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English graduate tours with The Killer Question


A University of Wolverhampton graduate who scripted a career in writing is touring with a new play from mid-September including a night at the Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton.

Dave Payne, 38 from Wolverhampton, studied for a degree in English and Drama and graduated in 2003. He now works as a producer for BBC Radio 4's long-standing radio soap opera, The Archers.

His new play, The Killer Question, is touring from mid September with a performance taking place at the University's Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton City Centre on Friday 8th October. 

Tickets are available to purchase and touring venues can be found here.

Dave said: “I’m really looking forward to staging my new playThe Killer Question, at the Arena Theatre in the autumn. I had always written stories when I was young and I had a poem published in the Gladiators Magazine – which was a popular show in the 90s.  I was also successful in having a poem read out on BBC Radio 4 when I was 12.  I was interested in writing poetry and only really interested in studying English. 

“I had no idea that this could translate into a career until I heard Mal Young speak at one of our University lectures. I had no contacts in the industry, so I worked hard at entering competitions and my career really began to take off. 

“The University has played a massive part in my success, and I’m really pleased to still be associated with it, not only have I studied there but I worked there for a while and had some really happy years with a great team."

About the play

The Silence Of The Lambs meets Last Of The Summer Wine in dark comedy thriller The Killer Question. Former game show champion Walter Crump lives for murder (it was even his specialist subject on the nerve-shredding, general knowledge quiz show The Chair). But did his obsession with death ultimately lead to his own? That’s certainly what Inspector Black believes, and now it is Crump’s dopey widow Margaret who finds herself in the chair – accused of her husband’s murder.

But as shocking details emerge about the events leading up to Walter’s final head to head, it quickly transpires that what started out as an open and shut case has turned into another game altogether: the cat and mouse variety, with more than one deadly twist in the tale.

About the writer

Midlands born Writer and Producer Dave Payne was one of the winners of the ITV1 sketch show Shoot The Writers and now predominantly writes comedy, drama and thrillers. A graduate of the Birmingham Rep Write Away project, Dave's short plays went on to be performed byFractured Lines, Full Circle, Off The Fence and The Best of The Platform at The Bread and Roses Theatre. As core writer of the award winning Laughlines Comedy Entertainment, he wrote stage parody tributes to classic sitcoms including Blackadder, Only Fools and Horses and The Vicar of Dibley before landing storyline opportunities with Hollyoaks online, Coronation Street and EastEnders (winning Best Storyline at The British Soap Awards in 2014 and 2015). He was a finalist in Playwright at The Little Theatre, Hebden Bridge and last year had work showcased at The Hope Mill, Manchester and The Curve Theatre, Leicester. He has two short films and a podcast currently in development and is working on a full length stage musical. He is a proud member of Cucumber Writers, wrote sketches for the CBBC comedy Class Dismissed and is a Producer on BBC Radio 4's The Archers.

‘Packed with dark laughs, this extremely well-written and darkly funny play marks Dave Payne as one to watch.’ – Review by Impolite Conversation.   

Anyone wanting to study English, Drama or Creative Writing at the University should register for one of the forthcoming Open Days. 


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