Games by Henry Naylor

Gilded Balloon and Redbeard Theatre in assoc. with Holden Street Theatres present

Two athletic women stand next to one another. The blonde haired women on the left is holding a fencing sword, and is positioned ready to spar in a match. She is wearing an all-white outfit with the red Nazi Germany insignia on the arm. The dark-haired wom


"★★★★★ - Henry Naylor is a gifted story-teller" - The Barefoot Review
"★★★★★ - Yet another perceptive and engaging tale from Henry Naylor" - Glam Adelaide

"★★★★★ - I cannot fault this performance. It is brilliant in every right, and I highly recommend it to everyone. An experience I will never forget that has left a lasting impression on my mind." - Collage

"★★★★★ - I simply say “Go see this!”" - EVENTalaide

"★★★★1/2 - [Games] amounts to great theatre and not to be missed by serious theatre-goers this Adelaide Fringe" - Kryztoff

"★★★★1/2 - A compelling and accomplished play, well cast, and definitely worthy of your investigation" - The Clothesline

"★★★★1/2 - Extremely well written and acted… the hour seems to go by in a flash which is the sign of an excellent play" - HiFi Way

"★★★★ - The writing is predictably brilliant...this is enthralling theatre held up by two outstanding performances" - Great Scott

"★★★★ - [Naylor] has written yet another powerful and thought-provoking piece of drama which is brought to life by two talented performers." - InDaily

"★★★★ - Those who enjoyed the author’s previous works Angel, Borders and Echoes will find just as much to like in this play" - The Advertiser

"★★★★ - Games is a powerful intrigue exploring the politics in sport" - Limelight Magazine

"9/10 - In a masterfully crafted narrative, we follow the journeys of these reluctant political “heroes” and it is a joy to watch" - The Adelaide Show - Steve Davis

"Henry Naylor has been bringing excellent drama to Holden Street Theatres" - 5MBS

"Naylor’s powerful and brilliant script is convincingly delivered by the talents of Shad and Orange-Turner" - Global Media Post

"An entertaining 60 minutes of action-packed theatre that has you hooked from the opening scene to the last" - The Adelaide Review







1936, Berlin. When Jewish athlete Helene Mayer is selected for the Nazis’ Olympic Squad, she realises she is fighting for much more than gold.

Based on a true story, Games by Henry Naylor is a cautionary tale for our times. A multi-award-winning sell-out success, the show received an astonishing 14 five- and four-star reviews in Edinburgh. Brought to you by the team which has won over 30 of the world’s leading Fringe titles – including Overall Best Theatre in 2016, and the Overall Adelaide Critics’ Circle Awards in 2017 & 2018. Written by three-time Fringe First-winner Henry Naylor.

International Praise for Games by Henry Naylor

"★★★★★ - This two-hander is a gem" - Theatre Guide London

"★★★★★ - Breathtaking and powerful, Henry Naylor’s Games is sharp, funny and poignant- a must see." - EdFest Mag

"★★★★★ - A truly genius piece of writing" - Voice Mag

★★★★★ - One4Review

"★★★★ - This is a riveting exploration of identity, idealism, heroism, and the politics of sport" - The Sunday Times

"★★★★ - [The] performances, in combination with an inquisitive, thematically complex script, make this an impressively polished production with slick parallels to the resurrection of fascism today." - FEST Mag

"★★★★ - Naylor is able to deftly craft a tale that delves deep into themes of identity, nationality, politics, and questions whether we can ever really transcend the labels forced upon us by society" - Broadway Baby

★★★★ - Daily Mail

★★★★ - Fringe Guru

★★★★ - The Scotsman

★★★★ - Daily Business Magazine

★★★★ - British Theatre Guide

Read More About Games by Henry Naylor

"'[Games] is a piece not just about anti-Semitism, but about how we treat each other' - Henry Naylor”- InDaily

"GAMES by Henry Naylor Comes to Adelaide Fringe" - Broadway World

“I’d never heard of her [Helene Naylor], but in the 1930s she was probably one of the biggest stars in the world … like the David Beckham of Germany." - The Advertiser

"'Games' is an Old Story with a Relevant Message"- Scenestr Q&A With Henry Naylor

Cast & Crew

Sophie Shad - "Helene Meyer"

