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New collaborations with 3 female playwrights

We’re thrilled to announce Fifth Word will start work with three exciting female playwrights; Sonali Bhattacharyya , Satinder Chohan and Maureen Lennon. We will work with this cohort of brilliant writers on a bespoke process with that will allow each individual writer the time and resources to start a new piece of work for theatre.

Alongside our other playwrights on Commission, this sees our most ambitious commissioning programme to date, demonstrating our commitment to seeing more commissions and productions for female playwrights and playwrights of colour.

Sonali Bhattacharyya

Sonalia Bhattacharya

Sonali Bhattacharyya is a playwright whose stage credits include Hundred Percent Positive Wellness (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama),  Megaball(National Theatre Learning),  2066 (Almeida Theatre),  The Invisible Boy (Kiln Theatre),  Slummers (Cardboard Citizens/The Bunker),  Behind the Blast Wall(Palindrome/Theatre 503),  These Four Streets (Birmingham Rep), A Thin Red Line (Kali Theatre/Birmingham Rep/Black Country Touring) and the South Bank Show award nominated White Open Spaces (Pentabus Theatre).

She was one of the inaugural Old Vic 12, is a graduate of the Royal Court writers' group, and was the 2018 Channel 4 writer in residence at the Orange Tree theatre. She’s currently under commission to the Orange Tree Theatre, The Coterie and Kiln Theatre. She’s from Leicester and lives in Walthamstow.

Satinder Chohan

Satinder Chohan

Satinder is a journalist turned playwright who won the Adopt A Playwright Award in 2013. Her play MADE IN INDIA (Tamasha, Belgrade and Pilot Theatre) directed by Katie Posner toured the UK in 2017  to great acclaim receiving an OffWestEnd award nomination and winning the award for Best Production at the Eastern Eye awards. She co-adapted GULLIVER'S TRAVELS with Mike Kenny for the Bolton Octagon in 2018 directed by Elizabeth Newman and Ben Occhipinto and she is currently adapting Kiran Millwood Hargrave's THE GIRL OF INK AND STARS for Spark Arts for Children. Her plays ZAMEEN and KABADDIKABADDIKABADDI have toured the UK with Kalí and Pursued By A Bear respectively and 1984 was part of The Finborough’s Vibrant Festival 2014.

She has won a Kalí Futures Writer Award, completed The Traverse Theatre’s Emerging Writers' Residency, was on attachment at the Hampstead Theatre and took part in the Kudos-Court scheme at the Royal Court in 2016. She is writing a radio play for BBC Radio 3 and developing a new play with support from Kalí Theatre.

Maureen Lennon

Maureen Lennon

'Maureen is a graduate from the BA in English and Drama from Bristol University and MA in Writing for Performance and Publication from Leeds University (Distinction). She is a co-founder of new writing & storytelling company Bellow Theatre. Writing credits with Bellow include Gobble, The Washerwomen’s Warning, and two co-writes with Tabitha Mortiboy, The Cautionary Tale of Horrid Ham Carver& Bare Skin On Briny Waters, which received two award commendations from the NSDF Edinburgh award.

Short plays include, The Way Home for Paines Plough- Come To Where I’m From and A Long Morning Quiet for Sheffield Theatres- 4x15. 

She is a Leeds Playhouse FUSE writer and Associate Artist of Middle Child Theatre. Her latest play, Us Against Whatever, was produced by Middle Child Theatre in association with Hull Truck Theatre and the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse.'

Mufaro Makubika

We are working with Nottingham based playwright Mufaro Makubika on a brand new adaptation of a Man Booker shortlisted novel. We will be announcing more in due course so watch this space!

Mufaro Makubika is an award-winning playwright who lives and works in Nottingham. Mufaro’s recent play ‘Shebeen’ won the 2017 Alfred Fagon Award for the best new play and was produced to critical acclaim by Nottingham Playhouse and Theatre Royal Stratford East in June 2018.

"I'm thrilled to be working in close collaboration with the team at Fifth Word to develop and make this play. I'm very excited about what we might be able to create together."

Sophie Ellerby

Sophie is currently the Pentabus Writer in Residence. She studied drama at the University of Manchester and was awarded a place on HighTide’s First Commission scheme in 2016 where she wrote her debut play LIT. Other work includes, THREE, performed at the Arcola theatre in 2017, and FUNCTION, performed at The Criterion Theatre in September 2018.

Sophie is dedicated to working on projects that challenge social norms and ignite community imagination. Her plays aim to tackle provocative societal questions in an accessible and human way.

"This collaboration is so exciting! I’ve loved Fifth Word’s work ever since seeing All the Little Lights and I relate immensely with their ethos as a company. Theatre that really challenges or provokes audience thought feels invaluable right now in society. I look forward to what we create together!"

Sonali Bhattacharyya

Sonali is working with Fifth Word to explore the idea of British Muslim schoolgirls, who are as influenced by women resistance fighters in Rojava as they are by Ms Marvel, and whose adolescence is as complex, infuriating & joyous as any teenagers but with the added complications of Islamophobia & cultural erasure.

Sonali is a playwright from Leicester. She was one of the inaugural Old Vic 12, is a graduate of the Royal Court writers’ group, and was the 2018 Channel 4 writer in residence at the Orange Tree Theatre. She is currently also under commission to the Orange Tree Theatre, The Coterie and Kiln Theatre.

"It's fantastic developing this project with Fifth Word, who've been so supportive of the story I want to tell, and of my work process. They have an innate understanding of the importance of putting characters who are British Muslim girls centre stage, and why stories about decolonisation are more urgent now than ever."

This project was made possible by In Good Company through the ERDF Big House Project.

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