You can contact Sara on: inroadsproductions@mac.com


Photo by Jim Holden


Welcome to Sara Clifford’s homepage, Summer 2020

Sara studied English at Manchester University and has an MA in Screenwriting from the London College of Printing.

Her first play, Some Sunny Day, was selected by both Paines Plough and the Soho theatre, as part of their Writers’ Development programmes, and she has gone on to write nearly thirty plays including commissions for the Soho Theatre, York Theatre Royal, and Nottingham Playhouse, and her work has been produced in France, Italy, Guadeloupe and Hong Kong.

She has been Writer in Residence at the University of Brighton, and Writer On Attachment at Chichester Festival Theatre; and her play A Thousand Days, was a Finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn award

As Director/Producer of her company, Inroads (www.inroads.org.uk), she specialises in placemaking  with communities, and  has written several site-specific plays including Home Fires;  Vacant Possession; Stanmer; Our Dancing Feet (True, and not so true, Tales from the Dancefloor);  The Port, the Beast and the Traveller;  and The Tribunal, all co-productions with Zap Art, incorporating an extensive outreach programme and community participation.

She is also an Associate Lecturer in Applied Theatre, Dramaturgy and Creative Writing  at Central School of Speech and Drama and at Goldsmiths College

Sara is also a member of The Fence, an international network of working playwrights, leading to collaborations with writers from the Netherlands, Gaudeloupe, France and Italy.  See the-fence.net for more information.

In 2017 she travelled to New Zealand with a British Council Artists’ International Development Fund grant.



BREAKING THE SILENCE, an HLF funded Inroads project about the Spanish Flu Pandemic and Brighton  in 1918/19 at the end of World War One

There was always a silence…

(quote from oral history interviewee, 2019)

An Inroads community arts project exploring the history of the Spanish Flu, in partnership with Brighton General Hospital and the University of Brighton, our performances and exhibition were suddenly interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

We are currently re-visioning the project, with  plans for a research project in partnership with the University, a website for all the materials gathered, and a future performance that will explore the theme of silence, then and now..



CHERRY SOUP – a one woman show, featuring Jo Neary,  9 – venue tour across the South Downs National Park 

Conceived, written and produced by Sara Clifford

A Hidden Gem, Fringe Review 

  • A beautifully realised piece, this performance at The Hope Inn was just one of a tour of pub performances across the South Downs National Park.  By the end, hundreds of people will have watched a very engaging theatrical performance, but we will also have had our eyes opened a bit wider to the traditional life of the region, and how quickly it’s changing.  Seeing the stars above is wonderful, but this production gives us a clearer perspective on our own community.   These days, that’s incredibly important.

Some audience feedback:

  • Incredibly well composed, fantastic characterisation, great songs, lovely singing and hilarious moments of storytelling sprinkled with urgency and loss
  • Fantastic – incredibly well-written, superb performance. Absolutely loved it.
  • Each small history was so beautifully crafted, so rich. Magic carpet stuff… what good writing does best, allow us to experience something without being instructed how to do it.

Commissioned by Inn Crowd and South Downs National Park Authority, with support from Applause Rural Touring

A Cherry-Seller sits by the side of the road. We’ve all seen them.
People stop, people buy cherries and people chat. They tell their stories: of ancient farms and modern fetes; of lost skills and identities; of overgrown orchards and the ghosts of the villages – and bring new stories, different ideas and different cultures.
Weaving the stories of the people Sara met during her research as the Inn Crowd Writer in Residence, with tales of the history and culture of the Downs, this one-person show  explored the changing landscapes and populations of the Park – as well as how the history of cherries is also the history of Southern England.
Touring pubs and community venues across the South Downs, performed with text, music and humour, the show asked questions about the past, present and future of the Park.
This is not about nostalgia – this is a Cherry Soup of a show: sweet and sour and a little unexpected…



Funded by Arts Council England 

Picture by Ray Gibson

The story of an older woman circus performer and her two daughters, this piece, currently  in R and D, will draw on text and aerial work, with integrated sign language and audio description.

