September 2023

Location: Christie’s, 8 King Street, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6QT

Admission: Complimentary

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