Theatre503 presents

In Event Of Moone Disaster


World Premiere

Written by Andrew Thompson
Directed by Lisa Spirling
Book Now

1969 – Man takes his first steps on the Moon, while Sylvia meets an astronaut at a party. 2055 – Sylvia’s granddaughter is set to become the first person to walk on Mars.

Witness the adventures of three extraordinary women spanning 80 years, against the backdrop of humanity’s journey to the stars.

In Event of Moone Disaster marks the feature length debut of Andrew Thompson. Andrew’s extraordinary play was chosen out of 1629 scripts from 52 countries. The remarkable 503 Literary Team and Readers created a long list of 30, which became a shorlist of 5. A panel comprising Mark Lawson (Chair), Timberlake Wertenbaker, Roy Williams, Charlotte Keatley, Mel Kenyon, David Greig, Henry Hitchings and Lily Williams chose the winner.


2 hours including interval.

PLEASE NOTE: The performance contains flashing lights and theatrical haze.


With a more relaxed view of Front of House etiquette, these performances are tailored to be sensitive to and celebrating of a diverse range of audiences. House lights are left on, our auditorium door is left open, and technical changes may be made where necessary to the production’s sound and lighting. Everyone is welcome.

18 OCT, 12:00: PARENT & BABY

A chance for mums and dads to break away from the newborn baby routine and do something grown-up; without the need to hire a babysitter! Book an adult ticket and your babe in arms goes free.

21 OCT, 19:45: CAPTIONED

Supported by Arts Council England and with special thanks to StageTEXT, we are proud to announce our first captioned performance for deaf and hard of hearing audiences.

25 OCT, 15:00: CHILLED

For anyone who finds it difficult to sit and enjoy live performance in a standard theatre environment. Please note that Theatre503 is still, unfortunately, only accessible by stair. Please contact if you require further access information.


Following Tuesday’s performance we will be hosting a panel discussion inspired by the themes of the show; taking a detour to the stars and exploring what sparks our ambitions for space travel and how likely we are to reach Mars in our lifetime. On the panel are actor, composer, and science fiction writer Nigel Fairs, Founder of Mars Nation Dr Olesya Myakonkaya, Theatre503’s Executive Director Andrew Shepherd and actress Rosie Wyatt, who plays Sylvia Moone.

Andrew Thompson

Born and raised in Sunderland and following a degree in English, Andrew won a DaDA award and trained at Webber Douglas. He has spent the following decade working as an actor for companies including NT and Sheffield Theatres. His early writing has been staged in venues including Live Theatre, The Crucible, The Vaults and at Theatre503's own Rapid Write Response.


Artistic Team
Andrew Thompson
Lisa Spirling
Sarah Beaton
Sound Designer
Richard Hammarton
Movement Director
Chi-San Howard
Production Manager
Gareth Howells
Lighting Designer
Ben Jacobs
Video Designer
Philippine Laureau
Casting Director
Annelie Powell
Assistant Director
Moses Ssebandeke
Stage Manager
Annette Waldie
Sylvia Moone
Rosie Wyatt
Neil Moone
Will Norris
The Doctor/Lieutenant/William Safire
Dar Dash
Thomas Pickles
Julie Moone
Alicya Eyo
★★★★ The Guardian
Posted on 13 October 2017

Inspired by a speech to be read if Armstrong and Aldrin hadn’t returned to Earth, Andrew Thompson’s ambitious debut is a sprawling family drama.

Read the full article

★★★★ The Evening Standard
Posted on 12 October 2017

Get lost in space with highly original, passionate debut... Andrew Thompson’s debut play is highly original... But In Event of Moone Disaster isn’t really about space exploration. Instead it’s interested in people who are lost — whether blundering through life or wedded to a wayward sense of purpose — and in the relationship between sexual politics and women’s ambitions. The result is an impressively condensed epic about failure and the power of impetuous decisions to shape the future.

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★★★★ The Stage
Posted on 12 October 2017

In Event of Moone Disaster, the 2016 winner of the Theatre503 Playwriting Award, heralds a triumphant launch to the career of its writer Andrew Thompson... intricate, poignant and frequently funny play that links three generations of women. Thompson displays a gift for dialogue and snappy structure in the often seamless blend of scenes that span 1969, 2017 and 2055.

