Scratch Nights

Previous Tamasha Scratches:

Over To You

Friday, 25 May 2018, Rich Mix, 7:30pm

Do you ever feel frustrated about what you see or don’t see on stage? What themes, worlds or communities still aren’t being represented? We are living through tumultuous times – how should theatre respond?

We wanted to scratch the plays a company like ours – a diverse, cutting edge touring theatre company of 27 years – should be producing. We have our ideas but we wanted to hear yours. So, rather than select plays around a theme that we have set, for this scratch night, the floor was yours! 

Over the course of three weeks, 70 artists submitted plays to scratch. After a very competitive selection process, we narrowed this down to four gripping short plays we presented:

Finding José by Amal Chatterjee
Graveyard Girlz by Lakesha Arie-Angelo
Other Please Explain by Lynsey Martenstyn
The Affairs of Men by Sid Sagar

Find out more>


*I Walk In Your Words

Saturday, 17 February 2018, Rich Mix, 7:30pm 

Authentic, funny yet poignant, I Walk In Your Words featured a collection the personal stories of East London residents performed headphone verbatim by Tamasha Developing Artists. 

After a week of training by former Artistic Director of Tamasha, Kristine Landon-Smith, actors performed the thoughtful, touching and often laugh out loud words they heard through headphones of the taped and edited interviews each actor has conducted with local residents during the previous week.

Directed by Kristine Landon-Smith
Assistant Director Jen Tan
Technical Assistant Neela Dolezalova

Find Out More >


*The Playwrights 2017 - Beginnings 

Saturday, 23 September 2017, Rich Mix, 7:30pm 

An evening of performances of dynamic new writing from four writers from our 2017 Tamasha Playwrights group.  

After a year of support and training led by Artistic Director Fin Kennedy, the playwrights developed new scripts which were performed script-in-hand by professional actors. 

The 'beginnings' of the four plays presented were:

Meatz R Uz by Afshan D’Souza-Lodhi
Gaze by Rabiah Hussain
Excerpts of Asylum by Ayesha Siddiqi
Wolfie by Ross Willis 

Find out more >


*If They're Laughing They're Listening

Monday, 12 June 2017, Rich Mix, 7:30pm 

Featuring comedies from four exciting writers from our Developing Artist programme. The writers and pieces were selected after a call out for the best diverse new comedy writing talent. 

The five short plays were: 

Diversity Queen by Yasmeen Khan
Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Elbows by Olu Alakija
Hobnobs & Hijabs by Yasmeen Khan
Pickled Mangos by Aisha Hassan
Rank by Anthony Khaseria

Find out more >


* Loyalty & Dissent

Friday, 31 March 2016, Rich Mix, 7:30pm 

Loyalty & Dissent featured bold new work from five Tamasha Playwrights. Each were commissioned to research and develop pieces inspired by The National Archives' documents relating to the experiences of people from South Asia in and around the time of the First World War.

The five short plays brrought to life diverse voices from Britain’s history and explored the tension between loyalty and dissent to an all-powerful British Imperial State.

The five script-in-hand performances were:

Cama by Sharmila Chauhan
Corner of a Foreign Field by Hassan Abdulrazzak
Dady Burjor by Amy Ng
The Honour of Arjun Singh by Amman Paul Singh Brar
Smile by Melanie Pennant

Find out more >


* Hear Me Now

Friday 2nd December 2016, Rich Mix, 7:30pm 

Hear Me Now featured a showcase of eight, new audition monologues for diverse actors written by members of Tamasha’s in-house Playwrights’ group in collaboration with actors from the National Youth Theatre (NYT). The aim is to provide better audition pieces for BAME actors beyond the ‘hoodies and single mums’ characters overly prevalent within the existing canon of British plays. The monologues were:

VV by Mahad Ali
Nithan by Mahad Ali 

Chanel by Mina Barber 
The Race by Mina Barber 

My Mum would not have seen my Dad like that by Edward Sayeed
Seriously, it was unreal by Edward Sayeed

James – 17 – Ballet dancer by Mediah Ahmed
Taliya – 21 – student in Law – Bi-polar by Mediah Ahmed

Find out more >


* New Muslim Voices

Monday 19th September, Soho Theatre, 7:00pm

New Muslim Voices featured new work from four Muslim writers from our in-house playwrights group. Each was commissioned to explore alternative voices of Muslim men in modern British drama.  The four new short plays are currently in development. The plays are:

The Plot by Asif Khan.

