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Theatre503 Announces The New 503Five Writers In Residence

They receive a £2,000 seed commission to write their full-length professional debut, as well as creative support from Theatre503 over 18 months.

Theatre503 Announces The New 503Five Writers In Residence

Dare Aiyegbayo, Tabby Lamb, Sorcha McCaffrey, Martha Reed and Kaamil Shah were today announced as the 503Five, Theatre503's pioneering programme for early career playwrights. Chosen from 548 applicants, they receive a £2,000 seed commission to write their full-length professional debut, as well as creative support from Theatre503 over 18 months. The 503Five is made possible through the support of the Carne Trust and The Orseis Trust.

Previous 503Five commissions include Yasmin Joseph's award-winning J'Ouvert, which transferred to the West End and was screened by BBC Arts in 2021; Ross Willis' Wolfie - winner of the 2020 Writers' Guild Award for Best New Play; and the Olivier Award winning Rotterdam by Jon Brittain. The 503Five has yielded two Evening Standard Award winners, an Olivier Award winner, and a BAFTA nominee. To date it has launched 25 playwrights who are now writing for a wide range of stage and screen productions.

The 503Five alumni are: Mahad Ali, Jon Berry, Brad Birch, Jon Brittain, Ella Greenhill, Charlene James, Annie Jenkins, Yasmin Joseph, Chris Hogg, Gemma Langford, Benedict Lombe, Zak Mahinfar, Richard Marsh, Brian Mullin, Rex Obano, Neasa O'Callaghan, Vinay Patel, Lou Ramsden, Nimer Rashed, Beth Steel, Joel Tan, Chloe Todd Fordham, Chris Urch, Ross Willis and Aisha Zia.

Artistic Director, Lisa Spirling and Literary Manager, Steve Harper:

"Our five new writers all represent what is most exciting about what Theatre503 - bold new voices telling us stories we haven't heard before. Their pitches are epic tales, irreverent and personal. They shine a bold light on identity, relationships and place. They are ambitious and continue the grand Theatre503 tradition of creating extraordinary worlds that defy the size of our space. We can't wait to see what they deliver and look forward to sharing their work in the future."

Dare Aiyegbayo has over a decade's experience working both in screen development and as a writer for a number of companies including BBC, Channel 5, Sky and Vertigo films and has written for shows including The Dumping Ground and EastEnders. In 2017, Dare expanded her writing career into Theatre and became Writer in Residence 2017-18 for Papatango Theatre Company. In 2019, Dare collaborated with video game developer Ustwo to write a game which was BAFTA nominated in 2020.

Tabby Lamb is a non-binary writer and performer based in East London and a graduate of the Theatre Directing course at Dartington College of Arts. She strives to tell stories that explore the intersections between popular culture and politics. Their debut solo show Since U Been Gone, which Tabby wrote and performed, premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019, after previewing at The Gate Theatre. Tabby is a BFI Flare x BAFTA Crew member 2021, an artistic associate for the Sky Arts Bursary at Stratford East, an associate writer with Middle Child. She's on attachment at the Oxford Playhouse via their Playhouse Playmaker scheme 2021 and developing new work on the Wild Child's Oli Lansley mentor scheme. She was part the Soho Theatre Writers Lab and the LGBTQ Arts Review #RaisingOurVoices scheme for queer and trans writers.

Sorcha McCaffrey is a queer, neurodivergent writer and actor from Yorkshire. She has performed with the John Godber Company, Contact Theatre and Apples and Snakes, and has taken part in The Royal Court Theatre writers group. She's been a supported artist at Oldham Coliseum and was commissioned to write two plays for ALRA North drama school. She wrote and performed Ladybones at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019. It toured in the North of England, as well as being recorded as an audio drama for Audible. Her new play Krill was shortlisted for the Verity Bargate Award and the Hope Mill Theatre Playwriting Prize, and was longlisted for the Women's Prize for Playwriting.

Martha Reed is a Welsh female writer. She was one of 12 writers on the Channel 4 Screenwriting Course 2021. Martha is currently writing and directing a new season of BAFTA nominated crime drama game Dead Man's Phone for Electric Noir Studios. Her debut play Existential Fish and Dread is touring in 2021-22. She was Chippy Lane Productions' Writing Apprentice, a position funded by Arts Council Wales. Previous theatre credits include short plays Vera Jones at The Old Red Lion and How Loan Can You Go? at The Pleasance, Islington. Her short film script Falling Apart at the Seams was awarded third place in the Women Over Fifty Festival short script competition 2019, and recently selected as one of three finalists from over 1000 entries to the Screen & Story Film Festival short script competition.

Kaamil Shah is passionate about telling the stories of the Indian and Pakistani diaspora. A graduate of both the London Film School and Cambridge University, in 2019 he was selected for the UGC

Writer's Campus at the Series Mania festival in Lille, France where he developed his drama Sovereign, now in development with Three Tables Productions. In 2020 he was commissioned to write Shahid's First Shave for the Sparks monologue series for BBC iPlayer (BBC Children's Productions) and in 2021 he was signed to a First Look TV development deal with ViacomCBS. He was previously part of the BBC Writersroom. Kaamil's first play Allah's Own Country was shortlisted for the Tony Craze Award and won the RAFTA award.

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