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the inspire programme

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Quote from 2020/21 INSPIRE Writer Kristian Phillips

INSPIRE is a year-long programme where a group of writers compose a full-length play mentored by the award-winning playwright Roy Williams and Hampstead’s Literary Department. INSPIRE also provides tailored talks by the country's best writers, one-to-one dramaturgical sessions and readings of new work. 

The 2023 INSPIRE writers are: Lanaire Aderemi, Azan Ahmed, Angus Harrison, Lucy Hayes, Alice McCarthy, Katherine Moar, Alfie JJ Neill, Ric Renton, Lucy Roslyn, Aneesha Srinivasan, Hugo Timbrell and Mark Vegh.

Roy Williams, Mentor of INSPIRE said: “I am so excited with the launch of the fifth year of INSPIRE! Such a wonderful as well as talented mixed group from all backgrounds with amazing stories to tell as well as write. It's going be a great year and I am looking forward to working with them.”

Hampstead Theatre’s Producer and Chief Executive, Greg Ripley-Duggan, said:

“Despite the recent 100% cut of our Arts Council England NPO funding we are committed to opening doors for writers and our INSPIRE programme does just that. INSPIRE is a really important part of what we do at Hampstead and we’re extremely grateful to our supporters who have made this financially possible. As ever we are excited to see what this year’s writers will create!”

Joining the programme is by invitation only. 

INSPIRE is made possible through the kind donations of our supporters:

The Noël Coward Foundation, Fenton Arts Trust, Garrick Charitable Trust, The Golsoncott Foundation, Zmira & Rodney Hornstein, Jon & Nora Lee Sedmak, The Thistle Trust and The Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation.




Lanaire Aderemi

Lanaire Aderemi is a playwright and doctoral student committed to amplifying and archiving untold stories. She participated in the 2022/2023 Soho Writers Lab and is the recipient of the 2019 Shoot Festival Artist Development Award. In 2021, her play Protests, Hymns and Caskets was shortlisted for the Mustapha Matura Award and the following year, an abridged version was staged at the Belgrade Theatre. Her award-winning play An Evening With Verse Writer (Tristan Bates, 2018) (Warwick Arts Centre, 2019) was adapted into a film and screened at the ‘Story Story festival’. She founded ‘Story Story pod’ – an immersive audio drama on Nigerian histories.


Azan Ahmed

Azan Ahmed is an actor, poet & playwright. An alumnus of Apples & Snakes Writing Room and a finalist of Roundhouse Poetry Slam, his work focuses on British Muslim Masculinity & archiving British Asian stories. His debut play Daytime Deewane won the 2023 Offie Award for Best Writing (TYA) after its national tour. He produces Deen & Dunya, a poetry night which has sold out Bush Theatre & Shakespeare's Globe.


Angus Harrison

Angus Harrison is a playwright from Bristol. His work has been performed at the Royal Court and he was one of ten writers selected by Papatango for their Isolated But Open monologue collection. His radio plays Asystole Belgravia and The Wire Cutters (co-written with Joseph Charlton) were broadcast in the past year on BBC Radio 4. This summer his stage play Polko will debut at the Paines Plough Roundabout in Edinburgh and will be published by Faber. He is currently developing multiple original ideas for television. Before this Angus was a journalist, writing about politics, society and nightclubs.


Lucy Hayes

Lucy Hayes is a writer and director from East London. Credits as a writer include Bitter Lemons (Bristol Old Vic and Pleasance Edinburgh), Bonsai Baby (Theatre503), and But Still Michael Grew (BBC Radio Bristol). Bitter Lemons was the winner of an Edinburgh National Partnership award, shortlisted for the Pitch Your Play award, and a runner-up for the Sit Up award. Credits as director include Plant Daddy (Pleasance), The Allocated (Mountview), and Our Common Voice (Omnibus). Credits as assistant/ associate director include Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe), Raya (Hampstead Theatre), and Le Malade Imaginaire (Festival de théâtre de Richelieu).


