Photo by Nye Williams 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Lynsey Martnestyn

 

 

 

 

Shazia Ali

 

Nyla Levy

 

 

 

 

 

Ese Ighorae

 

 

 

 

Carguil (CJ) Webley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sami Ibrahim

 

Ajjaz Awad-Ibrahim

 

 

Erinn Dhesi

Adam Kotwal

Santoshi Mann

Tamasha Playwrights 2018-19

Tamasha Playwrights is a writer-led collective founded in October 2014 by Tamasha’s Artistic Director Fin Kennedy and formed of 8-9 emerging playwrights from a diverse range of backgrounds. 

 

This year, we have an unprecedented 10 emerging playwrights, just showing how brilliant the standard of applications have been.

The Tamasha Playwrights group is refreshed at the end of every year. Our current, year 5, Tamasha Playwrights are: 

Lynsey Martnestyn

Lynsey Martenstyn is a writer and producer from south-east London, of mixed Irish and Caribbean heritage. She has had her written work staged at Rich Mix, Omnibus Theatre, Park Theatre and Lyric Hammersmith. She is an alumna of Royal Court's Writers' Group and Young Everyman Playhouse (YEP) Writers' Group. 

By day, she works as a factual TV Producer and has worked on award-winning documentaries for a variety of channels, including Smithsonian, NatGeo, BBC and C4. In 2016, Lynsey was chosen as a ‘One to Watch’ at the Edinburgh International TV Festival.

She's incredibly excited and honoured to be part of Tamasha 2018/2019 Playwright cohort. Follow her on Twitter @Martenstyn.

Shazia Ali

Shazia is a writer living in Hackney, East London. She is a full-time mother to three boys aged 11, 9 and 4. In 2014 she founded an environmental campaign, I Like Clean Air, which raises awareness of air pollution. Around the same time, she was a governor of NewVic Sixth Form College and a trustee of Rich Mix Arts and Cultural Centre. In 2013, she ran a film project with sixth formers from Luton, Leighton and NewVic Colleges, inviting students from diverse backgrounds to make film shorts about their lives. Before all of that, Shazia worked as an employment lawyer for ten years. Born in Birmingham to British Pakistani parents, Shazia studied English Literature at Oxford University and is looking forward to returning to storytelling. 

Nyla Levy

Nyla Levy is a Playwright and Actor. Being mixed race, Pakistani and Canadian, with Muslim and Jewish heritage, born and bred in South London - Nyla has always gravitated towards stories that explore experiences related to identity.

Nyla began in verbatim, with her first play Different is Dangerous (Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award nominee), followed by Normal with a bit of Oomph!. Nyla co-founded Two’s Company, which went on to tour Different is Dangerous to venues including, Theatre 503, Nottingham Playhouse, The Lowry and Edinburgh Fringe. Nyla received funding from Arts Council England this year to develop her first fictional play, Does My Bomb Look Big in This?, which was performed at JW3, Hat Factory, Rich Mix & The Bush. Tamasha are currently supporting Nyla with producing the 2019 UK tour of Does My Bomb Look Big in This?. Nyla was invited by The Forge to storyline ideas for Channel 4’s Ackley Bridge Series 3 this year. 

Nyla’s acting credits include: Next Of Kin (ITV), Finding Fatimah (BMTV), Sisters (National Theatre Wales) Diary of a Hounslow Girl (one woman show), Much Ado About Nothing (Watford Palace), Child of The Divide (International Tour), #WhatKatyDid (BBC Radio 4) and Beautiful World, Where Are You? (BBC Radio 4) 

Ese Ighorae

Ese is an Actress, Playwright, and Facilitator, keen to explore the world issues and write political theatre through humour that challenges our perceptions. Ese studied BA Acting and Community Theatre at East15 Acting School graduating in 2013. 

In 2016, she was Longlisted for the Charlie Hartil competition and awarded a Younger Theatre grant by Farnham Maltings for her play OLU. As a spoken word artist, Ese has performed at Hackney Attic, Brixton Ritzy, Jaw dance, Battersea Arts Centre, The Performers Corner, The Yard, and Jacksons Lane Theatre, receiving reviews describing her performance and writing as an exciting raw snowball of emotions. 

Longlisted as part of the Old Vic 12 2016, Ese has continued to hone her playwriting skills taking up new opportunities to develop. Ese is excited to be part of Tamasha’s Playwrights group and is looking forward to creating new thought-provoking work.

