City of Literature

The Group

Jack McNamara and Angharad Davies

Across Friday 28, Saturday 29 and Sunday 30, 9pm daily

This is a past event which has now ended.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we regret to announce that The Group has been cancelled at this year’s City of Literature strand of Norfolk & Norwich Festival.

All bookers have been contacted. We hope to work with Jack and Angharad again in the future.
If you have any questions please contact


What’s real? Who’s there? What do you believe? Join us for The Group – a three-part play told live via Whatsapp, blending literature and theatre in the palm of your hands.

Tune in each evening for a short, standalone story told through real-time conversations accompanied by a haunting musical score. These initially light-hearted and familiar stories will unfold in a way that will lead you to question digital spaces like Whatsapp and how they can be used as a gateway for support, connection, solidarity, infiltration and influence. Both playful and sinister, The Group is an original and unusual immersive experience for anyone who loves literature, language, drama, music and digital art.

The Group is created by theatre maker Jack McNamara and composer/violinist Angharad Davies. Long-term collaborators, they first worked together on a rendition of Samuel Beckett’s Texts For Nothing at the Southbank Centre and later went on to score work for writers such as David Rudkin, Daphne Du Maurier, Daisy Johnson, Angela Carter and J.A . Baker. Jack McNamara runs the award-winning New Perspectives, who received critical acclaim for their Whatsapp play ‘Stay Safe’ performed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This event will take place as three-standalone plays (or acts) across three evenings. Attendance across all three plays is recommended, but not required or integral to the individual stories. Each act has a run time of 20-30 mins. They will take place at 9pm BST across Friday 28, Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 May.

Note: Strict GDPR guidelines apply. Participants will not be able to view the personal details of other group members during the performance. Once the performance ends, audience members have 24 hours to re-read and listen to the work before it is deleted from their phones.

‘A totally brilliant, simple and incredibly effective use of technology to tell stories.’ Rebecca Brewer on Stay Safe for the Guardian

 ‘An intoxicating adrenaline rush of an experience’ The Upcoming on Stay Safe ★★★★★


This event is part of the City of Literature programme, in partnership with National Centre for Writing.

Explore the full City of Literature programme here


Angharad Davies
Angharad Davies is a Welsh Violinist working with free-improvisation, composition and performance, and one of the most respected figures in the UK’s contemporary experimental music scene. Having been involved in over 50 album recordings, her approach to sound involves attentive listening and exploring beyond the confines of her instrument. Most of her records are released on Another Timbre but she also has releases on Absinth Records, Confront records, Potlatch and Winds measure recordings. Her album Ffansion was voted in the top 12 albums for Radio 3’s Late Junction.

Jack McNamara
Jack McNamara is a theatre maker based in Nottingham and runs the touring company New Perspectives. He has staged major premieres by artists and writers ranging from Don DeLillo to Chigozie Obioma. His production of The Fishermen won both a Stage Award and Black British Theatre Award and is now being broadcast on BBC Radio 3. His production of Sisyphus with radical Belgian artist Thibault Delferiere won a MESS Award at BE Festival. His productions have toured from New York to Singapore, as well as touring extensively to theatres and village halls throughout the country. His podcast series PlacePrints, stars Juliet Stevenson, Toby Jones and Stephen Rea and was voted amongst the top 25 UK fiction  podcasts of 2020. New Perspectives have been described by Lyn Gardner as “pioneers’ of the lockdown period, having staged theatrical work on postcards, Christmas cards and telephones alongside an Offie-nominated zoom comedy The Boss of it All and an acclaimed WhatsApp play Stay Safe.

Important information

Age guidance: Suitable for ages 16+. Contains adult themes, including escaping a situation of threat.

Duration: Three standalone acts. 20-30 mins per act.

Accessibility: Piece requires Whatsapp to access. Majority text with additional musical score.


This is a free event, accessed through Whatsapp. Register in advance to receive instructions.

Part of Open Doors, a series of original commissions and open submissions from the National Centre for Writing. Supported by Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence fund.

City of Literature is a Norfolk & Norwich Festival and National Centre for Writing presentation, programmed by National Centre for Writing

National Centre for Writing

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