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28 July – 24 September

As part of the TOO CLOSE TO HOME season

Diary of a Madman

Book Tickets

Box office: 020 7229 0706


  • Catch the show before it goes to Edinburgh
    28th - 30th July, 7:30pm

  • 5th - 24th September
    3pm Wednesday and Saturday matinees

  • Tuesday 6th September, 7pm

  • Thursday 15th September

  • Friday 16th September

  • Friday 23rd September

“I was born with a bomb in my head. You can’t know what it’s like to constantly fear your own mind”.

Pop Sheeran shoulders the family trade of restoring Scotland’s iconic Forth Rail Bridge with pride. In Pop’s head lurks an illness that has been kept stable by modern medicine, his loving wife, and teenage daughter. But his stability, family and sanity are threatened when he discovers that his bridge has been put up for sale. To make matters worse, a young Englishman arrives at his home catching the eye of his teenage daughter. 

Al Smith’s Diary of a Madman is the portrait of a man spiralling towards insanity, when his senses of personal, professional and national identity are all challenged.

Directed by Artistic Director, Christopher Haydon.

Running time: 1 hour 45 minues, no interval

Photo credit: misfitfilms

Liam Brennan nominated for an Offie Award for Best Male Performance

GATE DEBATE: Behind the "madness"

Join us for a discussion exploring the mental health issues raised in the play. Our panel will include Director, Christopher Haydon, Playwright, Al Smith, and Psychiatrist Hugh Grant-Peterkin.

Hugh is a Senior Registrar in adult & older adult psychiatry who has worked as a psychiatrist in south and east London since 2007; during this time he has worked in both in-patient and community setting with people experiencing psychotic symptoms. He has an interest in theatre and the representation of mental distress and has studied devised theatre at LISPA (a Lecoq theatre school) for two years. 

For a PDF version of Diary of a Madman free cast and creatives sheet click here.

Check out our trailer for the show!
(Contains some strong language.)



Book Tickets

28th - 30th July, 7:30pm

4th - 28th August, various times

5th - 24th September. 7:30pm. 3pm Saturday and Wednesday matinees. 
The Times
"This is an authentic story of our times”

British Theatre Guide
"Likely to be one of the best remembered plays of the Traverse programme and the whole of the Fringe."

The Telegraph
“A manifest triumph"

Financial Times
“A highlight”

The Herald Scotland
"Liam Brennan leads a fine five-strong cast”

The Independent
“[The play] feels ripely pertinent post-Indyref, post-Brexit”

Evening Standard
“Liam Brennan giving a towering central performance”

The Stage
"It’s smart, engaging and often very funny”

"The performances are exemplary”

“Smith writes family tensions beautifully”

Pick of the Fringe in:

The Guardian
The Telegraph
The Stage
Time Out

The Gate’s work is made possible by public funding from Arts Council England.

Diary of a Madman is part of the Jerwood Young Designers Programme, supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.

The commission of Al Smith’s new play Diary of a Madman was funded with help from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.



Christopher Haydon +

Artistic Director and Chief Executive

Mark Howland +

Lighting Designer

George Bach +

Associate Lighting Designer

Richard Bell +

Associate Sound Designer

Heather Doole +

Production Manager

Jess Gow +

Company Stage Manager

Priya Dosanjh +

Assistant Director

Anna Lewis +

Associate Designer

Yarit Dor +

Movement and Fight Director

Liam Brennan +

Pop Sheeran

Deborah Arnott +

Mavra Sheeran

Lois Chimimba +

Mel McCloud

Guy Clark +

Matthew White

Theatre includes: Harrogate (HighTide / Royal Court Theatre); Enola; The Bird (Underbelly); Radio (Underbelly / Soho / 59E59NYC); The Astronaut Wives Club (Soho Theatre).  He is currently under commission to the Royal Court Theatre.

Radio includes: LifeLines; Duchamp’s Urinal; Life in the Freezer; The Postman of Good Hope; Radio (BBC Radio 4) and Everyday Time Machines; Everyman (BBC Radio 3). 

Television includes: Shakespeare LiveThe Coroner; Father Brown; The Cut; Africa; Holby City; EastEnders (BBC1). 

