Tamasha Playwrights

Tamasha Playwrights is a writer-led collective of emerging playwrights from diverse cultural backgrounds. Writers meet for weekly sessions in Tamasha's office from October to July.

The content of each session is determined by its participants, and can include any aspect of playwriting; self-producing; fundraising; teaching; writing for radio; visiting speakers; and more.

Founded by Artistic Director Fin Kennedy in 2014, the aims of Tamasha Playwrights are:

  • to offer long-term career development in a supportive environment to emerging playwrights from culturally diverse backgrounds.
  • to train playwrights as producers, fundraisers, workshop leaders and project managers, as well as offering craft-based session on playwriting itself.
  • to support and encourage members to be the creative leads on their own project ideas, and to empower them to make a living as artists in between play commissions.
  • to offer regular showcase opportunities to promote the writers to the wider theatre industry.

Previous graduates have gone on to win awards and commissions including: Rabiah Hussain (Spun at the Arcola, BBC Drama Room), Iman Qureshi (Papatango Prize winner), Guleraana Mir (Coconut national tour), Amy Ng (Acceptance at Hampstead Theatre), Asif Khan (Combustion national tour), and Yolanda Mercy (Quarter Life Crisis national tour).

It’s free to take part. We actively encourage applications from writers of colour. A limited number of bursaries to contribute towards travel costs may be available to writers from outside of London. 

We are grateful for support from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation to provide regional bursaries for Tamasha Playwrights. 

Current participants

2019/20: Cheryl Ndione, Jasmin Mandi-Ghomi, Ramsey Hassan, Roberta Livingston, Safaa Benson-Effiom, Sabrina Richmond, Shaan Sahota, Tutku Barbaros, Urielle Klein-Mekongo, Zak Mahinfar. Read more ›

Past participants

2018/19: Adam Kotwal, Ajjaz Awad-Ibrahim, Carguil (CJ) Webley, Erinn Dhesi, Ese Ighorae, Lynsey Martnestyn, Nyla Levy, Sami Ibrahim, Santoshi Mann, Shazia Ali. Read more ›

2017/18: Aaron Gordon, Bushra Laskar, Danusia Samal, Dipo Baruwa-Etti, Nicole Lecky, Olu Alakija, Patrice Etienne, Reginald Edmund and Stefanie Reynolds. Read more ›

2016/17: Afshan D’Souza Lodhi, Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi, Dianna Hunt, Guleraana Mir, Matilda Ibini, Rabiah Hussain, Ross Amal Willis, and Yasmeen Khan. Read more ›

2015/16: Paula David, Miran Hadzic, Tessa Hart, Mina Barber, Amy Ng, Melanie Pennant, Iman Qureshi and Edward Sayeed. Read more ›

2014/15: Mediah Ahmed, Mahad Ali, Sharmila Chauhan, Tuyen Do, Asif Khan, Yolanda Mercy, Sophia Mertins and Sally Woodcock. Read more ›

Projects that previous cohorts have initiated include:

  • Scratch Nights, showcases of new work performed to sell out audiences at Soho Theatre and Rich Mix and published online (read the scripts ›)
  • Tamasha Radio, which saw the development of a new online audio drama series for podcast, and pitching ideas for BBC Radio commissioning.
  • The Agency with writers training as workshop leaders to become an agency of diverse ‘playwrights-for-hire’ for use by schools and youth groups.
  • Intensive workshop and writing week at the Tricycle Theatre including writing time, workshops with leading playwrights and theatre makers, one-to-one advice and workshop readings
  • Diverse audition pieces, working with the National Youth Theatre to develop bespoke monologues for their diverse members to better show their range in auditions. 
  • R&D towards a new writing festival showcase of diverse new plays.
  • Come to Where I'm From, Paines Plough's renowned theatrical tapestry of the UK where Tamasha Playwrights wrote and performed their stories, alongside some well-known names.

Many of our Tamasha Playwrights have already received paid workshop commissions, with clients including Mulberry School for Girls; Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School; the Migration Museum; Royal Opera House; Redbridge Drama Centre; Derby Theatre; and Luton Hat Factory.

"Tamasha Playwrights is run by a writer with practical and real experience. There is an in-depth understanding of the challenges facing diverse writers – financially, professionally and artistically. A group such as this gives writers the skills to think autonomously, and as writer-producers. It could become a mentoring platform with a supportive space for writers to network and support each other’s creative practices." Sharmila Chauhan