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Recent Works


The Purgatory Shelf Object Theatre Variety Show

Produced with Waste Paper Opera, hosted by The Open Arms
30 July - mid August 2020

Purgatory Shelf




'The Devil's Chord or a Tap on the Shoulder?: Recomposing the soundscape of the intensive care unit'
Essay, published in Cabinet, 2020



Even at Home We are Never Alone (Soundcloud)
Sally O'Reilly and Kit Downes, 2020
Spoken word and music



Current Projects


The Open Arms public house

Roxy Beaujolais


The Open Arms public house unbolts its doors when all other pubs must close theirs. As we negotiate this alarming new world of distance and risk, find solace and stimulus in this retreat for writers, readers, artists, raconteurs, bores and the bored.

The pub is a venue for fiction and oral histories (sometimes indistinguishable) as told by the landlady Roxy Beaujolais, the pub bore, the half-cut on bar stools, the lost property monitor, a fly on the wall, the cleaner and a flurry of others. There's also a haunted lavatory, live bands in session and a writers' snug where technical tips and exercises are exchanged.




Upcoming shows

She Described It to Death

Music: Matt Rogers
Libretto: Sally O'Reilly
Director: Anna Morrissey

19th-23rd July 2020 - CANCELLED
Royal Opera House, London


She Described It to Death


What would happen if humans lived as long as trees? This new chamber opera speculates on how near-immortality might change our understanding of what is truly important. Its complex story reflects our often-disastrous relationship with narrative itself.

Commissioned and produced by Royal Opera and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.