Awards: BFI / Wellcome Trust Screenwriting Prize, and the Pearson Playwriting Bursary (Finborough).

Christopher is the Artistic Director at the Gate Theatre and formerly an Associate Director at the Bush Theatre.  
Credits at the Gate include:  Diary of a Madman (also Traverse Theatre), The Iphigenia Quartet, The Christians (also Traverse Theatre, winner: Fringe First), Grounded (also Traverse Theatre, Studio Theatre Washington DC, national and international tour; winner: Fringe First, Best Production - Off West End Awards) Image of an Unknown Young Woman (winner: Best Production, Off West End Awards), The Edge of Our Bodies, Trojan Women, Purple Heart, The Prophet, Wittenburg.

Other theatre credits include: Twelve Angry Men (Birmingham Rep/West End), Sixty-Six Books, In the Beginning (Bush Theatre/Westminster Abbey); A Safe Harbour for Elizabeth Bishop (Southbank Centre); Grace, Pressure Drop (On Theatre); Deep Cut (Sherman Cymru/National Tour); Monsters, Notes from Underground (Arcola); A Number (Salisbury Playhouse). Short Films include: The Taming of the Shrew/Two Gentleman of Verona (Globe Theatre) Devil in the Detail (Royal Court/Guardian).

As a journalist he has written for: The Scotsman, The Financial Times, The Independent, The Guardian, The New Statesman and Prospect Magazine. He is the co-editor of three books: Conversations on Religion, Conversations on Truth (Continuum) and Identity and Identification (Black Dog).

Rosanna Vize is a freelance theatre designer. She graduated from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 2013 when she became one of 12 finalists for the Linbury Prize of Stage Design.

She has previously worked for the Gate Theatre on The Rise and Shine of Comrade fiasco in 2015, the design for which was nominated for an off west end award for best set design.

Other work includes: Infinite Lives by Chris Goode, Coastal Defences, Banksy: the Room in the Elephant by Tom Wainwright(Tobacco Factory Theatre). The Tinder Box, Joan of the Stockyards, A Thousand Seasons Passed, Talon, The Last days of Mankind, Dark Land Lighthouse (Bristol Old Vic). Measure for Measure, Black Sheep (Oxford School of Drama). Edward Gants Amazing Feats of Loneliness by Anthony Neilson, The Wicked Lady by Bryony Lavery (Bristol Old Vic theatre School). A Midsummer Nights Dream (Garsington Opera & RSC). Noye’s Fludde (Kneehigh Theatre). Don Giovanni (Hampstead Garden Opera. The Picture of John Gray (The Old Red Lion). Howard Barker Double Bill (Arcola Theatre).

Current work includes  FUP (Kneehigh Theatre), Girls (Soho Theatre, Talawa theatre & Hightide), After October (Finborough Theatre.)

Rosanna has also worked regularly as an assistant to Anna Fleischle and was the resident assistant designer for the RSC between Sep 2014-Sep2015.
Mark studied briefly at Oxford University prior to training in Stage Lighting Design at RADA.
His previous credits for the Gate Theatre include: Diary of a Madman, The Christians, Image of an Unknown Young Woman, Edge of Our Bodies, Grounded, Purple Heart, Trojan Women, The Prophet, Yerma, Wittenberg, The Kreutzer Sonata, Vanya.
Other design credits include: Rudolf (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Xerxes, La Calisto, Ulysses’ Homecoming, The Tales of Hoffmann, Werther, Pelleas et Melisande (for which he was nominated for a Knights of Illumination Award), La Boheme, Wild Man of the West Indies, The Siege of Calais (English Touring Opera), Twelve Angry Men (Birmingham Rep/West End),The Elixir of Love & Rodelinda (Scottish Opera), The Glass Menagerie (Nottingham Playhouse), The Patriotic Traitor (Park Theatre), Canvas (Chichester Festival), The Winter’s Tale, She Stoops to Conquer, An August Bank Holiday Lark, The Grand Gesture (Northern Broadsides), Brassed Off (York Theatre Royal), A Further Education, Elephants, Four Minutes Twelve Seconds, The Blackest Black, Ignorance (Hampstead Theatre), Pride and Prejudice – the Musical, The Man Jesus, Uncle Vanya, Dockers, The Home Place (Lyric Theatre, Belfast),  Dancing at Lughnasa, Ghosts, Sweeney Todd (Aarhus Theatre, Denmark),  Singin’ in the Rain (Det Ny Teater, Copenhagen), Entertaining Mr Sloane, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Absurd Person Singular, Molly Sweeney, Translations (Curve Theatre, Leicester), The Ladykillers, Hitchcock Blonde (Hull Truck), Measure for Measure (Sherman Cymru), Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks (Vienna’s English Theatre), Bea, Pressure Drop, On Religion (On Theatre), Parallel The Suit, Parallel Electra (Young Vic), Dick Turpin’s Last Ride, Cider with Rosie, The Merchant of Venice (Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds), A Number (Salisbury Playhouse), The Pains of Youth (Belgrade Theatre).

