Teatro do Mundo Teatro do Mundo Teatro do Mundo Jo Clifford Teatro do Mundo Transgender
Jo Clifford - The Plays - Teatro do Mundo
 The Tree of Knowledge    2011
 Sex, Chips and The Holy Ghost    2011
 The Tree of Life    2010
 The Seagull    2010
 La Princesse de Cleves    2010
 Every One    2010
 An Apple A Day    2009
 Having a Heart    2009
 Spam Fritters    2009
 Chrystal and the General    2009
 Yerma    2008
 An Opera for St. Monan    2008
 Blood Wedding    2008
 Life is a Dream    2008
 The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven    2008
 Leave to Remain    2007
 Tchaikovsky and the Queen of Spades    2007
 Lucy's Play    2007
 The Force of Destiny    2006
 Faust Parts One and Two    2006
 Anna Karenina    2005
 The World    2005
 Great Expectations    2005
 God's New Frock    2005
 God's New Frock (film)    2004
 Sitios    2004
 La Celestina    2004
 God's New Frock    2003
 The Chimes    2003
 S.D.O.    2002
 Madeleine    2002
 Queen of Spades    2002
 The Constant Prince    2001
 Baltasar and Blimunda    2001
 Charles Dickens: The Haunted Man    2001
 Bintou    2000
 Torquemada parts one and two    2000
 Hansel and Gretel    2000
 Inés de Castro (BBC2)    2000
 Ain’t it Grand to be bloomin’ well dead    1999
 Letters from a Strange Land    1999
 The Night Journey    1999
 Life is a Dream    1998
 The Magic Flute    1998
 The Leopard parts one and two    1997
 Writing Home to Mother    1997
 Bazaar    1997
 An Opera for Terezin    1996
 Inés de Castro (Opera)    1996
 War in America    1996
 Light in the Village    1995
 Wuthering Heights    1995
 La Vie de Boheme parts one and two    1994
 Visoes de Febre    1994
 Dreaming    1994
 Celestina (Radio)    1993
 La Vie de Boheme    1993
 Anna    1993
 Inés de Castro (Radio)    1992
 Don Duardos    1992
 What's in a Name    1992
 Macbeth    1991
 The Price of Everything    1991
 Ten Minute Play    1991
 Light in the Village    1991
 The Girl Who Fell to Earth or Shoot the Archduke!    1991
 Quevedo: The Soul's Dark Night    1990
 Santiago    1990
 Inés de Castro    1990
 The Magic Theatre    1989
 Celestina    1989
 Inés de Castro    1989
 The House of Bernarada Alba    1989
 Schism in England    1988
 Great Expectations    1988
 Playing with Fire    1987
 Heaven Bent, Hell Bound    1987
 Lucy's Play    1986
 Losing Venice (Radio)    1986
 Losing Venice    1985
 Romeo and Juliet    1984
 Ending Time    1984
 Desert Places    1983
 The Doctor of Honour    1983
 The House with Two Doors    1982
My First .....

My first costume (which I never got) was a set of wings.
I found them in an empty room of the huge rambling old house we lived in when I was a child.
They were so beautiful I didn't dare touch them.
But when a week or so later I desperately wanted to wear them they were gone.
Perhaps I had dreamt them; but I cried and cried because I so wanted them.
I think I wanted to be an angel.

My first part (which I never got) was to be a flower.
It was that or be a gnome.
It was obvious, really. I mean who in their right mind would want to be a gnome?
And I couldn't really understand why, when it came to the flower rehearsals, I was the only boy.
I remember worried grown up conversations about it all (but why were they so worried?) and somehow the anxiety must have got to me because I came down with mumps.
And never got to be a flower.

My first costume (which I did get) was a very plain yellow dress in a musical whose title I forget in my first boarding school when I was ten.
The dressing room was a dormitory and it smelt of old fashioned theatre make-up, and I loved that smell, and they played long playing records of 'Gigi' and 'High Society' and 'My Fair Lady' and I loved them too.
But I wasn't very good as a musical comedy actress because my music teacher had managed to convince me I couldn't sing. So I vaguely opened and closed my mouth in time to the music.
I was disappointed in the dress. I wanted something more frilly.

My first proper speaking part was as Sylvia in 'One Way Pendulum' in my next boarding school. And the next year I was Lizzie in 'Next Time I'll Sing To You'.
I loved rehearsals. I loved working with everyone and I loved the feeling of knowing I belonged.
I loved being Lizzie. I loved the trouser suit I wore and the long blonde wig and the make-up and the feeling of having false eyelashes.
I felt confident and happy and I wasn't shy any more.
And then my father came to see the second performance and I realised I wanted to be a girl and I felt so frightened and ashamed.
I was terrified that if people got to know who I was they would hate me and make my life a misery and I would die of shame.
I can't really say that was how I discovered I was a transsexual because the word was not then in common use. As far as I could tell, who I was was something unspeakable.
And I can't really say that was then I discovered theatre was my artistic and spiritual home, although looking back on it it's very clear I did, because at the time theatre became a place of fear and terror and the deepest shame.
And that was why finding my voice in the theatre took me twenty years.

My first original theatre play was 'Losing Venice' in 1985.
My first publisher was dear lovely Nick Hern, who published it.

The first time I was in a film was in Gateway Films' 'God's New Frock' in 2004.
(And now I so love being in films).

The first time I read a Calderón was 'La vida es sueño' in 1965. And the first time I translated it was for Calixto Bieito and the Edinburgh International Festival in 1998 (And that was a dream come true).

The first time I understood how much it mattered that I'm a transsexual playwright was in a conference in 2003. I'd always thought that what makes my work so distinctive was the fact that I had steeped myself in Golden Age Spanish plays when I was young. But at that conference, and my dearly beloved partner Susie slowly dying of a brain tumour, and me half out of my mind with pain and strain and grief, I found myself unexpectedly saying 'I'm not a male playwright, and I'm not a female playwright. I'm a transgendered playwright' and I suddenly realised what an amazing gift and privilege that is.

The first time I had 300 people picketing one of my plays was when fundamentalist christians demonstrated outside my 'Gospel According to Jesus Queen Of Heaven' in the Tron Theatre in Glasgay in 2009.
My adolescent fears had come true. They did know who I was and they did hate me for it.
But I survived.

The first play I had published under my woman’s name was, I think, 'Every One' at the Lyceum in 2010.
I know that was the first time I sat and listened to the audience's intent deep silence and realised that the funny sniffling noise was people crying.

The first time I acted in a play with another actor, and got paid for it, was 'Sex Chips And The Holy Ghost' in Oran Mor with David Walshe in 2012.
(47 years after 'Next Time I'll Sing To You').

The first time I had a play on in the West End was 'Great 'Expectations' in 2013 in the Vaudeville Theatre. I am the first openly transsexual woman playwright to have a play on in the West End, and proud of that.
(And proud to have said so in the film of the production, and to have pointed out that when I first wrote that play in 1988 I was a shy youngish man. And that now I'm a grandma)

The first time I acted in an outdoor production was yesterday. On Easter Sunday. In Theatre Alba’s passion play.
I tried to stop my teeth chattering in the bitter Edinburgh wind and told Mary Magdelene there is no need to weep.
And there isn't any, it's true, and no need to mourn either: because at last I was playing an angel.

It's true I still didn't have any wings. And that it's taken almost sixty years.

But you can't have everything.

And next time I will have wings.