His and Hers by Iman Qureshi

The Peace Code by Mediah Ahmed

Breaking Ties by Mahad Ali

Find out more >


* Reach Beyond Workshops and Scratch as part of Rich Mix Youth Takeover Festival

Saturday 6th August, Rich Mix from 11am.

Workshops and scratch performances inspired by themes of identity and belonging, culture and race. Developed and produced by Tamasha emerging BAME producers.

Reach Beyond brought together three emerging theatre-makers - Titi Ige (Reaching Higher), Alix Harris (Beyond Face) and Afsana Begum (Mulberry Alumni Theatre Company) for an engaging day of workshops and performances as part of Rich Mix's Youth Takeover Festival.

In the workshops participants explored the themes of identity and belonging, culture and race and how these play apart in who we are and how we live our lives. Participants were challeged to help discover how to use physical theatre to unravel the complexities of a character. 

The workshops were followed by three scratch performances including Mixed Up Me by Alix Harris, Down Hair by Titi Ige and Afsana Begum's piece written for Come To Where I'm FromAll were either written or developed at Reaching Higher, Beyond Face or Mulberry Alumni Theatre Company.

Find out more >


* Half of Me as part of London Writers' Week

Friday 8th July 2016, 7:00 pm at Platform Theatre, Central Saint Martins

A selection of pieces inspired by the experiences of people born by assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) for London Writers Week.

Award-winning playwright Satinder Chohan and Tamasha's Artistic Director Fin Kennedy, worked with Central Saint Martins MA Dramatic Writing students in a series of workshops to create pieces based on this rich, complex and largely untapped area.

Satinder Chohan was writer-in-residence at the Centre for Family Research (CFR), exploring their work and developing creative ideas in collaboration with Senior Research Associate Dr Vasanti Jadva.

A selection of the student’s was performed for the first time followed by a Q&A with the writers plus Satinder, Fin and Vasanti.

Half of Me is collaboration between Tamasha Theatre Company, the Centre for Family Research (CFR) and youth theatre Generation Arts, to examine the experiences of young people born by Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs). The project is inspired, and will accompany Tamasha Theatre Company’s touring production of Made in India.

Find out more >


*Taxi Tales Bradford as part of A Nations Theatre

Friday 15th April 2016, at Rich Mix, Venue 1

We partnered with Freedom Studios for an exciting sneak preview of innovative site-specific theatre project Taxi Tales in which we presented readings of monologues inspired by the lives and stories of real life minicab drivers from Bradford followed by a Q&A with the project collaborators.

Conceived for the drivers to eventually perform to customers in their cabs, this follow up to the sold out 2015 presentations at  London Writers Week and ARC, Stockton, was developed collaboratively with playwrights Nuzhat Ali and Eamon Rooney and minicab drivers in Bradford alongside former taxi driver and playwright Ishy Din and Tamasha’s Artistic Director Fin Kennedy.

A work-in-progress performance, Taxi Tales is inspired by Taxi by Egyptian writer Khaled Al-Khimissi, credited with having predicted the Arab Spring. Tamasha plans to roll out Taxi Tales into towns and cities from 2017.

Find out more about Taxi Tales here >

This event was part A Nation's Theatre Festival - a celebration of UK creativity. Theatre-makers from outside London presented and developed shows across the capital April-May 2016.


