“A bold and often brilliant stab at something new.”
Dominic Maxwell, The Times

Papatango Theatre Company was founded in 2007 to find the best and brightest new talent in the UK with an absolute commitment to bringing such work to the stage. The Papatango New Writing Prize was launched in 2009, which is unique among new writing initiatives in guaranteeing its winner a full production on the professional stage. In 2014 Papatango opened the inaugural position of Resident Playwright, supported with a BBC Theatre Fellowship. Papatango discoveries have gone on to premiere worldwide.

Papatango people and projects have won the Royal National Theatre Foundation Playwright Award, the OffWestEnd Most Promising Playwright Award and the Critics’ Circle Most Promising Newcomer Award.


Company Number 07365398

Registered Charity Number 1152789

the team

George Turvey

Artistic Director & Founder

George co-founded Papatango Theatre Company in 2007 and became the sole Artistic Director in January 2012. He trained as an actor at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA)

On stage his acting credits include Unscorched (Papatango at the Finborough Theatre), Batman in Batman Live (World Arena Tour), Romeo and Juliet (Middle Temple Hall), The Importance of Being Earnest (Theatre Royal Bath/West End), Christmas Reloaded (Papatango at the Old Red Lion Theatre) and Potentials (Papatango at the Tristan Bates Theatre). Television includes Endeavour and Which is Witch? 
As Director his credits include Leopoldville (Papatango at the Tristan Bates Theatre) and Angel (Papatango at the Pleasance Islington and the Tristan Bates Theatre).

Chris Foxon


Chris read English at Oxford University and subsequently trained at the Central School of Speech & Drama. His productions outside Papatango include The Keepers of Infinite Space (Park Theatre), Happy New (Trafalgar Studios), The Fear of Breathing (Finborough Theatre and Akasaka Red Theatre, Tokyo), Tejas Verdes (Edinburgh Festival), I Didn’t Always Live Here (Finborough Theatre) and The Madness of George III (Oxford Playhouse).

Chris has also worked on productions with HighTide Festival Theatre, Bush Theatre, Theatre 503 and the Old Vic Theatre, where he was a producer on the Old Vic New Voices 24 Hour Plays and an assessor for the T.S. Eliot Commissions.

Matt Roberts

Artistic Associate & Founder

Matt trained as an actor at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and for Papatango has performed in The Muse (Pleasance Islington and Tristan Bates Theatre), Christmas Reloaded (Old Red Lion Theatre) and Crush (Finborough Theatre).

As a playwright his one-act plays The MuseRisk and Treading Water have been staged at the Soho Theatre, the Crucible Theatre Sheffield, Theatre 503, the Pleasance Theatre and the Tristan Bates Theatre. His full-length play Blackpool was staged as part of the 2012 Vibrant Festival at the Finborough Theatre.

Matt also directed Papatango’s first ever prize-winning play, Dominic Mitchell’s debut play Potentials (Tristan Bates Theatre).

Sam Donovan

Education Associate & Founder

Sam graduated in English from the University of Liverpool before training at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) in London. His credits as an actor include the Olivier-nominated Room On The Broom (West End, UK, US and International Tours), Salome (Headlong), Erics (Liverpool Everyman), Billy The Kid (Unicorn Theatre) and Walking on Water (Theatre Centre) for which he won the Dorothy L Sayers Award.

Television includes BrooksideThe Bill and Doctors.

He has taught drama for over 15 years and founded Performers Theatre School in Liverpool in 2002. He has delivered his own drama syllabus to complement the curriculum in a National Teaching School as well as designing and delivering Shakespeare projects for year six pupils for the last two years.

Jonny Kelly

Assistant Director

Jonny trained at East15 Acting School, graduating in 2012 with a degree in Acting and Community Theatre. He is an associate of Attic Theatre Company.

Theatre credits includes Happee (Roundhouse), Retz (Shoreditch Town Hall), I Didn’t Always Live Here  (Finborough Theatre), Bush Bazaar (Bush Theatre),  Sparks Will Fly (Olympic Ceremonies), Awful Weather (Clifftown Theatre, Southend) and Under Milk Wood (Edinburgh Festival).

As well as acting and directing, Jonny delivers drama workshops in prisons, young offender institutes and hostels.

Jessica Campbell

Assistant Producer

Jessica read English at Oxford University where her productions include Bloody Poetry (Keble O’Reilly Theatre) and Mephisto (Oxford Playhouse) which transferred to the International Student Drama Festival 2013. She produced The State Vs John Hayes (Hen and Chickens Theatre) and a touring production of The Comedy of Errors which played at the Southwark Playhouse, Yvonne-Arnaud Theatre and the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre in Japan.


