‘Remarkable unearthers of new talent.’ Fiona Mountford, The Evening Standard


Papatango discover brilliant playwrights, launching the best new talent with maximum impact. Our unmatched commitment to staging new writers inspires artists and audiences at all levels that all you need is a story.
Our discoveries have won BAFTAs, Alfred Fagon, Off West End and RNT Foundation Playwright awards, and premiered worldwide. We run playwriting events for thousands of participants each year.
Our opportunities are anonymous, open to anyone in the UK and Ireland, and completely free.


Company Number 07365398

Registered Charity Number 1152789

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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 ALRA.

On stage his acting credits include No Villain (Trafalgar Studios), 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) and Potentials (Papatango at the Tristan Bates Theatre).

His Directing credits for Papatango include After Independence (Arcola Theatre), Leopoldville (Tristan Bates Theatre) and Angel (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 Donkey Heart (Old Red Lion Theatre and Trafalgar Studios), 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 and US 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.


Colin Barr, Matt Charman, Rachel De-Lahay, 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


Opening in 2009, the Papatango New Writing Prize was the first – and remains the only – annual award in the UK to guarantee an emerging playwright a full production on the professional stage with box office royalties and publication by Nick Hern Books. In 2016 a full commission to support a follow-up play was added to the Prize.

The 2017 Papatango New Writing Prize has been won by Stewart Pringle for the play Trestle, from 1036 entries. Huge congratulations to Stewart, whose play will now premiere at Southwark Playhouse in November. Read more HERE. We will write to all entrants with personal feedback across July and August.



Three former Resident Playwrights May Sumbwanyambe, Sam Potter and Sam Grabiner with new Resident Playwright Dara Aiyegbayo (second from left) Photo credit Adam Bennett

Since 2014 Papatango have run the annual Resident Playwright position. Selected through open applications, in line with our commitment to championing the best new talent regardless of background or connections, the Resident Playwright is supported in their own writing by Papatango and runs free masterclasses and networking events with emerging writers across the country.

Small quote page

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



by Sam Potter (2018)
Arcola Theatre & UK tour


by Stewart Pringle (2017, Prize Winner)
Southwark Playhouse


by Matt Grinter (2016, Prize Winner)
Southwark Playhouse

After Independence

by May Sumbwanyambe (2016)
Arcola Theatre


by James Rushbrooke (2015, Prize Winner)
Southwark Playhouse


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
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“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.


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