Alexandra Faye Braithwaite trained at LAMDA.

Recent/ Upcoming Designs Include: The Remains Of Maisie Duggan (Abbey Theatre), The Rolling Stone (Orange Tree Theatre), The Tempest (Royal & Derngate), Happy To Help (The Park Theatre), The Future (The Yard), My Beautiful Black Dog (The Southbank Centre), Hamlet is Dead, No Gravity (The Arcola), BUTTER (The Vaults), Juicy & Delicious (Nuffield Theatre), A New Play For The General Election (The Finborough Theatre), The Flannelettes (Kings Head Theatre), Remote (The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth), His Dark Materials (The North Wall Arts Centre), The Fastest Clock In The Universe (Old Red Lion Theatre), XY (Theatre 503 & Pleasance, Edinburgh), The Shelter (Riverside Studios), Project Strip (Tara Arts), Lonely Soldiers (Arts Theatre), The Dreamer Examines His Pillow (Old Red Lion Theatre), Faustus (The Old Laundry Theatre), Blackout (Castle Theatre).

As Associate: The Glass Menagerie (Nuffield Theatre), Dracula The Musical (Soho Theatre), Secret Theatre (UK Tour), Glitterland (The Lyric Hammersmith), Jumpers For Goalposts (Watford Palace & Hull Truck).
George is a Freelance Lighting Designer and Production Electrician, who trained on the PgDip in Stage Electrics and Lighting Design at RADA.

Previous credits for the Gate: The Christians, Image of an Unknown Young Woman. 

Production Electrician credits include the English Touring Opera Spring & Autumn Seasons 2015 (Hackney Empire) and the Spring 2016 Season as Re-Lighter, Rapunzel (Park Theatre), Islands and Divas (Pleasance Theatre), The Wind In The Willows (UK Tour), Scarlet (Southwark Playhouse), Mad To Go (GBS Theatre, RADA) and Chief Electrician at Pleasance One (Edinburgh 2014 Fringe Festival). 

Recent lighting design credits include Rapunzel (UK Tour), Baby (Robin Howard Dance Theatre, The Place), Storm In A Teacup (Soho Theatre, UK Tour), The Flannelettes (Kings Head Theatre), London WallAfter Columbus (New Diorama Theatre), Resolution (The Space, London), The Dumb Waiter, (Courtyard Theatre, London). 

Theatre as Associate Sound Designer:
The Sugar-Coated Bullets of the Bourgeoisie (Arcola/HighTide), A High Street Odyssey (Inspector Sands), Henry IV (Donmar Warehouse Outreach Project)

Theatre as Sound Designer:
Wet Bread (Sheer Drop)

Other media as Sound Designer:
Zombies, Run! Season 1&2 (Six to Start, Android/iPhone app)

Richard is also a freelance production sound engineer.
Heather is a freelance production manager.

