dead man's suit



First broadcast in May 2013: Dead Man's Suit, BBC Radio 4. A strange loner buys a suit in a charity shop and it changes his life. Download here (not free!).

The Shadow of Your Hand is a dark psychological drama written by Michael Stewart, directed by Sue Jenkins, produced by Lucia Cox and starring Rosie Fleeshman and Steven Pinder. It was a Dark & Dirty production for the 2011 24:7 theatre festival in Manchester.

Watch the trailer here:

shadow of your hand

review in whatsonstage

“A great study in extreme shifts of power... gripping”  British Theatre Guide

“An intense two-hander... with plenty of laughs... the effect is explosive”  City Life

“One big darkly black power play. Full of psychological shifts. The power dynamic is very cleverly created by Michael Stewart’s script and well maintained by both actors.”  Cultural Shenanigans

“A pleasure to watch... so much quality on display”  Public Reviews

“The interaction between the two is like a frisson of lightening building up to a thunderclap... I wouldn’t like to have missed this professionally crafted play”  This is Lancashire


castaway bbc radio 4

Castaway was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Monday 14 Feb 2011. Click on the image for a larger picture.

The Cleaners

M3 (30s, 20s, 20s) F2 (20s, 30s). A living room.

The Cleaners is a dark comedy dealing with everyday fears of college lecturer, Jack, as his life seems to crumble around him. Combining satirical social comment with a personal story, The Cleaners manages to move and amuse in equal measure.

Jack and Kat are having breakfast, when there's a knock at the door. What they find when they go to answer it is deeply unsettling. From this event, an escalating series of incidents brings fear and paranoia into their home. And the threat outside gradually leaks into their lives like water seeping into a sinking ship.


Excluded: but not from Britain's airwaves

Mike's 2008 radio play Excluded is set in a failing Bradford comprehensive, with the action taking place during an OFSTED inspection that could see the school closing down. Michael explains: "The headmaster's solution is to get the three worst kids off the grounds for the day and get the inspection done without them. The PE teacher who's in the school's bad books is given the job of taking the kids out and it all goes horribly wrong immediately, really..." Based on real case studies and interviews with teachers and excluded pupils in Bradford, Michael says Excluded has been compared to the famous Willy Russell play Our Day Out. But, says Michael, "It's much darker and grittier than that...All drama is about conflict, two people forced together and hopefully 'drama' comes out of that process." Read more in this BBC feature.


Karry Owky

M4 (30s, 30s, 40s, 50s) F2 (20s, 50s). A pub, a living room, a gay nightclub.

A bawdy physical comedy revolving around Mikky - a bibulous road sweeper, and his journey from ignorance to enlightenment via the Karaoke machine in his local pub.  He begins the play as a racist, sexist homophobe, but finds redemption through unconventional channels.

'gripping adult material, that crackles with energy and commitment' (Manchester Evening News)

'Blisteringly funny' (Huddersfield Examiner)


Brood. Play. Michael Stewart

M3 (18, 30s, 42) F1 (39). Back room of a shop.

Brood is a violent and obscenely funny examination of a dysfunctional family in a contemporary northern town. It is, in places, very dark, but ultimately it is an uplifting story, about how people can escape tyranny, despite all the obstacles in their way. It focuses on one day in the life of the Maggs family. Val has decided to leave her husband but her youngest son, Stuart, has thought up a different and more radical solution to their unhappy marriage.

'absolutely lovely work'  

'a truly remarkable grasp of the character's psychologies'

'true flair'

'a grotesque unconventional family drama... Wonderful... Macabre'

(Soho theatre)

'striking... extremely compelling'

'the dialogue is fantastic'


(Paines Plough)