Sophie worked professionally as a child, playing Little Cosette in the West End's 'Les Miserables', as well as a principal role in the BBC's Grange Hill. She went on to train at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and has since worked in film, theatre and radio. As the Granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, Sophie has always been passionate about telling meaningful stories from the past, and in recent years she wrote, produced, and acted in 'Kitty's Fortune' - a film that tells the story of Holocaust survivor Kitty Hart-Moxon's (OBE) first night in Auschwitz. The film was selected for BAFTA-qualifying film festivals, and has toured schools across the country with the aim of helping young people to connect with the atrocities from our past. She is a firm believer that we learn from our mistakes by ensuring that the past is never forgotten - and hopes that telling these stories through the means of film and theatre will be a cog in the wheel of working towards a more peaceful future. She is honoured to be playing the role of Helene Mayer in this production.

Tessie Orange-Turner - "Gretel Bergmann"

Tessie trained at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

Theatre includes Masterpieces (Finborough Theatre), All The Little Lights (Nottingham Playhouse and Arcola Theatre), Sket (Park Theatre), Blister (Gate Theatre), Bassett (Soho Theatre), No Border (Theatre503), The Wonderful World of Dissocia, You Can’t Take It With You, Relationshit, Thebans, Twelfth Night and A Chorus of Disapproval (Richard Burton Company).

Film includes You, Me and Him.

Television includes Casualty.

Henry Naylor - Writer

Henry Naylor is a multi-award-winning UK playwright, who has been described as ‘one of our best new playwrights’ in The Times,

‘one of our best new playwrights’ in The Evening Standard, and ‘one of the most thought-provoking playwrights of our times,’ in The Spectator. In the past 3½ years his plays have won, or been nominated for 34 international awards, including one of France’s most prestigious awards for the arts, the Globes De Cristal. In 2016, he joined J.K. Rowling in having written one of the 10 Best Plays Of The Year by The Times. He is one of only a handful of writers to have won the Fringe First three times, and has won four of the top five Fringe awards at the Edinburgh Fringe, including the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award. The one he hasn’t won - the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award – he’s been nominated for three times. Three of his plays have had month long runs off-Broadway, and in 2017 alone there were over 300 public performances of his work, over five continents. His work has been translated into eight languages.

‘Naylor seems to have taken the mantle of writers like Athol Fugard: to make theater by telling the stories that matter.’ DC Theatre Scene (USA)

Louise Skaaning - Director

Louise spends her working life between London and her native Denmark. She first trained at Scenekunst Academiet at the age of 21 specializing in physical theatre. In 2010 Louise took part in a project that toured across Syria, Lebanon and Georgia – the project was in the style of forum theatre. After moving to London in 2011, Louise then furthered her training at the prestigious East 15 Acting School. This led onto many projects, including assistant director of Hiraeth at Soho Theatre in London, as well as her debut play Chlorine in 2014, about a young woman’s journey through psychosis and eventual recovery. More recently she has directed the acclaimed Flew the Coop at the new Diorama theatre. At the Adelaide Fringe in 2018, she began working with Naylor, when she co-directed the Overall Critics’ Circle Winner: Borders. Subsequently she went on to direct the previews and premiere of Games in Prague and in Edinburgh (where the show won the Innovation Award, the Voice award and was nominated for the Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award). At ease with both directing and acting, Louise is currently touring with a play in Denmark called Pudemin: a play aimed at younger audiences about confronting the fear of the unknown.

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Media Release

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A woman dressed a white athletic outfit and white headband sits on the ground, staring up at something to the left of the image. Behind her is the logo for the 1936 Olympic Games, complete with the Nazi symbol.

Games by Henry Naylor

Genre: Theatre

Origin: UK

Rating: PG

Duration: 60 mins

Season: 2019

Dates: 12 Feb - 16 Mar


12 Feb; 16 Feb - 2 Mar; 5 - 9 Mar: 8:00pm

14 Feb; 12-16 Mar: 6:30pm

16 Feb; 23-24 Feb; 2 -3 Mar; 9-10 Mar; 16 Mar: 1:00pm

13 Feb: 12pm - SOLD OUT

13 & 14 Mar: 10:45am


Adult: $28.00
Concession: $25.00
Group: $22.00
Cheap Tuesday: $20.00
Preview: $18.00

Companion Card holders welcome.

Venue: The Arch

HST are making every effort to make our performances accessible to all during the 2019 Adelaide Fringe. Accessible seating is available in The Arch.

Tickets on sale now!

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