May Sumbwanyambe

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Plays by May Sumbwanyambe

After Independence

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Guy and Kathleen grow their crops, raise their daughter, and pay their taxes. But Africa is changing, country by country. White farmers in Zimbabwe must now answer for history’s crimes. When Charles arrives with a smile and a purchase order, there’s more than just land at stake. With violence threatening to erupt, he will do whatever it takes to restore their farm to the ‘native’ population.

As truths are revealed and moralities questioned, are things ever more than simply black and white?

Inspired by real events in Zimbabwe, May Sumbwanyambe’s debut play is an unflinching examination of land ownership, dispossession and justice in a post-colonial world.

Winner of the 2016 Alfred Fagon Audience Award, After Independence received its world premiere at the Arcola Theatre, London, on 4 May 2016, in a production by Papatango Theatre Company.

May Sumbwanyambe is an award-winning playwright who is currently writing new stage plays, radio plays, operas and musicals on commission to The National Theatre of Scotland, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Scottish Opera and the BBC.
In 2015 he was the winner of the BBC PAF's £10k Legacy Award and in 2013 he was the inaugural Papatango Resident Playwright and winner of the £10k BBC Performing Arts Fellowship. Other award recognition includes being shortlisted for the Channel 4/Oran Mor Comedy Drama Award (2012), the Papatango New Writing Prize (2012), the Alfred Fagon Award (2011, 2012, 2015), the BBC'S Alfred Bradley Award (2011) and OffWestEnd's Adopt a Playwright Award (2010 and 2009). He also reached the final round of Soho Theatre's Verity Bargate Award (2011) and won the BBC's inaugural Scriptroom competition (2012). In 2016 he was shortlisted for the Old Vic 12 award and named a finalist for the Perfect Pitch £12k musical award.
Outside of dramatic writing, he has worked extensively as a script reader and as a freelance tutor (for children and adults) in new writing for performance. He was recently appointed as a trustee on the board of Arts Council England's national portfolio organization, The Writing Squad.