Place of birth
Place of residence
United Kingdom
National identity
United Kingdom

Patricia Cumper

Short biography
Patricia Cumper writes: Began writing for the theatre in the Caribbean in my early twenties. Wrote and had produced over a dozen plays many of which won awards or writing competitions. They include ‘The Rapist’ which has been published by Longmans in a collection called ‘Champions of the Gayelle’, ‘The Fallen Angel and the Devil’s Concubine’ which has been produced throughout the Caribbean, in the US and Canada. A recent production of ‘Fallen Angel’ in Toronto won two industry awards.

"Reviews of my contribution to Black theatre are included in publications by Oxford University Press, Heinemann and Collins. A collection of three plays to be published by Peepal Tree Press in early 2013. 

Since arriving in the UK twenty years ago, I have been commissioned by Talawa Theatre Company, Carib Theatre Company, The Royal Court, Blue Mountain Theatre, BBC Radio 4 and the World Service. ‘The Key Game’ was produced by Talawa at the Riverside, won four star reviews and was included in Time Out’s critic’s choice. 

I was a member of the team of writers who conceived and wrote for Westway, BBC World Service drama serial. A five part radio drama series ‘One Bright Child’ won the CRE radio drama award. Adaptations to radio include Rita Dove’s ‘Darkest Face of the Earth’ and a fifteen part series for Woman’s Hour of Andrea Levy’s ‘Small Island’, a ten part series for Woman’s Hour of Alice Walker’s ‘Color Purple’ that won a silver Sony Award and most recently a one hour play based on Zora Neil Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. Commissioned work included a series ‘The Immigrants’ for Radio Berkshire, two short stories and a five part drama for the Writing The Century radio drama series. 

Training as a director has included working as Assistant Director on Blest Be The Tie at the Royal Court and on Ska Ba Day at Greenwich Theatre. I recently directed ‘Jab Molassie’ a carnival adaptation of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale and am currently writing and directing an actor performance ‘The Ballad of John Simmonds’ at the National Maritime Museum about a sailor who fought at Waterloo. 

From February 2006 to March 2012, I was Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer of Talawa Theatre Company, the UK’s foremost Black theatre company. While there I produced new writing as well as plays by Mustapha Matura, George C. Wolfe and Samuel Beckett to critical acclaim. 

I am currently a board member of English Touring Theatre, Spare Tyre Theatre Company and Standing of the Shoulders of Giants Theatre Company."