I’ve often wondered what kind of plays are being performed in the octagonal theatre that Dick Hammond and William Guest pass as they travel across London in News from Nowhere. What sort of drama is appropriate to utopia, after all? Would figures like Henrik Ibsen (a favourite of the young socialists of the 1880s and 90s) or Samuel Beckett or Bertolt Brecht still be current? What about Morris’s own works, would they survive there? His little agit-prop ‘interlude’ The Tables Turned is perhaps too obvious a choice here, so I like to toy with the idea of a dramatised Dream of John Ball being performed in twenty-second-century utopian Hammersmith. John Ball on the stage is not as odd a notion as it sounds, for we have Morris’s own authority for this idea. In October 1894 he wrote to Chris Healy, who had suggested that he dramatise his medieval romance: ‘I am not of the timber from which playwrights are hewn. Why not have a try at it yourself to see what you can make of it?’. Why, then, has nobody risen to this challenge in the 119 years since Morris made it? Or perhaps they have and I just haven’t heard of it?