Howard Davies, Jeremy Gold, David Suchet, Zoe Wanamaker, Andrew Welch

Artistic Advisors
Colin Barr, Matt Charman, Tamara Harvey, Catherine Johnson, Dominic Mitchell, Con O’Neill, Tanya Tillett

New Writing Prize

The Papatango New Writing Prize

“Knocks spots off much of the new writing I have seen.”
Michael Billington, The Guardian


“Working with Papatango was just a phenomenal experience. I feel enormously privileged to have been plucked from obscurity to win the prize, and to have had so many talented people working on every aspect of the production. If you’re thinking of entering, definitely do. Three months ago I had never had any of my work produced. Today I sit here with (it seems) a writing career ahead of me. And for that I owe a huge debt of gratitude to team Papatango.” – Luke Owen, winner of the 2013 Prize for Unscorched

Since opening in 2009, the Papatango New Writing Prize has enjoyed enormous success, guaranteeing its winner a full four week production on the professional stage, with a playtext published by Nick Hern Books.



Resident Playwright:

May Sumbwanyambe

May Sumbwanyambe is the inaugural Papatango Resident Playwright, kindly supported by the BBC Theatre Fellowship Fund and the Fenton Arts Trust.

May, 27, was born in Edinburgh and has taken part in several young writers’ programmes, including most recently the Royal Court Theatre’s invitation-only studio group. He has also been attached to the West Yorkshire Playhouse, the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse and Hull Truck Theatre.

In 2013, May’s comedy THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS was shortlisted for the Channel 4/Oran Mor Comedy Drama Award. In 2012 his play BACK HOME CONTEMPLATION was shortlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award and was runner up in the Papatango New Writing Prize. Previous award recognition includes being shortlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award (2011), the BBC’S Alfred Bradley Award (2011), OffWestEnd’s Adopt a Playwright Award (2010 and 2009), reaching the final round of Soho Theatre’s Verity Bargate Award (2011) and winning the BBC’s inaugural Scriptroom competition (2012).

He is an alumnus of Old Vic New Voices and a member of Theatre Centre’s Skylines Project.

papa photo may

BBC-PAF-Twitter-Pic-Purple Fenton logo hi res

Small quote page

“The most compelling new work I have seen this year.”
Michael Billington,
The Guardian



by Fiona Doyle (2014, Prize Winner)
Finborough Theatre


by Luke Owen (2013, Prize Winner)
Finborough Theatre


by Louise Monaghan (2012, Prize Winner)
Finborough Theatre

Everyday Maps for Everyday Use

by Tom Morton-Smith (2012)
Finborough Theatre

Back Home Contemplation

by May Sumbwanyambe (2012)
Finborough Theatre

Photos of You Sleeping

by Jane Wainwright (2012)
Finborough Theatre


by Dawn King (2011, Prize Winner)
Finborough Theatre

Through The Night

by Matt Morrison (2011), Finborough Theatre

Rigor Mortis

by Carol Vine (2011)
Finborough Theatre


by Rob Young (2011)
Finborough Theatre


by Jacqueline McCarrick (2010, Prize Winner)
Tristan Bates Theatre

My Balloon Beats Your Astronaut

By Kerry Hood (2010)
Tristan Bates Theatre

The Ducks

by Michael McLean (2010)
Tristan Bates Theatre


by John Seymour (2010)
Tristan Bates Theatre

Christmas Reloaded

by Philip Gawthorne (2009)
Old Red Lion


by Dominic Mitchell (2009, Prize Winner)
Tristan Bates Theatre

The Muse

by Matt Roberts (2008)
Pleasance Islington & Tristan Bates Theatre


by Matt Grinter (2008)
Pleasance Islington & Tristan Bates Theatre
Tweet Page




“Papatango takes massive risks on emerging theatre-makers – they are always one step ahead of the game. Their energy and initiative are tremendous and they have gone from strength to strength.”
Blanche McIntyre, winner of the Critics’ Circle Most Promising Newcomer Award for directing 2011 Papatango Prize-winner Foxfinder

We are always looking to expand our database of writers, directors, actors, designers, stage managers and friends. Email us using the form below.

Script Submissions

Papatango Theatre Company accept submissions throughout the year. If you would like to send us a script please email it as either a word or PDF file to Please note that due to the volume of entries we will not be able to acknowledge receipt of any script.


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