Working alongside older women participants who will learn circus skills, women who never stop ‘juggling’, as well as  intergenerational and other community groups, we will explore how we are all juggling our lives at any age.

This  ‘theatre with circus’ will explore  ageing and strength; juggling and catching; teaching and learning; different layers of language and communication; and, ultimately, moving on.



MAKING MONSTERS  by Sara Clifford, directed by Kirstie Davis, design by Angela Davies

Inspired by the  200th Anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the rapid advances in Artificial Intelligence, Making Monsters looks at the fundamental need for us to create in our own image. Creation Theatre production planned for 2020 in Oxford.


MAY 2017


Taking place in the new Arts Centre at  La Charite sur Loire, France, Sara was one of four commissioned writers. Performed by Hillary Keegin, Natalie Rafal, Fred Fortas and Denis Baronnet

Directed by Alain Foix




Photo of Lennard Sillevis by Ray Gibson


At a time of war and political uncertainty, Conscientious Objectors were alternately praised and vilified. When Catherine Marshall goes to visit her fellow activist – and lover – Clifford Allen at Newhaven Fort, he is insisting on refusing to fight, which could send him back to gaol and to an early grave.Can she save him while still holding on to their ideals?

In a play full of modern resonances, the story asks what is worth fighting to the death?

Performed by Anna Darvas and Leonard Sillevis, directed by Nicola Blackwell

Produced by Veronica Stephens and Sara Clifford for InSite

Performed at Sussex venues including  Charleston Farmhouse, the Marlborough Theatre and Newhaven Fort.

Fringe Review by Strat Mastoris


Hugely impressed, and very moved, by ‘The Tribunal’.

An intensely human perspective on political and social issues….‘The Tribunal’ skilfully combines the domestic political situation of the First World War with the (timeless) moral dilemmas of following one’s pacifist conscience… the intensity of Sara Clifford’s writing, and the talents of her actors, mean that my memory, as I write this, is of actually being in that cell in Newhaven Fort.

Audience members:

  • Harrowing, inspiring, fascinating – fantastic to have such a brilliant portrayal of conscientious protestors in Newhaven. More theatre please!
  • Powerful, complex, moving – an extraordinary piece of work


SPRING 2016  and 2017


From an original idea by Sara Clifford

On her recent trip to New Zealand, Sara developed Twelve Angry Women with local writers in Wellington, resulting in a  rehearsed reading at Circa Theatre, directed by Kathy McRae.

Wellington writers

Writers’ feedback:

This has been an amazing experience which is like ‘just a beginning’ though we are of course weaving the threads of our mothers and grandmothers into richer and more resilient tapestries ( Althea)

I read some graffiti once that said “art is not only a product of experience but a source of new experience” and that has certainly been true of 12 Angry Women. Thank you so much for the opportunity to take part in this project. I am sure it will be the impetus for a lot more good work. (Bianca) 


Brighton writers


With Research and Development funding from ACE England, plus partnership support from New Writing South and Brighton Dome and Festival,   12 women, including Sara,  were commissioned by Inroads to write short pieces about what makes them angry.

A sold out script in hand showcase performance was presented at the Brighton Dome Studio on March 4th 2016

Fringe Review by Tanushka Gill


Despite the short length of these excerpts it was the details which made some of these pieces memorable. Sara Clifford’s Cream Cakes monologue of an elderly woman performed with touching authenticity by Jean Trend…The beautiful poetic details touch us in a place of recognition and draw us into the heart of the writer’s world…

..It was great to see a full house at Brighton’s Dome Studio for a rehearsed reading. On each chair was paper asking each audience member what makes us angry. I’m angry there isn’t more new work and theatre in Brighton when clearly there is such a hunger for it!



The untold story of Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space

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Photo of Loren O’Dair by Ray Gibson

Sara received ACE England Research and Development funding to work on the script, using aerial work and non-theatre spaces.



TALKING POSTS, SHARED SPACE AND LIGHT, September 2015, The Old Market, Hove 

Two bespoke storytelling lampposts installed outside The Old Market theatre in Hove, Brighton for 6 nights as part of the 2015 Brighton Digital Festival.

