Zia Ahmed

Zia Ahmed is a poet and playwright from North West London. He was shortlisted for Young Poet Laureate for London 2015/16 and is a former Roundhouse Poetry Slam champion. His plays include I Wanna Be Yours (Paines Plough & Tamasha, 2019).

He was appointed Associate Artist at the Gate Theatre, London, in 2022.

(Author photo by Finn Constantine)

Zia Ahmed
I Wanna Be Yours

Joan Aiken

Joan Aiken (1924–2004) was an English writer, specialising in thrillers and children's alternative history novels. In 1999 she was awarded an MBE for her services to children's literature.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

Waleed Akhtar

Waleed Akhtar is a writer and actor. His plays include: The P Word (Bush Theatre, London, 2022); Kabul Goes Pop: Music Television Afghanistan (Brixton House, London, and tour 2022); Sholay on the Big Screen (Bush Theatre, London, 2021); and I Don't Know What To Do (VAULT Festival 2020, Evening Standard Pick of the Fest).

His English translation of Alexis Michalik's play The Art of Illusion was staged at Hampstead Theatre in 2022.

His short film Lost Paradise was produced by UK Film Council and he has contributed material for BBC Radio 4's Sketchtopia and Newsjack.

He was named Most Promising New Playwright at the 2023 OffWestEnd Awards.

Kabul Goes Pop: Music Television Afghanistan
The P Word
The Art of Illusion

Nkenna Akunna

Nkenna Akunna is an Igbo writer, performer, and lecturer from London. Her plays include Some Of Us Exist In The Future (Papatango New Writing Prize, 2021).

Papatango Plays
Some Of Us Exist In The Future

Travis Alabanza

Travis Alabanza is an award-winning writer, performer and theatre-maker. Their writing has appeared on the BBC, in the Guardian, Vice and gal-dem; they had a fortnightly column in Metro, and have been featured in numerous anthologies, including Black and Gay in the UK. After being the youngest recipient of the artist-in-residency programme at Tate Galleries, Alabanza's debut show Burgerz toured internationally to sold-out performances, including at the Southbank Centre, to São Paulo, Brazil, HAU Berlin, and it won the Edinburgh Fringe Total Theatre Award in 2019. In 2020 their theatre show Overflow debuted at the Bush Theatre, London, to widespread acclaim and later streamed online in over twenty-two countries. Other works for theatre and live performance include for the Royal Court Living Newspaper, Paines Plough, Free Word Centre, Glasgow Transmission Gallery and more.

Their work surrounding gender, trans identity and race has been noted internationally, and they have given talks at universities including Oxford, Harvard and Bristol, among others. Noted for their distinct voice, in 2019 the Evening Standard listed them as one of the twenty-five most influential under twenty-five-year-olds – as well as being listed in the Dazed 100, the Guardian asking if 'they are the future of theatre', and being listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List.

Contemporary Plays by Black British Writers

Antonio Alamo

Antonio Alamo is a Spanish writer. He was appointed director of the Lope de Vega Theatre in Seville in 2004.


Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott (1832–88) was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet best known as the author of the novel Little Women (1868) and its sequels Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886).

Little Women

Bill Alexander

Bill Alexander is a British theatre director. He was an Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and then Artistic Director of Birmingham Rep. His landmark productions include Richard III with Antony Sher and The Merry Wives of Windsor (both Olivier Award-winners), The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus and King Lear with Corin Redgrave.

He is the author of Exploring Shakespeare: A Director's Notes from the Rehearsal Room.

Bill Alexander
Exploring Shakespeare

Robert Alexander

Robert Alexander is an American playwright. He is the former playwright in residence for Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre. He is the author of Servant of the People; The Rise and Fall of Huey Newton and the Black Panther Party and I Ain't Yo' Uncle: The New Jack Revisionist Uncle Tom's Cabin.

The Fire This Time
Plays From the Boom Box Galaxy

Mike Alfreds

Mike Alfreds has been directing plays for more than fifty years. In the 1970s he founded Shared Experience, and has since worked for the National Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe, the Royal Shakespeare Company and also extensively abroad. He is hugely respected within the profession.

He is the author of Different Every Night (Nick Hern Books, 2007), Then What Happens? (Nick Hern Books, 2013) and What Actors Do (Nick Hern Books, 2023).

Different Every Night
Then What Happens?
Five Characters in Search of a Good Night's Sleep
What Actors Do