The Thirteenth Annual Papatango New Writing Prize Announcement

21 Sep 2021

An Tobar & Mull Theatre welcomes this year's Papatango Award winners to Tobermory!




Papatango today announces full cast and tour dates for the thirteenth Papatango New Writing Prize winning plays. Rasheka Christie-Carter directs babirye bukilwa (Neighbour/You), Florian Clare (Coe), Funmi James (Isata), Rachel Nwokoro (Chiamaka) and Oseloka Obi (Black Masc/Dad) in Nkenna Akunna’s Some Of Us Exist In The Future; Artistic Director of Papatango, George Turvey directs Aldous Ciokajlo-Squire (Ant) and Shakira Riddell-Morales (Daize) in Tom Powell’s The Silence and The Noise; and Jessica Lazar directs Rebecca Crankshaw (Paula), Raj Ghatak (Dal) and Shane Zaza (Amar) in Tajinder Singh Hayer’s Ghost Stories from an Old Country. The audio productions tour 26 October 2021 to 26 February 2022.

In a reimagined iteration of the annual awards, in partnership with ETT (English Touring Theatre), the audio productions will play from free listening stations or via a QR code in theatres across the UK, with copies of the scripts including braille translations available.

The audio listening station opens at Bush Theatre on 26 October, running alongside the stage production of the 2020 Papatango New Writing Prize winning play Old Bridge by Igor Memic (21 October – 20 November), before touring to Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, Theatr Clwyd, Leeds Playhouse, Laurels Whitley Bay, Chichester Festival Theatre, Stephen Joseph Theatre, An Tobar & Mull Theatre, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Bristol Old Vic, Southwark Playhouse, Oldham Coliseum and Trinity Theatre Tunbridge Wells, concluding at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast on 26 February 2021.


By Nkenna Akunna

Cast: babirye bukilwa (Neighbour/You), Florian Clare (Coe), Funmi James (Isata), Rachel Nwokoro (Chiamaka) and Oseloka Obi (Black Masc/Dad)

Director: Rasheka Christie-Carter; Composer and Sound Designer: Xana

Chiamaka is new to all this. Fresh off the plane from the UK, she's new to Brooklyn and its extremes. She's new to queer dating, to the realities of being an immigrant. Most of all, she's new to the voices of the gods...

Utterly original, wryly funny and always gripping, Some Of Us Exist In The Future follows one woman’s journey to finding her place in a world that’s not all it seems.

Nkenna Akunna is an Igbo playwright-performer from London. Akunna was a member of the 2017/18 Soho Writers Lab cohort, the 2018 VAULTS Festival New Writers Programme, and is currently an MFA candidate in Playwriting at Brown University. Akunna is a recent recipient of The Kennedy Center's Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, and the Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award for Playwriting. Akunna is also co-director at Skin Deep, a collective that makes space for Black creatives and creatives of colour through cultural production.

babirye bukilwa plays Neighbour/You. Theatre credits include And Others, When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other, Romeo & Juliet (National Theatre), The Empire Strikes Back (Arcola Theatre), The Cherry Orchard (Nottingham Playhouse), Filthy Business (Hampstead Theatre), Plaques and Tangles, Truth and Reconciliation (Royal Court Theatre), Beautiful Thing (Nottingham Playhouse/Curve), Neighbours (HighTide Festival) and Whole (Unity Theatre). Television credits include Dreaming Whilst Black, We Hunt Together, Hot Pepper, Babylon and Our Girl; and for film, Strawberry Fields.

Florian Clare plays Coe. Theatre credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Buxton Opera House/Turbine Theatre) and Paper Fortune Teller (Tristan Bates Theatre); and for video game, The Division (Ubisoft).

Funmi James plays Isata. Theatre credits include Lessons in Love and Violence (Royal Opera House), The First 30 Seconds (Union Theatre), No Where To Go, Scrambled (The Courtyard Theatre), Contractions (Oxford House Theatre), and Pimp Bobby and The Wasp (Leicester Square Theatre); and for film, Ruination.

Rachel Nwokoro plays Chiamaka. Theatre credits include Antigone (Exeter Northcott Theatre online) and Little Baby Jesus (Orange Tree Theatre).

Oseloka Obi plays Black Masc/Dad. Theatre credits include The End of Eddy (BAM, New York), One Night in Miami (Bristol Old Vic/Nottingham Playhouse), The Son (Kiln Theatre), Victoria’s Knickers (Soho Theatre) and Timbuktu (Theatre Royal Stratford East).

Rasheka Christie-Carter directs. Theatre credits include Sticks and Stones (Tristan Bates Theatre), The Coasters (Brockley Jack) and Lest We Forget (Edinburgh Festival Fringe Online).

By Tom Powell

Cast: Aldous Ciokajlo-Squire (Ant) and Shakira Riddell-Morales (Daize)

Director: George Turvey; Composer and Sound Designer: Asaf Zohar

Every teenager knows what it’s like to be stuck between things: childhood and maturity, innocence and experience, hope for the future and uncertainty about what that will be. But Daize is torn between even greater challenges: her love for her vulnerable mother and her dangerous friendship with Ant. An outsider with knockout trainers, Ant has just appeared on her doorstep, bringing with him a whole world of trouble.

The Silence and The Noise captures the story of two young people on the edge.

Tom Powell was the 2019-21 CRSC Writer in Residence at Pentabus Theatre and was chosen for the BBC Studios Writers’ Academy 2019/20. Powell’s previous writing includes I Dare You (Nottingham Playhouse/Curve - shortlisted for the Soho Young Writers’ Award) and Little Echoes (Hope Theatre -  published by Methuen/Bloomsbury). They previously won the OTR National Radio Drama Award and the Harry Porter Prize. Powell was selected for the BBC Words First spoken word programme, is an Arts Council England/BBC New Creative and his short audio drama Love Beyond the Zoo will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra in September 2021.

