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 A spellbinding new play inspired by the true story of Britain's bloodiest witch-hunt...

It’s 1615, and Magistrates Potts and Nowell are on a mission to arm their countrymen against a plague of devilish outsiders. Until now their chief weapon has been Jennet Device, youngest of the Pendle Witches, the girl whose testimony condemned her entire family to the noose. But now Jennet has grown up, her eyes are starting to open, and, tonight, heads will roll.

The Wonderful Discovery of Witches combines searing dialogue, haunting music and bold theatricality to explore the heart-breaking story of Britain’s most notorious witch-craft trial. The production played to sell-out audiences across the UK in 2019 following it's debut run at the Edinburgh Festival in 2015, and performances at the Oxford Playhouse Studio, Greenwich Theatre and New Diorama in 2016.

“A brilliant return from a fantastic upcoming company.” 
★ British Theatre Guide

"Spellbinding... This subtly beautiful production has it's own enchantment, not to be forgotten."
★★★★ Exeunt

"Chilling and heart-breaking, this is the best kind of history lesson."
★★★★ The Scotsman

“A masterclass in character development, conflict building, and subtext.” 
★ Fringe Guru

Performed by Emily Panes, Tom Blyth and Christopher Birks
Directed and composed by Leah Fogo
Produced by Dan Coleman and Christopher Birks

Performed by Amy Blair, Christopher Birks and Dan Nicholson
Directed and produced by Dan Coleman

Composed by Dan Nicholson
Stage Management by Vicky Jukes

A haunting new play about the strange places we go to when our world is torn apart...

Lil's husband Lem has lost himself in Gulliver's Travels, and now she has a mission of mercy to perform. No matter what the cost she must find a way to drag this broken man out of his fantasy. She must find a way to bring him home.

Raging, tragic and magical, Gulliver Returns rips up Swift's savage masterpiece to explore the strange places we go to when our world is split apart. The production premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in August 2018 before touring the UK in September and October.

"A harrowing hour of intensity paired with excellent performances."
★★★★ The List

"Genuinely touching... Coleman has woven the story of Lil and Lem with nuance and depth."
★★★★ British Theatre Guide

“Unfolds motifs of how journeys change people, how artists create new realities, and how love can overcome all difficulties. Exceptional.” 
★★★★ Fringe Biscuit

Written, directed and produced by Dan Coleman
Performed by Cathy Conneff and Jack Bence
Lighting Design by Ben Hughes
Sound Design by Julian Starr
Stage Management by Megan Herd and Justin Farrow
Associate production by Christopher Birks

Supported by Belacqua Trust, Peggy Ramsey Foundation and the University of Worcester. Our sincere thanks to Jack Dawson for his support. 

A tale of greed, adventure and ruin inspired by Kipling's savage debut novella...

This is the story of Peachy Carnehan and Daniel Dravot; soldiers-for-hire amid the shifting borders of the Middle East. Tired of the mercenary life, Peachy and Daniel have come up with a plan; head to Northern Afghanistan, enslave the natives, and install themselves as kings. 

The Man Who Would Be King combines searing text, bold physicality and original music to bring Kipling’s ground-breaking debut novella to life in a thrilling new play exploring Britain’s place in the world today. The production premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 2014 before transferring to the Oxford Playhouse and VAULT Festival London. In 2016 The Man Who Would Be King returned for a 9 week nationwide tour supported by Arts Council England.

"A frankly outstanding production, filled with wit, charm and fascination."
★★★★★ British Theatre Guide

"Flawless... A group of theatre-makers to watch out for."
★★★★ The Stage

“Superb… feels like a classic piece of mythology as well as a contemporary political drama.” 
★★★★ The Scotsman

“A great start from this new company, and I, for one, look forward to seeing what they do next.” 
★★★★ What's on Stage

Adapted, directed and produced by Dan Coleman
Performed by Christopher Birks and Dan Nicholson
Designed by Andrew Riley
Lighting Design by Tom White
Sound Design by Elena Pena
Composed by Dan Nicholson

Production Management by eStage
Stage Management by Vicky Jukes
Video by Adam Loveday-Brown for Kingdom London

A story of lost love and broken dreams inspired by the sonnets...

