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Women playwrights centre stage in new programme

Liverpool’s Ginni Manning has been announced as part of a new initiative to support women playwrights in the UK.

Manning, who studied creative writing at the University of Liverpool and wrote the award-winning Dipalo with Lala Mokuku, is one of 15 female writers across the country chosen for the Sphinx Theatre Company’s new programme.

Sphinx 30, marking the London-based all-woman company’s 30th anniversary, sees it teaming up with 15 regional theatres and the Everyman and Playhouse will work with Sphinx and Manning on the project.

Organisers hope the 12-month programme – the first of its kind in the country - could become an ongoing initiative.

Each playwright will receive a £1,000 seed commission and attend the Sphinx Lab, where tutors will include leading female playwrights and industry leaders.

Manning took part in the inaugural Everyman and Playhouse Theatres Playwright Development Programme in 2015 and has recently contributed to episode two of the theatres’ Love, Liverpool online project.

She has worked alongside the Lantern Writers at the Unity Theatre and with Writing on the Wall and is also part of the BBC Writers Room Northern Voices programme.

Above: The Liverpool Everyman

Top: Ginni Manning

She said: “I’m absolutely delighted and very grateful to be representing the Everyman Theatre on the Sphinx 30 Project. It’s the theatre where I started my learning journey and has continued to be support me.

“Sphinx has such an amazing legacy of female playwrights, and there are so many women writers here in Liverpool and the North West that I respect. I hope I do everyone proud and am so excited about being part of a new network with the other participants.”

Everyman and Playhouse artistic director Gemma Bodientz said: “Plays by women performed on the main stages of our national and regional theatres are sadly still something of a rarity; the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse are proud to be part of a project that seeks to change that.”

The other organisations taking part in the programme are: Bush Theatre, Derby Theatre, Graeae Theatre Company, Hull Truck Theatre, Kali Theatre, Leeds Playhouse, Nottingham Playhouse, Octagon Theatre Bolton, Red Ladder Theatre Company, Salisbury Playhouse, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Theatr Clwyd, Watford Palace Theatre and Yellow Earth Theatre.

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