14 documented paranormal tales of Brighton, gathered from over 400 years of history were adapted by screenwriter Sara Clifford to bring the eerie stories to life. Each story was performed by a different person from The Old Market’s network of performers and actors

Commissioned by The Old Market, Hove and supported by Arts Council England

Watch here:


REVIEW by Total Theatre:

These classic tales have been reworked into first-person narratives by playwright Sara Clifford, who has done an excellent job, giving enough shared style to offer cohesion to the whole piece, whilst yet allowing for individual narrative voices to shine through.

Talking Posts is a success – a very lovely concept, well realised. A shivery, shadowy experience perfect for melancholic autumn evenings.





Doors copy

A site specific performance for Inroads 

By Sara Clifford and Clare Best

Directed by Nicola Blackwell



Breathtaking.. The writing, both Clifford’s and Best’s, the acting and the staging all worked together to make this a truly outstanding production.

See more at: http://fringereview.co.uk/…/fringer…/2015/vacant-possession



A beautiful and inspiring perfornance… mysterious and magical… so much love, beauty and resilience

Almost unbearably moving at times..I can’t remember when I’ve felt either so moved, or so stimulated by a piece of drama.






the unknown soldier

Photo by Ray Gibson

Inspired by local people’s family stories of the Great War, this new site-responsive promenade play drew  on text, sound and visual projections to create a haunting story of love and loss.

Directed by Terry O’Donovan, designed by Gem Greaves and produced by Veronica Stephens for Zap Art and Sara for Inroads Productions. Video installations by Shared Space and Light, sound installations by Thor McBurnie, music by Pat Power. Choreography by Margret Banks (Studio Tempo) and Matthew Blacklock ( Ragroof Players)


Memorable, sad and impressive.


A big, rich evening 


I thought this was an excellent production, extremely well judged in its use of a variety of media and locations. It presented an emotional and focussed central narrative around clearly identified characters whilst also exploiting the scale of the location, through a highly disciplined chorus and simple but effective design. It also included some wonderfully evocative installations and projections which all added hugely to the narrative core and the wider picture of the War and its impact. Every scene or image was well placed, the promenade audience was moved firmly but sympathetically around the site and our focus was guided often quite subtly towards images or locations. Many congratulations to the whole creative team, actors and chorus.


Sara Clifford’s script delicately explores the mixed emotions on the home front through a local family, soldiers stationed in Seaford, and Newhaven’s telegram girl, Grace Crismas.


What a fantastic performance. A wonderful site-specific play about the 1st World War at Newhaven Fort. I loved the variety, great acting, dancing, choir, war heroes, loss, sound effects, installations, lighting, intimate conversations – thought provoking. To walk round the different spaces at night, added to the mystery and loss The first time I’ve been to Newhaven Fort and a play like this. The best I’ve seen!  





Sara was one of the two Writers in Residence 2014/15  at Brighton University, with poet Clare Best.

Over the course of the year, they hosted salons and events, exploring key issues in creative writing, including collaboration, community and site responsive work.




Girls dancing Oceana

Photo by Ray Gibson

In 2013/14,   Sara  wrote  and conceived Our Dancing Feet, a large scale site specific theatre/dance  piece about the Regent Dancehell in Brighton and the Winter Garden in Eastbourne, co-produced with Zap Art,  directed by Terry O’Donovan, designed by Lucy Bradridge.

Great art, and I think that this production is great art, is often able to tell a big story by closely examining something small. Sara Clifford has produced a poignant evocation of a dance hall of sixty years ago, but she’s also given us a sense of the enormous social changes that have taken place in Britain since that time.

It had the quality of a vision, shimmering just out of reach. 

Strat Matoris, Fringe Review  ( 5 stars)

The mystery, the magic, the expectation, the surprises, the costumes, the ‘period’ feel, the characterization, the pathos, the memories ( mine!) and the wonderful, wonderful dancing! I feel totally invigorated!

Wonderful combination of  real experience, entertainment, beautiful dancing, all ages and exuberance! 

Audience members