Pasts show include: Diary of a Madman (Gate Theatre); Carmen (Blackheath Halls); No Villain (Trafalgar Studios and Old Red Lion); Radiant Vermin (59E59, New York, Soho Theatre, London, and Tobacco Factory, Bristol); Iphigenia Quartet (The Gate Theatre); All or Nothing (The Vaults); Firebird (Hampstead Theatre Downstairs & Trafalgar Studios); Giving, The Argument, The Meeting, 36 Phone Calls, Sunspots, Deluge, Deposit, Elephants and State Red (Hampstead Theatre Downstairs); 4000 Days and Grounded (Park Theatre);  Four Minutes Twelve Seconds (Trafalgar Studios); The Session (Soho Theatre); Octagon (Arcola Theatre); And Then Came the Nightjars (Bristol Old Vic Studio and Theatre 503); ValhallaAnimals & Cinderella and the Beanstalk  (Theatre 503); Women Centre Stage Festival (NT Temporary space). She assisted on Bull (Young Vic).
Katy graduated from the University of Hull in 2010 with a Degree in Theatre and Performance. From there she became the resident Production Manager for the New End Theatre until August 2011 before becoming a freelance Stage and Production Manager.
Previous credits for the Gate include: The Iphigenia Quartet, In the Night Time (Before the Sun Rises), The Christians, Image of an Unknown Young Woman, Eclipsed, Chimera, Body of an American (Also taken to Royal & Derngate) Grounded (Also Taken to Edinburgh Festival, and UK & International Tour) No Place To Go, Dances of Death, Purple HeartThe Trojan Women. 
Other theatre credits include: Scene and Heard: The Tasty Plays (Theatro Technis) Zelda, Barbershopera (Trafalgar Studios 2); These Trees are made of Blood, The IllusionThe Hairy ApeShivered (Southwark Playhouse);Twelfth Night (Minack Theatre); Herding Cats (Hampstead Downstairs); Blue Surge (Finborough Theatre); Bunny (Soho Theatre Upstairs); Mr Happiness and The Water Engine (Old Vic Tunnels).
Alongside her Stage Management she also has a Diploma in Body Language and works as a freelance technician and production manager with various other venues and theatre companies.
Jess Gow is a freelance stage manager and columnist for ‘The Stage’ newspaper. Productions for the Gate Theatre include ‘Electra’, ‘Dream Story’, ‘Wittenberg’ and ‘The Trojan Women’. Previous work includes ‘The Master Builder’ (Old Vic), ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night Time (National Theatre), ‘The Night Watch’, ‘Hamlet’, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, ‘The Flags’, ‘Pomegranate’ and ‘Hobson’s Choice’ (Manchester Royal Exchange), ‘Water’, ‘Twelfth Night’ (Filter Theatre), ‘The 39 Steps’ (West End), ‘Dial M For Murder’ (Fiery Angel), ‘The Great Game’, ‘Loot’, ‘Radio Golf’, ‘Pornography’ (Tricycle Theatre) and ‘Don Carlos’ (West End). 
Priya is a director and producer with an interest in new writing, devising and multidisciplinary practice. In the past year, she has worked with emerging artists and award-winning writers on productions that have been featured in the Bedlam Festival, The Home Theatre Festival and A Winter Less Ordinary.

In a previous life, Priya graduated with First Class Honours in Law with American Legal Studies, qualified as a barrister in London and went on to work with an international NGO on death penalty and drug-trafficking cases before moving back into the arts. She has recently concluded a 12 month artist development programme with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. 
Since graduating from the University of Oxford, Anna has worked as a set and costume designer on a wide range of projects both in theatre and film. Most recently she has designed Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Oxford Playhouse); East End Boys and West End Girls (Arcola Theatre and tour), and Three Writers Walk in a Forest (Theatre 503). She has also worked as a designer at the Park Theatre, the Finborough Theatre, the Buxton Opera House, the Greenwich Theatre and Vault Festival.

For the past year Anna has been working on a variety of projects at the National Theatre, based primarily in the Costume Department, including costume supervising the annual Fast Forward Gala.

She is a member of the costume team for Secret Cinema and has worked on nine productions for them including, Back to the Future; the British premiere of The Grand Budapest Hotel and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

Anna is a Jerwood Young Designer and has previously worked with Rosanna as her assistant on The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco at the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill.

