Writers Rabiah Hussain, Lettie Precious and Ross Willis awarded the first Royal Court Theatre and Kudos writing fellowships
Last night the Royal Court Theatre and Kudos announced that writers Rabiah Hussain, Lettie Precious and Ross Willis had been selected to each receive £10,000 through new writing fellowships created by the two companies.
This is the first year that the fellowships, which support three writers already establishing a career in order to focus purely on their writing for six months, have been in place.
Commenting on the Fellowships Lucy Morrison, Royal Court Associate Director said; “Stories are still one of the most powerful ways we have to get people to imagine a different life, a different world and to understand our experiences as humans. We need to ensure that the right people are given the opportunities to tell their stories and this fellowship enables that. These three extraordinary writers can make change happen. Together with Kudos, we will support, challenge them and celebrate them to make art and tell the stories everyone needs to hear.”
Diederick Santer, CEO of Kudos added; “I’m truly buzzing at the potential of these three writers and delighted that Kudos has joined forces with the Royal Court again to find and encourage fresh new voices. This scheme really gets to the heart of the issue for any emerging writer; how to live while building a career. It will be thrilling to see how these incredibly talented writers develop given the space and support to immerse themselves entirely in their work.”
The Royal Court and Kudos met with 13 writers who perceived that there are barriers to getting their work developed and produced in theatre and television. These shortlisted writers were Josh Elliott, Amy Bethan Evans, Sami Ibrahim, Yasmin Joseph, Benjamin Kuffour, Joanne Lau, Benedict Lombe, Iman Qureshi, Stefanie Reynolds and Annie Siddons.
Each will have a continuing relationship with the Royal Court and Kudos.
During the six months Rabiah Hussain, Lettie Precious and Ross Willis will be able to take part in and challenge the work of the Royal Court and Kudos. They will each be firmly embedded in the organisations, spending time with all departments, shadowing colleagues observing rehearsals, attending first previews and visiting TV sets. There will be opportunities to take part in monthly workshops run by leading creatives in theatre and television; attend script meetings at the Royal Court and development meetings at Kudos to be part of the conversations about potential productions; and have space and time to develop their own projects.
The fellowships continue the relationship between the Royal Court and Kudos who have collaborated for the past two years to deliver bespoke writers groups. This partnership has focused on developing new talent for television and theatre, championing the need for diversity in both sectors.
On receiving the Fellowship Rabiah Hussain said: “I feel absolutely honoured to be awarded this fellowship. I’m at an exciting, but also daunting, time in my writing career but knowing I have the space and time this fellowship allows, makes all the difference. It also means I have the guidance and support of both the Royal Court and Kudos – the very best in theatre and TV. For someone like me, who has had to struggle to get a foot in the door, this is an opportunity like no other and one I hope will pave the way for many more in the future.”
Lettie Precious added; “I was absolutely gobsmacked when I found out I had been selected for the Royal Court and Kudos Fellowship! ‘Wow’ was the only word I could master for a good twenty minutes. This opportunity means the world to me, it has come at a time where I needed it the most in my writing career. I feel very privileged.”
Ross Willis added; “Telling stories is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do with my life so receiving one of these fellowships means so much to me. It gives me the chance to breathe in, a lifeline to carry on and is a high five from two brilliant organisations whose work I adore.”