Sharing experience at Live Theatre and Northumbria University

Published: 14 June 2018

Live Theatre and Northumbria University announce the appointment of their third Writer-in-Residence, Chinonyerem Odimba. Her twelve-month residency begins in September and she will be working with both organisations, teaching on the Performing Arts courses at Northumbria and leading writing projects at Live, including Write Here, Write Now, a course for young writers of colour, and the well-established established Become A Playwright playwriting course.

Chinonyerem Odimba was born in Nigeria and raised in London. She has been a writer on attachment for Bristol Old Vic and Clean Break Theatre, London and has written plays for the Arcola, Bristol Old Vic and Kiln Theatre (formerly The Tricycle). She has written short plays Scotch Bonnet and A Blues for Nia for the BBC and her first radio play, written in collaboration, The Last Flag was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in May this year.

She won the Sonia Friedman Award (Channel 4 Playwright Bursary) 2018 and has also been shortlisted for the Adrienne Benham Award, the Alfred Fagon and the Bruntwood Playwriting Awards.

She is currently under commission for Eclipse Theatre’s Revolution Mix at Bristol Old Vic, and is working on a new community play at Kiln Theatre.

“I applied to become Writer-in Residence,” she said, “because I wanted to feel that a playwright like myself, informally trained, black British, could belong within the academic world of institutions such as Northumbria University, and bring new stories to audiences at Live Theatre.

"Taking on the role of the Writer-in-Residence for Live Theatre and Northumbria University is beyond exciting. The opportunity to create new work rooted in the artistic space, research and ambitions of both the theatre and university, and being able to engage and share that process with young aspiring writers in Newcastle, is something I am very much looking forward to.”

Welcoming her, Joe Douglas, Live’s Artistic Director, said, “Chinonyerem Odimba’s star is on the rise and we are delighted to have appointed a playwright of her calibre as our Writer-in-Residence 2018-19. Chinonyerem is an artist who has spent real time and care finding her voice as a writer and this shows in her plays. Her energy and love of language is infectious. We look forward to her influence at Live Theatre, both on stage and through our talent development programmes.”

Steve Gilroy, from Northumbria University and the Northumbria University / Live Theatre Partnership Lead added, “Chinonyerem is an amazing, experienced and talented artist who will bring so much to our creative community here at Northumbria University over the next year. We’re really excited to welcome her and I’m sure the students are going to adore working with her.”

Peter Lathan