Upcoming work includes Life According to Saki which will also be showing at the Edinburgh Festival.
Yarit Dor is a movement and fight director. She is a former dancer and dramaturg of Hagit Yakira Dance Company and is an Associate Artist of The Director’s Cut Theatre Company and an Associate Teacher at RADA.

She has choreographed movement and violence on a variety of shows from musicals and new writing to classics and devised theatre. 

Her credits include: The Iphigenia Quartet, Diary of a Madman (The Gate Theatre), Dark Tourism (Park Theatre), Disgraced (English Theatre Frankfurt), Zastrozzi (Norwich Dragon Hall), The Emperor Jones (The Lost Theatre), Titus Andronicus (Greenwich Theatre), Macbeth: Fire Burn (Colchester Shakespeare Festival), Henry V (Peckham Asylum), Kiss of the Earch (Corn Exchange Newbury), The Sorrows of Satan (Tristan Bates), Noonday Demons (King's Head Theatre), Macbeth (RIFT Theatre), A Skull in Connemara (White Bear Theatre), Somewhere Between a Self and an Other (Dance 4 Nottingham), Leah (The Place).

Since graduating from RSAMD in 1987, Liam has worked extensively in theatre in Scotland, England and Ireland.
Most recent work includes: The Inspector in An Inspector Calls (nationwide tour); Twelfth Night/Richard III (Broadway, Shakespeare’s Globe, West End).
Television credits include: Shetland; A High Road; Strathblair; Bad Boys; Taggart.
Film credits include: No Man’s Land; Feet Steps; Crowman; Gas Attack.
Liam has recorded numerous dramas and stories for BBC Radio 4. 
Tracks of The Winter Bear (Traverse Theatre); Caucasian Chalk Circle (The Lyceum Theatre); Mammoth (Kuopio Theatre Finland); Museum of Dreams (TAG/ Citizens Theatre); Mother Courage and her Children, The Cherry Orchard (Benchtours); Hairy Maclary(Nonsenseroom Productions); Molly Whuppie, The Hare and the Tortoise (Wee Stories); Lickety Leap (Lickety Spit); Ecstasy (Ravens Twilight Canada); Pygmalion (Tour de Force); The Scaldie Hoose (Theatre Workshop).
Taggart (STV); The End of Story, The Sword and The Cross, That Old One (BBC).
Nominated for ‘Best Actress’, The Stage Awards for Acting Excellence, Edinburgh Fringe 2013 (Mammoth.)
Best Ensemble- CAT awards Caucasian Chalk Circle The Lyceum 2015
Deborah also writes, plays banjo and sings in the band 'Blueflint.' Blueflint recorded their third album Stories from Home with renowned producer Paul Savage (King Creosote, From Scotland with Love) released in April 2015.
Louise is a Scottish Actor and trained at the Italia Conti Academy on the 3 Year BA (Hons) Acting programme.

Recent credits include The Iphigenia Quartet (Gate Theatre), See Bob Run (Bread and Roses Theatre), All Things Nice (White Bear Theatre), Boris Godunov and The Ghost Train (The Jack Studio Theatre).
Lois Chimimba trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.  

Recent theatre includes: wonder.land for the National Theatre and the Manchester International Festival. 

Other theatre includes: Pitcairn (Shakespeare's Globe, Chichester and UK tour); Nightingale and Chase (Albany Theatre); A Long and Happy Life (Vibrant Festival); Laridae (White Bear Theatre); Deep (Talawa Theatre)

Television includes: Radges, Fried, Holby City (all BBC)

Film includes:The Proposal and Earth, Air, Fire, Water 

Radio includes:The Three Musketeers 
Diary of a Madman is Guy's professional debut. Guy recently graudated from Cambridge University, and his most recent roles include a one-man performance of Conrad's Heart of Darkness at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

28 July – 24 September

As part of the TOO CLOSE TO HOME season

Diary of a Madman

Book Tickets

Box office: 020 7229 0706


  • Catch the show before it goes to Edinburgh
    28th - 30th July, 7:30pm

  • 5th - 24th September
    3pm Wednesday and Saturday matinees

  • Tuesday 6th September, 7pm

  • Thursday 15th September

  • Friday 16th September

  • Friday 23rd September