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Paines Plough announces full tour dates for Zia Ahmed’s debut play I Wanna Be Yours

Paines Plough

Paines Plough and Tamasha have today announced the full UK tour dates for I WANNA BE YOURS. A tender, funny, lyrical play about finding love and holding onto it with everything you’ve got, I WANNA BE YOURS is the debut play from London Laureate and Roundhouse Poetry Slam Champion Zia Ahmed. In partnership with Tamasha and directed by former Paines Plough trainee director Anna Himali Howard, the play will tour to Canada Water, Barking, Luton, Whitehaven, Liverpool, Lyme Regis, Ventnor, Brighton, Bracknell, St Albans, Havant, Peterborough, Canterbury, Bordon, Tunbridge Wells, Guildford, Bolton, Middlesbrough, Banbury, Bromsgrove, Derby, Beverley, Doncaster, Maidenhead, Norwich, Lincoln, Manchester, Preston, Washington, Selby, Halifax and Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Ella is from Yorkshire. Haseeb is from London. They order a pizza. House red for Ella. Hot chocolate for Haseeb.

“I think I’m falling in love with you.”

People and playlists. Christmas and Eid. Travelcards and Megabuses. London to Leeds. 

Love is more than just a game for two. Especially when there’s an elephant in the room. 

Zia is from North West London. He is a London Laureate, having been shortlisted to be the Young Poet Laureate for London 2015/16. He is a former Roundhouse Poetry Slam champion. Zia was Paines Plough’s Channel 4 Playwright in Residence 2016/2017.

Anna is a director and theatremaker. She was Paines Plough’s Trainee Director in 2016. She is also an Alumni Artist at the Gate Theatre and an alumnus of the Birmingham REP Foundry.

Her work as a Director includes A SMALL PLACE by Jamaica Kincaid (Gate Theatre), ALBATROSS by Isley Lynn for NEW (RWCMD/Paines Plough/Gate Theatre), LIFE IS NO LAUGHING MATTER by Demi Nandhra (Birmingham REP/mac Birmingham), 20B by Jane English (Birmingham REP/CPT).   As a theatremaker work includes MAHABHARAT/A by Anna Himali Howard and Zarina Muhammad (Camden People’s Theatre), THE BEANFIELD by Breach Theatre (New Diorama, National tour 2016).   Anna was Associate Director on FLEABAG by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Drywrite/Soho Theatre international tour) and Assistant Director on OTHELLO, directed by Ellen McDougall (Shakespeare’s Globe) and IN THE NIGHT TIME (Before the Sun Rises) by Nina Segal, directed by Ben Kidd (Gate Theatre).

I WANNA BE YOURS was developed with support from the Channel 4 Playwrights’ Scheme.

Sam Steiner awarded the Paines Plough playwright fellowship 2016 & Anna Himali Howard awarded the Paines Plough and Birmingham repertory theatre trainee director bursary

Today, Paines Plough announce that the second Paines Plough Playwright Fellowship is awarded to Sam Steiner and that the recipient of the new Paines Plough and Birmingham Repertory Theatre Trainee Director bursary is Anna Himali Howard.

Sam Steiner’s debut play Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons won three awards at the National Student Drama Festival prior to an acclaimed, sold out run at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015. Lemons will return to Edinburgh as part of Paines Plough’s Roundabout programme 2016 and Sam will join the company on attachment until March 2017.

Anna Himali Howard will join Paines Plough for six months having graduated from Birmingham Rep’s Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme Introduction to Directing programme as part of REP Foundry. Supported by an anonymous playwright, Paines Plough and Birmingham Rep have joined forces to support an outstanding director at the start of their career.

Paines Plough Artistic Directors James Grieve and George Perrin said: “From the hundreds of new plays we’ve seen and read in the past year, Lemons stood out for us as the work of a singular talent. We are thrilled to welcome Sam to Paines Plough as the recipient of our Playwright Fellowship 2016. With the generous support of Jon and NoraLee Sedmak and a Paines Plough alumnus playwright, we look forward to supporting Sam in the next stage of what promises to be a great career.

“Anna Himali Howard is a real talent with a brilliant and imaginative theatre brain. We are hugely excited to welcome her to our team. We were both fortunate to receive training opportunities that made our careers possible – not least from Birmingham Reportory Theatre’s Artistic Director Roxana Silbert – and we are delighted to now be in a position to offer some support to the next generation of theatre directors and the artistic directors of the future. 

That these traineeships are supported by Paines Plough alumni playwrights demonstrates just how important training directors working with new writing are to the playwright fraternity.”

Sam Steiner said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be this year’s recipient of Paines Plough’s Playwright Fellowship. I am incredibly grateful to the fellowship donors and everyone at PP for this opportunity and am thoroughly looking forward to working alongside such a great group of talented and enthusiastic theatre-makers. I hope to use the opportunity to really push myself, my writing and my understanding of theatre in new directions.”

Anna Himali Howard said: “I’m delighted to be joining Paines Plough as their Trainee Director. It’s a company with a rich and reputable history, and I can’t wait to get started working on this season of new plays at Roundabout. It’s an exciting opportunity for me to learn through assisting, seeing lots of new work and being part of a great company as it develops and tours new plays around the country.”

Programme 2016 from Paines Plough includes Sabrina Mahfouz’s play-come gig With A Little Bit Of Luck¸Come To Where I’m From which will debut in London in July 2016, ROUNDABOUT, the return of Duncan Macmillan’s Every Brilliant Thing and the premiere of Tom Wells’ coming-of-age comedy Broken Biscuits.