Gorilla opens at Polka Theatre

Rachel Barnett’s adaptation of Gorilla is running at the Polka Theatre from 17 July – 16 August.  Rachel’s new collection of plays out now.

HannGorillaah loves gorillas, but she’s never seen a real one… It’s the night before Hannah’s birthday and something amazing is about to happen. When her toy gorilla comes to life, dressed in her father’s coat and hat, they embark on a thrilling, moonlit adventure.

Meet the world’s friendliest gorilla this summer as Polka’s sell-out show returns.

Adapted for the stage by Rachel Barnett, the classic award-winning picture book by former Children’s Laureate Anthony Browne comes to life with puppetry, music and a giant sprinkling of Polka magic!

We’ve just published Rachel’s play collection Four Short Plays for Young People

Rachel Barnett’s work has been performed at theatres in the UK and abroad, including The Royal Court, Theatre 503, and The Arcola Theatre, also at Chichester Festival Theatre, Royal and Derngate, Latitude Festival, Manhattan Theatre Source in New York, Live Girls in Seattle, Key City Public Theatre in Washington and Auroville in India.
Following a BA in English Literature from Cardiff University and an MA in Writing for Performance from Central School of Speech and Drama she has specialised in working with young people, people with disabilities and community groups. Rachel shares her time between playwriting, producing, workshop leading, lecturing, copywriting, company management, fundraising, project management and consultancy.
 Writing projects to date include original work, adaptations, translations, theatre in education projects, pieces for young audiences and young performers, and dramaturgy of collaborative devised work.

Counterculture cover design revealed

Check out this fabulous cover design by Joe Webb for our forthcoming Counterculture UK – a celebration.

Edited by Rebecca Gillieron and Cheryl Robson this is the first comprehensive exploration of counterculture in the UK – from illegal raves to street art, subversive comedy and agit theatre to LGBT clubs, pop-up galleries, guerilla gigs, flash dance, digital publishing, disability arts and much more…

Counterculture UK front 060715 (1)








Joe Webb uses vintage magazines and printed ephemera that he has collected to create simple but elegant hand-made collages, no Photoshop manipulation is allowed. Webb re-imagines the imagery with concise edits, transforming the original scene into something altogether more surreal.

Mary Hamer speaking at The Kipling Festival, Rottingdean

Talk by Kipling & Trix author on Saturday 27 June

Mary Hamer, author of the historical novel Kipling & Trix, and chair of the The Kipling Festival is speaking at the Kipling Festival in Rottingdean which starts on 25 June.

Mary’s talk ‘Kipling in India and India in Kipling’ will be on Saturday 27 June.

The novel took ten years to research and write and was the winner of Aurora Metro’s 3rd Virginia Prize for Fiction in 2012. kipling-trix

Find out more about Kipling & Trix

We are are now accepting submissions for the 4th Virginia Prize for Fiction


The River’s Song gets a Kirkus Blue Star

The River’s Song by Suchen Christine Lim has been awarded a rare Kirkus Blue Star (‘Awarded to Books of Exceptional Merit’)

Kirkus star and caption

“A fine, deeply felt saga of lives caught up in progress that’s as heartbreaking as it is hopeful.”
Read the full Kirkus Review here. 

Just under 3% of books Kirkus reviews are given this honour, and Christine has now joined fellow Aurora Metro author debut novelist David Chadwick who gained a blue star review for Liberty Bazaar in May (read their review here).

We are thrilled that two of our authors have been honoured in such a way, and are now eligible for the prestigious Kirkus Prize.


Read more The River’s Song

Watch an interview with Suchen Christine Lim




Exciting Opportunities for Women Writers

We are thrilled that we now have the opportunity to publish even more novels by women through our Virginia Prize for Fiction.  The winner will receive £1,000 and their novel will be published by Aurora Metro Books in both print and e-book versions. For the first time we will also publish runners-up as e-books.

The closing date is 31st October 2015 so you have a few months to get cracking on finishing that novel! We look forward to reading it.

Click here for more information. 

Back Our Kickstarter Project – Counterculture UK!

