Welcome to our current OT Writers Collective! We are delighted to have this brilliant group working with us over the coming year.
Ric Renton (in collaboration with Paines Plough)
Born in Denton Burn, Ric had a troubled upbringing that led to him spending his young adulthood in various prisons across the North East. During a stint in solitary confinement, Ric read the dictionary laying crucial foundations for him to go on to become a writer.
He wrote his first play Nothing in a Butterfly through Soho Theatres writers program in 2018.
His second play One Off, a co-comission with Paines Plough and Live Theatre is an autobiographical play set in HMP Durham, centred around the turbulent friendships of 3 inmates & the arrival of a nightguard who offers an unexpected way through the darkness. Amongst other reviews, it received 4 stars in The Guardian and The Stage.
Ric is currently part of the Royal Court Writers Program, Orange Tree Writers Collective and Hampstead Theatre’s Inspire Writers. He is under co-commission with Orange Tree and Paines Plough for his play Moral Animal and the Globe as part of their historic New Writers event Burnt At The Stake with O’Fence.
Ric is from Newcastle predominantly writes stories based on true events or figures.
Clarisse Makundul is a London-based playwright.
Her debut play Under the Kundè Tree premiered at Southwark Playhouse Borough on 24 May 2023. The play was pre-selected for the Maison Antoine Vitez Prize.
Alongside her writing, Clarisse also works as a producer. In 2022, she founded her own theatre company, Clarisse Makundul Productions. The company’s first full production, ‘One Who Wants to Cross’ by Marc-Emmanuel Soriano, was directed by Alice Hamilton and presented in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre in January and February 2023.
As an actor, one of her most recent acting roles was in Paris Memories (Revoir Paris), a film directed by French filmmaker Alice Winocour, which premiered at the Directors’ Fortnight of the 75th Cannes Film Festival.
Lydia Sabatini is a London-based playwright and screenwriter originally from Essex. She participated in the Bush Theatre’s Emerging Writers Group 2021/22, the Traverse Theatre’s Breakthrough Writers: In Residence Programme 2022/3 and the Mercury Theatre’s Playwrights scheme 2022/3. Her play The Light Trail, which was shortlisted for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Playwriting, was performed at the Hope Theatre in 2022. She is developing film screenplay projects as part of the London Library’s Emerging Writer’s Programme 2023/4.
Anne Odeke (in collaboration with HighTide)
Anne is an actor, qualified Drama teacher and emerging playwright.
As a playwright, Anne’s credits include:
Misfits for the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch in 2020, Princess Essex (Essex Tour + Bush Theatre) in 2022, and Little Women for Storyhouse in 2023.
In 2021, Anne was chosen by BBC Radio 4 to represent Essex in their ‘United Kingdoms’ series. Anne is currently working on a new family play with songs, for the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch in tribute to the Windrush Generation called, ‘A place for me?’.
Kelly Jones is a gay, working-class playwright and comedy burlesque performer from Dagenham. She is the winner of the BBC Wales Drama Award 2015, alumni of the Emerging Playwrights Program at The Bush Theatre, BBC Drama Room 20/21 and Mercury Theatre’s East England Voices.
Kelly likes to write autobiographically, with an emphasis on queerness, class, and community; staging positive working-class narratives thru her queer feminist lens. Recent credits include Ghost Stories By Candlelight (Hightide/ The Globe), When You See Me (Scottee and Friends), Room to Escape (BBC Arts), Comma (Sherman Theatre), Garden Paradiso (Mercury Theatre), and The People’s Platform (Commonwealth). She is a recent recipient of the NPCS Writers Guild Award for her play My Mother’s Funeral: The Show.
Oli is an actor, writer, and musician.
He has workshopped new plays at the National Theatre Studio with practitioners including Lyndsey Turner, Ola Ince, Emily Burns, and Lucy Kirkwood.
As a playwright, Oli is passionate about unflinching and surprising work that leans into the complexity, absurdity and hypocrisy of being human. At the moment, he’s especially interested in writing about structures of power, what it means to be held accountable for your actions, the grey area between morality and legality, and the strange dissociation of finding yourself a victim.
Writers Collective Alumni
2021-22: Gemma Lawrence, Nimmo Ismail, Cassiopeia Berkley-Agyepong, Jade Anouka, Tamsin Daisy Rees
2019: Samuel Bailey, Carmen Nasr, Ross Willis, Zoe Guzy-Sprague, Freddie Machin, Femi Keeling
2016-17: Joe White, Sarah Grochala, Chris Bush, Sonali Bhattacharyya, Christian Graham, Daniel Foxsmith, Eve Leigh
2015-16: Ben Cooper, Chris Adams, Emma Jowett, Ian Bonar, Natalie Mitchell, Paula B Stanic, Philip Correia, Sharon Kanolik and Tim Foley
2014-15: Amman Paul Singh Brar, Afsaneh Gray, Dean Stalham, Jess Brown, Matt Parvin, Nessah Muthy, Somalia Seaton, Sumerah Srivastav and Tristan Bernays
2013-14: Amber Hsu, Amy Neilson Smith, Berri George, Brian Mullin, Claire Urwin, Daniel York, Isley Lynn and Keely Winstone