Announcing YOU BURY ME coming to the OT in 2023

We're thrilled to announce a new co-production for Spring 2023. YOU BURY ME, co-produced with Paines Plough, The Women’s Prize for Playwriting45North, The Royal Lyceum Edinburgh, in association with Bristol Old Vic.

Ahlam’s YOU BURY ME is a play about sex, friendship and coming of age in post-Arab Spring Cairo and was joint winner of the inaugural Women’s Prize for Playwriting 2020, an award established by Ellie Keel Productions and Paines Plough.  

This story is about a city. A city of exhaust fumes, drunken phone calls, first kisses, hysteria, sweat and laughter. Cairo.

Coming of age in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, six young Egyptians navigate friendship, loss and secret Grindr dates in the city that made them.

YOU BURY ME is an explosive, political debut from Ahlam about a generation emerging from a national trauma, determined to live and love freely.

Directed by Paines Plough’s Joint Artistic Director Katie Posner, the production will be playing at the OT from 27th March to 22nd April 2023, marking the first show in Tom Littler’s first season as Artistic Director at the OT, with tickets to be announced shortly.  

Writer Ahlam said:
“In 2018, I had made peace with the possibility that You Bury Me might never see a stage in the UK, the fact that it will be seeing not one but three stages next year is simply incredible and I am elated to say the least. Since winning the Women’s Prize for Playwriting in 2020, we’ve been developing the play to tell it in this contemporary moment; a moment in which the younger generation are inheriting a world that they did not choose and are fighting to change. It’s been a challenging and thrilling process and I cannot wait for the show to resonate with the audiences across the country.” 

Director Katie Posner said: 

“The first time I read this play, I remember being gripped by the human stories that sat within its deeply political core. Its young, vibrant energy poured itself out from the page and I remember feeling so charged up after reading it. You can imagine how delighted I was when it was unanimously decided by the judges that this was to be one of the winners of the Women’s Prize for Playwriting. When I close my eyes and dream this play is going to be electric. It is fast-paced, funny and important. I can’t wait for it to meet its much deserved audiences and I hope that it will land in people’s hearts and bury itself there for a very long time.” 

Ahlam moved around a lot as a child. She has lived in Germany, Singapore, Kenya, Venezuela, Turkey and the UK. She initially studied theatre in Egypt, where she created work combining elements of classical Greek Theatre and surrealism with contemporary dance, based on her heartbreak. Her interest in text-based theatre was forced upon her in true British tradition, when she was asked to write a reimagining of Indiana Jones to take to the Edinburgh Fringe. Luckily, it turns out she quite likes writing. Ahlam is a dreamer. Ahlam dreams of revolution. Ahlam dreams of the emancipatory power of day-dreaming. Ahlam dreams of big ensemble theatre with giant sets. Ahlam dreams of pistachio-crusted salmon she ate once in Sicily. Ahlam dreams of love. You Bury Me isn’t the first play she’s written and it won’t be her last. 

Katie Posner (she/her) joined Paines Plough as Joint Artistic Director with Charlotte Bennett in August 2019. Katie has most recently directed – Hungry for Soho Theatre/ Roundabout Edinburgh, Really Big and Really LoudBlack Love (Co-Director for Roundabout) and You Bury Me staged reading for the Edinburgh International Festival (Paines Plough/Ellie Keel Productions/45 North)

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