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In Development

In spite of the pandemic we are still commissioning and developing new work with some of the most exciting voices in the region and the UK.

Fith Word are currently working with: Sonali Bhattacharyya, Sophie Ellerby and Mufaro Makubika.

Sonali, Sophie and Mufaro are fast-rising writers who are part of the next mighty wave of playwrights leading the way in British theatre. Our work with them continues our commitment to commissioning and producing artists from the East Midlands.

We will work together with Sonali, Sophie and Mufaro as they create these three new plays, supporting their individual voices, creativity and writing process, including through workshops. Alongside artistic directors Laura Ford and Angharad Jones, our associate dramaturg Nic Wass will support the writers during the process. Nic is currently Creative Associate at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and was previously associate dramaturg at the Royal Shakespeare Company, artistic associate at Kiln and worked for five years in the Royal Court's Literary Department.

Do keep an eye on our blog for our discoveries about the new ways in which we work with our writers and for announcements on opportunities, events and talks.

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."

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