Aldous Ciokajlo-Squire plays Ant. Screen credits include Boy Soldiers (Three Legged Theatre) and Fallout (Inside Job Productions). Previous audio credits include Rosehill (Audible).

Shakira Riddell-Morales plays Daize. Theatre credits include Fireworks (Royal Court Theatre) and Les Misérables (Queen's Theatre).

George Turvey directs. Turvey co-founded Papatango in 2007 and became the sole Artistic Director in January 2013. Credits for the company include Shook (UK tour; Sky Arts), Hanna (UK tour), The Annihilation of Jessie Leadbeater (ALRA), After Independence (Arcola Theatre, 2016 Alfred Fagon Audience Award, and on BBC Radio 4), Leopoldville (Tristan Bates Theatre), and Angel (Pleasance London and Tristan Bates Theatre). Turvey trained as an actor at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) and has appeared on stage and screen throughout the UK and internationally, including the lead roles in the world première of Arthur Miller’s No Villain (Old Red Lion Theatre and Trafalgar Studios) and Batman Live (world arena tour). As a dramaturg, they have led the development of all of Papatango’s productions. They are the co-author of Being A Playwright: A Career Guide For Writers, published by Nick Hern Books.


By Tajinder Singh Hayer

Cast: Rebecca Crankshaw (Paula), Raj Ghatak (Dal) and Shane Zaza (Amar).

Director: Jessica Lazar; Composer and Sound Designer: Farokh Soltani

Dalvir has always told a good ghost story, properly unsettling, dark tales to send a chill right through his younger brother Amar. But now Dalvir’s almost a ghost himself, cloistered and secretive. Amar desperately wants to reconnect with the only family he has left, but can he unravel Dalvir’s stories to find a way back to his brother?

Threaded through with captivating fables, Ghost Stories from an Old Country is a riveting and poignant exploration of the ties that bind us.

Tajinder Singh Hayer lectures in Creative Writing at Lancaster University. Their writing credits for theatre include North Country (Freedom Studios), Players, Mela (Leeds Playhouse) and In This House (Menagerie); and for radio, The One That Got Away (BBC Radio 3), If You Can’t Stand The Heat, ID (BBC Radio 4), We’re Not Getting Married, Ask Mina (BBC Asian Network), and Tidelands. Television credits include Numtums. They previously won the BBC’s The Spin competition with their play People Like Me in 2003. They have been a writer on attachment at the Leeds Playhouse, BBC Radio Drama Manchester and the National Theatre.

Rebecca Crankshaw plays Paula. Theatre credits include everything that rises must dance (Complicité), Prurience (Southbank Centre), One Minute (The Barn Theatre), The Spanish Tragedy (The Old Red Lion), 10 (VAULT Festival), Stop Kiss (Above the Stag), and Hookup and Affection (Outbox Theatre).

Raj Ghatak plays Dal. Theatre credits include Am Dram, Simply Cinderella (Curve), Life of Pi Sheffield Theatres – UK Theatre Award for Best New Play), Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Sheffield Theatres - WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Musical), The Kite Runner (UK tour -  Eastern Eye ACTA Award for Best Actor), Miss Meena and the Masala Queens (Watford Palace Theatre/UK tour), This Tuesday (Arcola Theatre), Hector (Traverse Theatre/Ambassadors Theatre), Soho Cinders (Soho Theatre), Golgotha (Tristan Bates Theatre), The Secret Garden (Traverse Theatre/Royal Alexandra Theatre), The Great Extension, High Heel Parrotfish (Theatre Royal Stratford East), The Low Road, The Spiral, Unheard Voices and Free Outgoing (Royal Court Theatre), Bombay Dreams (Apollo Victoria); Hijra (Bush Theatre/West Yorkshire Playhouse), East is East (Oldham Coliseum) and West Side Story (Prince of Wales Theatre). Television credits include Ackley Bridge, Ghosts, Hetty Feather, Taboo, The 7.39, Dead Set, Sinchronicity and All About Me; and for film, Christopher Robin, Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie, Starter for 10 and The Lives of the Saints.

Shane Zaza plays Amar. Theatre credits include The Dumb Waiter (Hampstead Theatre), Europe (Donmar Warehouse), Dear Elizabeth (Gate Theatre), Frankenstein (Royal Exchange Theatre), Road, Hang, Oxford Street (Royal Court Theatre), Behind the Beautiful Forevers, 13 (National Theatre); Henry V (Unicorn Theatre), Behind the Lines, Repentance (Bush Theatre); Mongrel Island, Realism (Soho Theatre), Pieces of Vincent (Arcola Theatre), Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe), Deadeye (Birmingham Rep/Soho Theatre), Mercury Fur (Menier Chocolate Factory) and Minutes Pass (Soho Theatre). Television credits include London Kills, Press, Will, Black Mirror, Happy Valley and Mouth to Mouth; and for film, The Mummy, The Rezort, Plastic, Jadoo, Two-Tone, Clean Skin and The Da Vinci Code.

Jessica Lazar directs. Theatre credits include Sap (Vaults), Anna Bella Eema (Arcola Theatre), Life According to Saki (Edinburgh Festival Fringe/Fourth Street Theater, New York – winner of Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award 2016), Dangerous Giant Animals (Edinburgh Festival Fringe/Park Theatre, London – winner of the SIT-Up Award 2018), East, For Reasons that Remain Unclear and Outlying Islands (King’s Head Theatre); and audio plays Passion Play and The You Play Vols. 1-2 (45North’s Written on the Waves). A co-founder of Atticist, Lazar is currently a beneficiary of Mercury Creative and was a 2019/20 Oxford Playhouse Evolve Artist in Residence.