2014 Resident Playwright

May Sumbwanyambe was the inaugural Papatango Resident Playwright, kindly supported by the BBC Theatre Fellowship Fund and the Fenton Arts Trust. Since completing his Residency, May has been commissioned by both National Theatre Scotland and Radio Four, and invited onto the Royal Court invitation-only supergroup.

His play After Independence was produced by Papatango at the Arcola Theatre in 2016. It won an Alfred Fagon Audience Award and was adapted for BBC Radio 4.

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.


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