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★★★★★ Miro Magazine
Posted on 11 October 2017

"a masterclass in artistic direction... Under the captaincy of Spirling, cast and creative team alike realise Thompson’s ideas with poetic precision and convey a plethora of textures without breaking a sweat... There are so many levels of detail and subtlety in this production that it merits multiple viewings."

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★★★★★ LondonPubTheatres
Posted on 11 October 2017

"This is an astonishing piece of work... Rosie Wyat’s Sylvia is an astonishing study. She is an actor who can move smoothly from high comedy to gut wrenching poignancy..."

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★★★★ TheatreBubble
Posted on 11 October 2017

"From the beautifully young and idealistic, to the painfully lost and grieving, Thompson weaves together his characters with accomplishment. In Event of Moone Disaster ambitiously confronts a huge spectrum of human experience..."

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★★★★★ The Spy In The Stalls
Posted on 11 October 2017

"Theatre503 rarely disappoint and once again they have delivered an auspicious and beautiful new play to the stage. This is an accomplished and charming debut from Andrew Thompson."

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Interview with Andrew Thompson
Posted on 28 September 2017

Winner of the Theatre503's International Playwriting Award 2016, Andrew Thompson’s play, In Event Of Moone Disaster, was chosen from a shortlist of five, selected out of 1600 scripts from across 52 countries.

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Interview with Andrew & Lisa
Posted on 27 September 2017

Theatre 503 in Battersea has that same vibe. It is charmingly, softly, all encompassing. Just like the SJT nothing intimidates, yet you are aware you are in the midst of a creative hotbed...

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Meet our legendary Literary Manager
Posted on 26 September 2017

The Stage interviews our very own Steve Harper, Literary Manager, his 11 year tenure with us has seen a remarkable array of new writers launched at 503, thanks in no small part to him and his incredible team.

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Moone in rehearsals
Posted on 26 September 2017

Moone in rehearsals - check it out

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Posted on 13 September 2017

Casting announced for Andrew Thompson’s debut play, winner of the 2016 Theatre503 Playwriting Award and the first show to be directed by Lisa Spirling since she took over as Artistic Director.

The Stage Award winning ROSIE WYATT stars as Sylvia, previously seen in Blink and Spine at the Soho Theatre, The Cardinal at Southwark Playhouse and Mumburger at Old Red Lion. The cast also includes actor-playwright THOMAS PICKLES (winner of the inaugural Adrian Pagan Playwright Award) and ALICYA EYO best known for playing long running characters Ruby Haswell in Emmerdale and Denny Blood in Bad Girls. WILL NORRIS and DAR DASH round out the cast.

The winner of Theatre503’s international playwriting award, and the first show directed by Lisa Spirling since taking over as Artistic Director – themes of space, time, feminism and sex collide in this astonishing debut play by Andrew Thompson.

Andrew Thompson Wins Theatre503 Playwriting Award 2016
Posted on 2 November 2016

Andrew Thompson has won the 2016 Theatre503 Playwriting Award (The Stage)

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Audience Reviews
Gorgeous. Both simple and complex. Absolutely top notch acting, wonderfully flawed female characters, extremely relevant subject matter, delicate yet deft direction.
Audience Feedback - Oct 20
Great storytelling, great and clever writing, great acting and directing, great set, sound and lights. Theatre 503 finds the best new plays. Keep up the good work.
Audience Feedback - Oct 18
Audience Feedback - Oct 16
Really clever story, thought the actors were tremendous. Very high quality that exceeded all my expectations.
Audience Feedback - Oct 15
Very ambitious, but worked well. Acting was outstanding.
Audience Feedback - Oct 13
Beautifully written and directed and skilfully acted.
Audience Feedback - Oct 11
Great movement!
Audience Feedback - Oct 12
Cracking debut, really lovely theatre, very relaxed. Cast did a super job of weaving the time spans. Excellent digital stuff on the screen too. Really funny, and touching. This was the shortest 2 hour play I've ever experienced. The time whizzed by. Cracking evening out.
Audience Feedback - Oct 7
A perfect example of how a simple idea can be portrayed in such a clever and original way. It made me laugh and it nearly made me cry!
Audience Feedback - Oct 7
Really buzzing from it. Amazing debut from a super-talented new writer, beautifully acted and directed, and the best play I've seen in years.

By turns sexy, funny, poignant, deeply moving and really very clever. I loved how ambitious it was, and I loved how sparse the writing was; it reminded me of Pinter though it has a warmth and humanity that Pinter lacks. And better jokes.
Audience Feedback - Oct 7

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