Creative Team announced for The Funeral Director – Winner of the 10th Annual Papatango New Writing Prize

The Funeral Director (Graphic Design by Rebecca Pitt_ photographs by Michael Wharley)

The Funeral Director (Graphic Design by Rebecca Pitt_ photographs by Michael Wharley)

Papatango today announced the creative team for The Funeral Director by Iman Qureshi – winner of the 10th annual New Writing Prize. The creative team includes Artistic Director and co-founder of Damsel Productions, Hannah Hauer King (Director), 2017 winner of Best Design at the Wales Theatre Awards, Amy Jane Cook (Designer), WhatsOnStage Award and two time Off West End Award nominee for Best Lighting Design, Jack Weir (Lighting Designer) and Max Pappenheim (Sound Designer) who has extensive credits across London and Broadway and is currently working onHogarth’s Progress at Rose Theatre Kingston.

The Funeral Director, an exploration of a gay Muslim woman coming to terms with her identity, makes its world premiere in a four-week run at Southwark Playhouse opening on 2 November, with previews from 31 October; and running until 24 November.

 This year’s Papatango New Writing Prize received a record-breaking number of submissions from across the UK and Ireland – 1,384. This means the Prize continues to attract more annual UK/Irish submissions than any other playwriting platform – and is unique in giving feedback to all entrants.
“I just thought it would be a secret I’d have to die with. And now – I think it’ll be what kills me.”

Life as the director of a Muslim funeral parlour isn’t always easy, but Ayesha has things pretty sorted. She and Zeyd share everything: a marriage, a business, a future.

Until Tom walks in to organise his boyfriend’s funeral. A snap moral decision, informed by the values of Ayesha’s community and faith, has profound consequences.

Forced to confront a secret she has hidden even from herself, Ayesha must decide who she is – no matter the cost.

The Funeral Director is an incisive and heartfelt story of sexuality, gender and religion in 21st-century Britain.

Iman Qureshi will make her full-length debut with The Funeral Director. Born in Pakistan and raised in Saudi Arabia, she has had short plays or limited runs commissioned or produced by Tamasha, Kalí Theatre, Purple Moon Drama and the BBC. As a member of Tamasha Playwrights and Soho Theatre’s Writers Lab her short play His and Hers was produced as part of Tamasha’s New Muslim Voices. Iman has also written for the Guardian, Independent, Time Out and the Huffington Post, been writer in residence at various schools, and been shortlisted for the Muslim Writer’s Award in 2011.

Hannah Hauer-King directs. She is the Artistic Director and co-founder of all-female theatre company Damsel Productions. Hauer-King started her London directing career acting as Resident AD at Soho Theatre in 2014. She now works as a freelance theatre director alongside directing for Damsel Productions, and as a theatre, comedy and cabaret programmer for Fane Productions. Recent productions include Fabric (Soho Theatre), The Swell (Hightide Festival), Grotty and Breathe (Bunker Theatre), Fury and Brute (Soho Theatre), Clay (Pleasance Theatre), Dry Land (Jermyn Street Theatre), Witt ‘n Camp (Assembly Studios, Edinburgh Fringe) and Hypernormal (Vaults Festival). Associate/Assistant work includes Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe), Radiant Vermin (Soho Theatre) and Daytona (Theatre Royal Haymarket).

Amy Jane Cook (Designer) was the winner of Best Design at the Wales Theatre Awards 2017. Theatre credits include Jellyfish (Bush Theatre), Not Talking (Arcola Theatre), Lava (Nottingham Playhouse), Our Blue Heaven (New Wolsey Theatre), The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, St Nicholas (Theatr Clwyd), Insignificance (Theatre Clwyd/Langham Place, New York), Up N Under (UK tour), The 8th (Barbican), Mydidae (Soho Theatre/Trafalgar Studios), 66 Books (Bush/Westminster Abbey), Mudlarks (Bush/HighTide Festival), Medea (Gate Theatre), 65 MilesOnce Upon a Time in Wigan (Hull Truck), Hamlet (Young Vic/Maria Theatre), The Water Engine (Old Vic Tunnels), Glory Dazed (Soho Theatre), The Mobile Phone Show (Lyric Hammersmith), Almost Maine (Park Theatre), The Separation (Project Arts Centre, Dublin/Theatre503), Where the Mangrove Grows (Theatre503), To Dream Again (Clwyd/Polka), The Giant Jam Sandwich (Trafalgar Studio/Derby Live/Polka) Thumbelina’s Great Adventure (Cambridge Arts Centre) andI (heart) Peterborough (Pleasance/Tour).

Jack Weir (Lighting Designer) trained at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and won the ETC award for Lighting Design in 2014. He is a WhatsOnStage award and two time Off West End Award nominee for Best Lighting Designer. Weir’s recent lighting design credits includeHanna (Papatango at Arcola Theatre and UK tour), Rain Man (UK tour), The Boys In The Band (Vaudeville Theatre), Dust (Trafalgar Studios),Rothschild & Sons (Park Theatre), George’s Marvellous Medicine (Leicester Curve, Rose Theatre and UK tour), Judy! (The Arts Theatre), Assata Taught Me (Gate Theatre), The Plague (Arcola Theatre), Out Of Order (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre & UK tour), Pray So Hard For You (Finborough Theatre), Laronde (The Bunker Theatre), Four Play (Theatre503), Summer In London (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Pyar Actually (Watford Palace & tour), Talk Radio (Old Red Lion), Holding The Man, Beautiful Thing, Grindr The Opera and Maurice (Above The Stag), West Side Story (Bishopsgate Institute) and Hunch/Velvet (Pleasance/Assembly Edinburgh).

Max Pappenheim (Sound Designer). He previously worked with Papatango on Coolatully (Finborough Theatre). Other theatre credits include The Habit of Art (York Theatre Royal/Original Theatre), One For Sorrow (Royal Court), The Way of the World (Donmar Warehouse), A View from the Bridge, Macbeth (Tobacco Factory), Dry PowderSex with StrangersLabyrinth (Hampstead Theatre), The Children (Royal Court/Manhattan Theatre Club), Humble Boy, The Lottery of Love, Sheppey, Blue/Heart, Little Light, The Distance (Orange Tree), Ophelias Zimmer (Schaubühne, Berlin/Royal Court), Miss Julie (Theatre by the Lake/Jermyn Street), The Gaul (Hull Truck), Cookies (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Teddy, Fabric, Invincible (UK tour), Toast (Park Theatre/59E59 Theaters, New York), Jane Wenham (Out of Joint), Waiting for Godot (Sheffield Crucible), My Eyes Went Dark (Traverse, Edinburgh), Cargo (Arcola Theatre), CommonWealth (Almeida Theatre), Creve Coeur (Print Room), Wink (Theatre503), Spamalot, The Glass Menagerie (English Theatre, Frankfurt), The Cardinal, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Fiji Land (Southwark Playhouse), Mrs Lowry and Son (Trafalgar Studios), Martine, Black Jesus, Somersaults (Finborough Theatre) and The Hotel Plays (Langham Hotel).