Counterculture UK – a celebration


Is it possible to be alternative today with the variety of sub-cultures available on the internet?

This book explores the counter culture movement in the UK – from agit prop to street art, subversive comedy to illegal raves, pop-up galleries, guerilla gigs, flash dance and much more… and shows that opposing the mainstream comes naturally to both young and old alike…Read More..

Inigo by Jonathan Moore transfers to the Pleasance

Fresh from a sell out off west end run to rapturous audiences, Inigo transfers to the Pleasance Theatre, London.

Inigo front cover

25 May – 13 June 2015, 7.30pm

Find out more and to book tickets


What does it mean to believe in something? What does it cost?

SPAIN. Sixteenth century. The inquisition. Political hysteria. After a conversion experience, everything changes. We follow Inigo (Ignatius of Loyola) from ambitious, hot­headed, street­fighting
sensualist to co-founding, with a radical group of young friends, The Society of Jesus. (The Jesuits). They were loved or hated, facing huge opposition in Rome. The current Pope is a Jesuit.

Bold, passionate, funny, entertaining and poetic, Moore’s play is not only for those who are interested in Loyola and The Jesuits. It is also an allegorical story of anyone who wants change and
meets with savage opposition from any Establishment.

The fine cast is drawn from actors with experience at the RSC, Shakespeare’s Globe, Almeida, West End, TV, film and radio.

Jonathan Moore (Writer and Director) is an award winning international actor, writer and director who has worked with RSC, Royal Opera, ENO, BBC, Shakespeare’s Globe,
Donmar, and Almeida among many others.

Aurora Metro are delighted to be publishing the play – find out more here.

Watch Mark Lawson and Jonathan Moore discuss the play’s themes.



Launching tonight the 5* reviewed Liberty Bazaar by David Chadwick

David Chadwick’s Liverpool-set American Civil War historical novel Liberty Bazaar gets its UK launch tonight at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester.

Link to interview with David Chadwick

Liberty Bazaar has received two 5* reviews in the US.

Kirkus awarded it one of its coveted Blue Stars and the book has been nominated for the 2015 Kirkus Prize

In Chadwick’s historical novel, an escaped slave girl and a former Confederate general meet in 1863 Liverpool. This modified epistolary novel alternates between two first-person documents: “Experiences in the Life of a Slave Girl by Trinity Giddings” and “Recollections of a Confederate General by Jubal de Brooke.” … Along with the two well-drawn narrators, the novel boasts several wonderful secondary characters, including Lord Harrowby, “Britain’s oldest dandy”; States Rights Rankin, a villainous Southern senator; and Josiah Mill, a black apothecary. Shades of Charles Dickens’ work, meanwhile, appear in the novel’s descriptions (“Chilly October day. Liverpool drab-grey below an endless wash of overcast”), its twisty plot, and its quirky character names (such as “Cuthbert Longinch” and “Lazarus Hotchkiss”).

This offbeat, refreshingly absorbing Civil War novel features impeccable research and well-realized main characters.

Check out the full review here

Readers’ Favorite

David Chadwick transports the turmoil of the US Civil War to Liverpool, England, in his historical novel, Liberty Bazaar. An escaped slave, Trinity Giddings, finds safety and friendship among the affluent of Liverpool.

David Chadwick’s prose is brilliant in Liberty Bazaar. He pens a story about a familiar time in history, but gives the reader a different and fresh perspective. Most Civil War novels are set on the battleground or on the plantation. Adding a bizarre twist to a well-known event, Chadwick highlights the plaguing effects of battle and slavery on the southern plantations by placing the narrative in Liverpool, England. Written in first person, each chapter portrays a sequence of events. However the personal perspective changes from chapter to chapter. This technique allows the narrative to be read like a journal or a diary. Trinity and Jubal’s characters grow and arc dramatically, allowing for the saga to crest and then ebb with precision and poise.

Chadwick writes eloquent descriptions by using illustrious metaphors and profound analogies. I especially liked the comparison of feminine attire with medieval armor. Liberty Bazaar is a wonderfully written story.

Read the full review here