Sun, 12 May 2024 18:00 - 19:00

EWP Playwriting Scratch Night: scratching a political itch (in person)

As our run of Sylvia Pankhurst’s long-lost political play, Between Two Fires, draws to a close, we’re handing the stage to former and current members of The London Library Emerging Writers Programme to showcase some of the incredible talent that has come through over the last five years. 

Four playwrights, Olga Braga, Maryam GaradAmy Powell Yeates and Sid Sagar, will each stage short, rehearsed readings of their work, exploring a diverse range of political themes from the protest at Greenham Common to the war in Ukraine and more besides. 

Come along to discover exciting new writing and illuminating new perspectives. 



A Short Guide to Staying Alive by Olga Braga 
Set against the backdrop of the Ukraine war, this play unfolds in the decrepit kitchen of an abandoned house, where Kolya, a young and inexperienced recruit, and Sergey, a jaded older sniper, engage in a tense yet humorous exchange, which reveals their contrasting perspectives on war, life, and survival. A profound exploration of resilience, camaraderie, and the human spirit amidst the horrors of war. 

Reparations by Maryam Garad
Upon spending three years in prison for shoplifting, Aisha struggles to navigate her life post prison. She soon finds herself infatuated by a wealthy young woman named V and comes to the conclusion that stealing material items is simply not enough – true healing will come when she steals this woman’s life. Reparations is a play about the consequences of neglect and the ramifications when it’s at once familial and systemic.

You Can't Kill the Spirit by Amy Powell Yeates
‘You told me it was a party, not a sodding revolution.’ 
New Year’s Eve, 1982. From behind her local shop counter, Joan waits for the nuclear sirens to sound. But then brilliant Theresa walks back into her life. Brilliant Theresa wants to take Joan to a party. An extract of a new play inspired by the world of the Greenham Common Women’s peace camp that asks, is there is anything left to do when the world is ending?

John From Hull by Sid Sagar 
A delivery driver, in the heat of road rage, is confronted with fragments of his past. Exploring the politics of masculinity, privilege and roundabouts in contemporary Britain, this extract is from a new play currently being written for Hull-based theatre company Middle Child. The play is scheduled to tour the UK in 2025.  



Olga Braga is a playwright and screenwriter, originally from Ukraine. She is currently on her second commission with the Royal Shakespeare Company and on attachment with the National Theatre. She also does stand-up comedy, having performed at some of London’s most popular comedy clubs including Backyard Comedy, Top Secret, the Comedy Store, Camden Comedy Club and Vauxhall Comedy Club. She is on the current London Library Emerging Writers Programme.

Maryam Garad is a British/Somali playwright and actor from London. Her writing primarily centres the Black Muslim experience with the goal of allowing those that share her experiences to see themselves truthfully on stage. Her debut play Reparations was shortlisted for the Mustapha Matura award and winner of the 2023 Tony Craze award. The play was also staged at Soho Theatre. Her writing has been performed at Riverside Studios, Bush Theatre and Omnibus theatre. She is a recipient of Bush Theatre’s Bloom Bursary and is on the current London Library Emerging Writers’ Programme.

Amy Powell Yeates is a producer and writer from Wales. Previously she developed new work for Playful Productions, collaborating with theatres including the Royal Court, Bush and Birmingham REP, working with creatives including Alice Birch, Clint Dyer and Hilary Mantel. She is currently producing Between Two Fires for The London Library. As a playwright, she was selected for the 2020/21 London Library Emerging Writers Programme and in the past year her work has appeared at new writing nights around London.

Sid Sagar is an actor, playwright and screenwriter from an Indian background. He was part of the London Library Emerging Writers Programme from 2021-22 and has also trained with Soho Theatre Writers' Lab, Hampstead Theatre's INSPIRE scheme and the Channel 4 Screenwriting Course 2023. As an actor, recent work includes The Crucible at Sheffield Crucible, The Father and the Assassin at the National Theatre and Cabaret in the West End. As a writer, Sid is currently under commission to the Almeida Theatre, Middle Child and BBC Radio 4, and he's also developing a crime drama for television with Mammoth Screen.

Supported by Fondation Jan Michalski.

NB This event will take place in person at The London Library. Please see our Event Access Guidelines before you arrive. Please arrive by 5.45pm for a 6pm start. Doors (and the bar) will be open throughout the day from 2.30pm for the earlier performance of Between Two Fires.

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