Co-created by Naomi Said and Dan Coleman
Directed by Dan Coleman
Choreography by Naomi Said

Composition and Musical Direction by Harry Blake
Produced by Claire Turner


Told through text, song, live music and movement, A Fever Longing Still is the story of a lonely soul haunted by the ghosts of the past. It was Dawn State's debut research and development project, designed to allow us to explore our working practices and develop our identity as a company. The two stages of R&D took place in summer 2012 and spring 2013, supported by the Royal Shakespeare Company, Arts Council England and English Touring Theatre.

The cast for R&D1 were Sian Phillips, Clive Francis, Phil Desmueles, Alex Beckett and Naomi Said. The cast for R&D2 were Sian Phillips, Gyuri Sarossy, Owen Whitelaw and Naomi Said.

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DAN COLEMAN                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Dan is the artistic director of Dawn State and a freelance director, producer and dramaturg. Recent work for Dawn State includes Gulliver Returns (Edinburgh & UK Tour 2018) which he also adapted; The Wonderful Discovery of Witches in the County of Lancaster (New Diorama & Greenwich Theatre 2016; Oxford Playhouse & Edinburgh Festival 2015) and The Man Who Would Be King (UK Tour 2016; New Diorama & Edinburgh Festival 2014) which he also adapted. Recent freelance work as director includes Todd and God (Edinburgh & UK Tour); Paradoxy (Pegasus Theatre& Trafalgar Studios); Philistines and A Month in the Country (both Oxford School of Drama); The Merchant of Venice (RSC workshop production); Hedda Gabler (Drama Centre London); Dirty Great Love Story (VAULT Festival) and Skittles (BAC & Edinburgh Festival) . Recent work as dramaturg includes Years of Sunlight (Theatre503) and Dirty Great Love Story (Arts Theatre, UK Tour, 59E59 New York & Edinburgh). Recent producing credits include Child of the Divide for Bhuchar Boulevard (Polka & UK Tour) and My Name Is for Tamasha (Edinburgh & Scottish Tour). He was the joint programming director at Theatre503 in 2009, the resident assistant director at Sheffield Crucible in 2010, and the recipient of the TDA emerging producer bursary at Tamasha Theatre Company in 2015. He trained at Birkbeck College. You can contact him on dan[at]



Christopher is a founding member of Dawn State, playing the role of Kipling/Dravot in The Man Who Would Be King and the role of Potts in The Wonderful Discovery of Witches in the County of Lancaster. Other credits include Count Oederland (Arcola Theatre), Holding Hands at Paschendale (White Bear), The Questionnaire, 4.3 Miles from Nowhere and Waiting for Apollo (Edinburgh Festival) & Boys of the Empire (King's Head and Edinburgh Festival). He trained at Drama Centre London.

Dan Nicholson

Dan is a founding member of Dawn State, playing the role of Peachy in The Man Who Would Be King and Nowell in The Wonderful Discovery of Witches in the County of Lancaster. He trained at Drama Centre London, The Vakhtangov Theatre Institute in Moscow and The National Youth Theatre. Dan is an accomplished pianist and percussionist. He composed the original score and songs for The Man Who Would Be King and The Wonderful Discovery of Witches. Other credits include Amadeus and The Cut (Samuel Beckett Theatre) and The Rebel (UK TV Gold).

ETT + Forge_rgb

Dawn State is part of English Touring Theatre's Forge Development Programme. 

The company gratefully acknowledges the support of the Garrick Charitable Trust.

Our sincere thanks to Jack Dawson and all at ETT. Thanks also to the amazing Naomi Said and Claire Turner for the huge part they played in getting Dawn State off the ground.