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Writer in Residence Live Theatre & Northumbria University

The Writer in Residence takes part in a dynamic and exciting twelve-month residency, working at both Olivier Award nominated new writing theatre, Live Theatre, and Northumbria University, Newcastle, a Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year Award 2017 nominee with a global reputation for academic excellence.

The 12-month residency will allow the writer to develop their own practice, with the potential for a further commission from Live Theatre beyond the residency period, and to share their expertise with communities at both Live Theatre and Northumbria University.

Chinonyerem Odimba, a Nigeria-born London-raised playwright and poet, is 2018's writer-in-residence.

Her work for theatre includes The Bird Woman of Lewisham at the Arcola; Rainy Season, and His Name is Ishmael for Bristol Old Vic; Joanne for Clean Break, and Amongst the Reeds for Clean Break and The Yard. More recently she has written a modern retelling of Twist for Theatre Centre which had a UK tour in Autumn 2017, Medea at Bristol Old Vic, and We Too, Are Giants for Kiln Theatre (formerly Tricycle Theatre). TV includes Scotch Bonnet for BBC Three and A Blues for Nia for the BBC and Eclipse Theatre. Her first radio play, written in collaboration, The Last Flag was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in May 2018.

Her work has been shortlisted for several awards including the Adrienne Benham Award and the Alfred Fagon awards. In 2015 her unproduced play Wild is De Wind was shortlisted to the final ten for the Bruntwood Playwriting Award. She is the joint winner for the 2018 Sonia Friedman Award (Channel 4 Playwright Bursary) for a new play for Talawa Theatre. Chinonyerem Odimba is currently under commission for Eclipse Theatre’s ‘Revolution Mix’ at Bristol Old Vic, is and working on a new community play at Kiln Theatre.


The Writer in Residence programme, now in its third year is the cornerstone of an exciting and innovative partnership between Northumbria University, Newcastle and Live Theatre, which began in 2015 to create cultural collaborations that connect with the people of the North East, enhance teaching and learning, inspire new research, and connect academic research with the world of professional theatre. The first joint Writer in Residence was Paddy Campbell, writer of Live Theatre successes Wet House and Day of the Flymo, and a Northumbria University graduate. He was followed by the former Literary Associate at Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, Lindsay Rodden who became Writer-in-Residence for 2017/18.

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  • Arts Council England
  • Community Foundation
  • European Regional Development Fund


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