This is Going to Hurt indie Sister has agreed a three-year partnership with The Royal Court Theatre in London, with  the first play to come out of the partnership, Baghdaddy by Jasmine Naziha Jones, opening this week.

The partnership acknowledges the interconnectedness of UK TV and theatre, and has been formed to discover, nurture and commission exciting new and emerging voices in theatre.

Across the three-year relationship, Sister and The Royal Court will run writer’s workshops to generate new plays, which will be developed by and produced at the Royal Court, with support from Sister.

Graceland by Ava Wong Davies (pictured), which runs 09 February – 11 March, will be the second play developed.

Jane Featherstone co-founder and cco Sister says: ‘We are incredibly fortunate in the UK television and film industry to be able to turn to theatre as a rich source of brilliant writing talent. And it’s imperative that we continue to support new plays and new voices, particularly at this time. This partnership with the Royal Court is born out of shared creative values and the desire to make a genuine commitment to support the best new writing theatre talent there is. Sister is incredibly proud to be working with the Royal Court, and we are thrilled to see Jasmine Naziha Jones’ Baghdaddy, the first production from our partnership, come to life.”

Erica Campayne, interim executive director, Royal Court Theatre said: “We are so thrilled to be embarking on this three-year partnership with Sister. It is deeply heartening, especially in these increasingly challenging times for subsidised theatre, that Sister truly recognises that it is at the beating heart of creativity and writing in this country. Our shared belief that the voice of the writer must be nurtured, encouraged and given a space to reach its potential is at the centre of this partnership.

“Without support like this we would be unable to continue to develop writers with the confidence and fearlessness which is so necessary. Baghdaddy by Jasmine Naziha Jones and Graceland by Ava Wong Davies which follows at the start of next year mark the beginning of the public part of this relationship and are both precious extraordinary pieces of writing.’

Baghdaddy is written by Jasmine Naziha Jones and directed by Milli Bhatia. It runs at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs until Saturday 17 December 2022. The cast includes: Philip Arditti, Souad Faress, Jasmine Naziha Jones, Hayat Kamille and Noof Ousellam. It is designed by Moi Tran, with lighting design by Jessica Hung Han Yun, sound design by Elena Peña, movement direction by Adi Gortler, and assistant direction by Melina Namdar. The fight direction is by RC-Annie and the dialect & voice coach is Edda Sharpe.

Baghdaddy is a playfully devastating coming-of-age story. Told through clowning and memory, it explores the complexities of cultural identity, generational trauma and a father-daughter relationship amidst global conflict.

Graceland by Ava Wong Davies is directed by Anna Himali Howard. Ava Wong Davies’ Royal Court debut explores a relationship.
She meets him at an old friend’s barbecue, ketchup dribbling down her chin, face ruddy from too much beer. He stands away from everyone else, beautiful and aloof. Their stories couldn’t be more different, but they flirt, and then they fall in love.
Everything is perfect, until it isn’t. Or maybe it never was.

Baghdaddy has been generously supported by a lead gift from Charles Holloway.

Pippa Considine

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