Carguil (CJ) Webley

Carguil (CJ) Lloyd Webley is a writer and theatre-maker from Birmingham. CJ majored in Theatre and Performance Studies at The University of Warwick, and recently completed a Master of Arts in Creative Writing (Screenwriting & Playwriting) at City University of London. His play, Shadows, received 4 & 5 star reviews and sold out its three-night run at Theatro Technis, Kings Cross last year. Since then, CJ has had new work performed in scratch nights at the Brockley Jack Studio Theatre.

CJ is currently working as a commissioned playwright, drama and music facilitator for Illumination Theatre Company, Artix Youth Theatre and Theatre Train in Bromsgrove and Gloucester. CJ is also working within the participation sector at Arcola Theatre, assisting the 9-12 and 13-16 companies with their devised pieces. Alongside this, CJ also runs a community outreach program in Birmingham called Sorrel Park, which offers creative writing sessions to children and young people from minority backgrounds.

As a company director for Squire Lane Theatrical UK (which he also co-founded), CJ also helps to develop and produce new works from candidates, which are suitable for fringe, off-west end and touring. Earlier this year, CJ production managed Kayshap Raja’s Version 2.0 for a two-week run at Leicester Square Theatre. CJ is truly excited to be a part of Tamasha Playwrights, and hopes that a broad demographic will see and read his work. 

Sami Ibraham

Sami’s most recent full-length play, Wind Bit Bitter, Bit Bit Bit Her, had a run at VAULT Festival 2018 - after it was shortlisted for Soho Theatre’s Tony Craze Award and published by Nick Hern Books. His most recent short play, the Palestinian in the basement is on fire, was performed at Pint Sized’s October Fest at The Bunker Theatre. His piece Iron Dome Fog Dome was staged at The Yard during their last First Drafts season. He’s also worked at the Almeida as a Creative Board member, where he produced and was dramaturg on From the Ground Up. This was an immersive piece, set in Shoreditch Town Hall, which was created with a group of 16-25 year olds, and which transferred up to Edinburgh last summer. Other writing credits include Force of Trump, which had runs at Theatre N16, The Space and the Brockley Jack Theatre - where his short play, Carnivore, was also performed during the Write Now 7 Festival. He is currently a member of Soho Theatre’s Writers Alumni Group.

Ajjaz Awad-Ibrahim

Ajjaz Awad-Ibrahim (ALRA and RADA graduate and winner of Laurence Olivier award 2010) has worked for a number of years as an actor and puppeteer, but has recently looked to other aspects of theatre to develop herself. Last year, she won The Regional Theatre’s Young Directors Scheme Award and has since worked as a script reader for The PapaTango Prize and The Hampstead Theatre. She has also, after much procrastination, finished her first full length play text and is looking forward to being part of The Tamasha Playwrights group year 5, so that she can write another one.

Erinn Dhesi

Erinn is a playwright and stand-up comedian. Her work focuses on intersectional feminist, South Asian and LGBTQ topics (all in a deeply funny way, of course).

She is an alumni of the Soho Theatre Young Company, taking part in their Writers' and Comedy Labs. Having completed the Critical Mass Writers programme (2016-17) at The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry her first full length play, #Adjustment, was selected to receive a rehearsed reading with a live audience.

She is currently taking part in the Kali Theatre’s Discovery Programme at The Curve Theatre in Leicester, with a view to showcasing a short play in February 2019. As a stand-up comedian, she has recently performed with Burnt Roti magazine and Shout Festival 2018 at the Birmingham Rep. She is interested in digital storytelling, with her work exploring how social media is ingrained into modern life and everyday interactions.

You can catch her comedy on Instagram.

Adam Kotwal

Adam Kotwal currently works as an analyst in the energy sector, but moonlights as a playwright. His debut play, Breaking News, which focuses on the aftermath of a terrorist attack, won the inaugural Lancaster Playwrighting Prize. His writing focuses on young, British Asian men in Northern working class communities.

Santoshi Mann

Santoshi Bobby Mann was born in Blackburn, Lancashire, where she has lived for the last 30 years.  She moved to the Midlands in 2012 to work as a part-time Optometrist.  Having studied theatre at college, it was her four-year-old son, Govind, who triggered her to start storytelling again. She entered a few competitions in 2018 and was successful in joining Belgrade Theatres, Critical Mass writing programme.  

Santoshi was also our successful runner-up at the inaugural Lancaster Playwrighting Prize earlier this year, which earned her a place at the Tamasha Playwrights group for this year.  She believes this to be an opportunity of a lifetime, where she is currently learning the craft of writing in more meticulous detail.