* Tamasha's 25th Birthday Tamasha 25 Retrospective

Friday 30 October 2015, 7:30pm at Rich Mix, Venue 1

2015 marked Tamasha’s 25th Birthday and to honour this landmark we’re hosting an extra special night to celebrate. This is your chance to raise a glass, share memories and look ahead to the next 25.

The centrepiece for the celebrations was a retrospective scratch performance of Tamasha’s greatest hits directed by Tamasha Developing Artist and Theatre Royal Stratford East Resident Director Pooja Ghai and selected by Tamasha’s Co-Founder Sudha Bhuchar and Artistic Director Fin Kennedy. The piece will include Untouchable (1989), Women of the Dust (1993), East is East (1996), Balti Kings (1999) A Fine Balance (2006), and Snookered (2013). It will performed by an ensemble cast and will showcase some of our defining moments. This was the first time such a retrospective was be publicly presented.

Ensemble Cast

Sheena PatelShalini PeirisSaikat AhamedLiz JadavAdam Samuel-BalDivian Ladwa.

Directed by Pooja Ghai
Pieces selected by Sudha Bhuchar and Fin Kennedy


* Mother India
A rehearsed reading of a 40 minute extract of a new play in development by Satinder Chohan and directed by Pooja Ghai. Presented in April 2015, Mother India is a thrilling new play about motherhood and blood ties between women and nations in a brave new world. A short panel discussion on South Asian women in theatre, diversity, representation and access to the professional stage, also took place following the reading. Chaired by Fin Kennedy, Co-Artistic Director of Tamasha and featuring Afsana Begum (Mulberry School for Girls), Sudha Bhuchar (co-Artistic Director of Tamasha and actor/playwright), Sharmila Chauhan (Tamasha writer’s group writer),Satinder Chohan (writer of Mother India) and Suzy Trayling (actor). 
See photos from the Mother India scrath night here >


* Mothers and Daughters
a special one-off showcase by two exciting new voices in theatre –Tuyen Do and Elena Procopiu. Both pieces were originally presented at Tamasha’s original ‘Mothers and Daughters’ scratch night in February 2014 and have been re-developed for a special one nighter to celebrate International Women’s Day, this same week in 2015.


* Tamasha Playwrights at Soho Theatre
This year we became one of Soho Theatre’s Associate Companies and also recently saw the launch of our Artistic Director Fin Kennedy’s new weekly writers’ group ‘Tamasha Playwrights.’ To mark this new partnership, we hosted our latest scratch night in Soho’s upstairs theatre, showcasing a selection of new work from the group. Tamasha Playwrights 2014-15 is a new group of 8 emerging playwrights from diverse backgrounds. They are: Mediah Ahmed, Mahad Ali, Sharmila Chauhan, Tuyen Do, Asif Khan, Yolanda Mercy, Sophia Mertins and Sally Woodcock. Find out more about Tamasha Playwrights and the showcase here >.


* September 2014 Scratch: Community
Featured: four pieces of new writing inspired by the theme ‘Community’ including: Venus Flytrap by Jessica Bailey, Numbers of Memory by Tamina Davar, Garden by Lucy Grace and Say Something by Sevan K. Greene.


* June 2014 Scratch: Featured: Performance poetry from Em Hussain, A Quiet Street by Katharina Rodda - part of a collection of monologues recounting experiences on London streets, a nostalgic train journey from Dundee to London in When I Was 10 by Lila Clements, two young friends’ dreams of leaving Manchester for a new life in Majorca by Miriam Battye and a true story of a Welsh singer running the marathon in the hope of re-finding her voice in Can You Hear Me Running? by Jo Harper and Louise Breckon-Richards. Click here for the Freesheet>


* February 2014 Scratch: 'Mothers and Daughters'. Click here for the Freesheet >

* September 2013 Scratch: 'Summer Rolls' + Creating from where we are panel discussion. Click here for the Freesheet >