Alice McCarthy

Alice McCarthy is a London born Irish and Greek actor and writer. She completed her MA in playwriting at The Lir in Dublin in 2021 and The Royal Court’s Intro group in March of this year. Her first play Rewilding was longlisted for the Theatre 503 International playwriting award, the Finborough’s ETPEP award, and the RSC’s 37 plays. Alice was one of six Irish writers chosen by C4’s Philip Shelley for the inaugural Greenlight Screenwriting Lab.


Katherine Moar

Katherine Moar is a writer from Bath. Her debut play Farm Hall was produced by Jermyn Street Theatre in April 2023 and will be going on tour in the autumn. For Farm Hall, Moar was nominated by the Offies for Most Promising Debut Playwright. She is also studying for a PhD at King’s College London and the Imperial War Museum.


Alfie JJ Neill

Alfie Neill is an actor, poet and playwright. His work explores social realism and the injustices many face from lived experience. He produced and directed An Evening For Grenfell at the Lyric Hammersmith in honour of family friends lost and affected. Alfie was awarded the Lilian Baylis Award 2019 for those from underrepresented backgrounds who show promise to the future of theatre. Formerly Cultural Leader at Theatre Peckham, he is now a Young Associate at Lyric Hammersmith and a Bush Young Company member. His play SLUMLORD debuted at the Peckham Fringe. As a screenwriter, he is developing his first short film Words Hate Me.


Ric Renton

Ric Renton had a troubled upbringing in Newcastle Upon Tyne, marked by substance abuse and violence. With a turbulent past that led to numerous arrests and a three-year prison sentence, Ric's life took a turn during solitary confinement. Opting for a dictionary over a Bible he was offered, he immersed himself in words, igniting a passion for language. This passion fuelled his autobiographical odyssey Nothin In A Butterfly and the introspective production One Off. Ric's ability to captivate audiences with raw storytelling showcases the transformative power of language and personal growth, emphasising the redemptive nature of creativity.


Lucy Roslyn

Lucy Roslyn, originally, worked as an illustrator in her hometown of Coventry before moving to London to study acting. In 2013 her debut play, psychological thriller The State vs John Hayes, premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe before touring. Lucy set up her company BoonDogTheatre and began an ongoing series of darkly comic plays set within the 1930s travelling circus, including Goody (about a chimpanzee and her trainer), and Showmanship (a charlatan psychic) amongst others. Most recently Pennyroyal (about Premature Ovarian Insufficiency) ran at the Finborough Theatre and Orlando featured in the 2023 Brits Off Broadway season. Find Lucy’s website at


Aneesha Srinivasan

Aneesha Srinivasan is a writer and director from Pune. She directs new writing about friendship, sex, sexuality, identity and mythology. Recent directing credits include Before I Was A Bear (Bunker, Soho) and Brown Girls Do It Too (Soho). She is currently Trainee Director at the Royal Court. Her writing has been longlisted by Pint-Sized, Tamasha Playwrights and the Old Vic 12. She mostly writes about power, language and growing up.


Hugo Timbrell

Hugo Timbrell is a Queer, Dyslexic, Bruntwood Prize-longlisted writer from London interested in stories with great plots, interesting forms and things that make you laugh. His work has been developed and supported by organisations including Traverse Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, Bruntwood Prize, Selladoor, HighTide Theatre, Park Theatre and the Arcola Theatre. Credits include An Instinct (Theatre503 International Playwriting Award 2023 Shortlist), My Life as a Cowboy (Park Theatre May 2023), Motherland (Traverse Theatre (Rehearsed Reading)) and Death Metal Band (Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2019 Longlist). To find out more about his work check his website:


Mark Vegh

Mark Vegh is an emerging writer from London. He gained recognition for his play Famous Hungarians: receiving support for his writing from Hampstead Theatre and being shortlisted for a Royal Court Theatre writers’ group. He is developing several projects, including Voytek (Inspire programme), and Manston; stories of the struggle of the marginalised in modern Britain. Mark has a background in the performing arts: studying at Guildhall from 1986-1989 and working professionally in theatre, film, and tv. As an executive coach, he took these skills to a multi-dimensional level and works internationally (in the US, Europe, and the Far East).



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