Arts Council Award for Giants’ Female Playwright Partnership

We are thrilled to announce Giants has been awarded £15,000 by the Arts Council to part-fund an exciting collaboration between one of the UK’s most prolific female playwrights, Sabrina Mahfouz, and Giants Theatre Company’s Artistic Director and playwright, Jennie Buckman. Parenthood, grief and personal-identity are among the themes explored from different viewpoints across two plays.

Sabrina’s play Ring the Bell, Sink the Ship follows one woman’s experience of the UK’s Pro-Life movement, after the death of her son and the discovery that his girlfriend had an abortion. The play takes inspiration from the Greek myth of Lamia, a Libyan queen who became a child-eating monster when her own children were murdered by Hera in revenge for Zeus’s infidelity. Mahfouz’s story also draws on the 2017 pro-life campaign in which church bells across the UK were rung simultaneously to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 abortion act, and the 8 million abortions that been carried out since.

Jennie Buckman’s Lilith draws on the story of Adam’s wife, Lilith, a notorious figure in Jewish Mythology. Refusing to be subservient, Lilith walked out on Adam and was consequently tarred with a reputation as a sexually wanton night hag, and baby killer.  In Buckman’s play, it is present day and Lilith is working as a room attendant in a smart hotel. Receptionist Adam works there too. Gloria and Ed are staying at the hotel for the weekend and have booked in to the same room where their daughter Eva was conceived nearly three years earlier.  Tragically, Eva was stillborn. Now, it is Ed’s fortieth birthday, and the right time to spread Eva’s ashes on the sea-shore. But nothing goes to plan.

The plays, both featuring the same three actors, will be developed as a double bill in April 2018 with a view to production and UK touring later in the year. The R&D phase will focus on the development of the stories and characters culminating in a staged reading, but will also include design and production. Contributors already confirmed include director, Tania Azevedo, celebrated artist, Zoe Buckman, and composer, Finn Anderson.

Both writers will be working closely with a number of organisations including SANDS (A still- birth and neo-natal charity, the West London synagogue and Abortion Rights UK. Giants has a strong history of developing work in partnership with charities and under-represented communities including the development of Never Going To Beat You, a theatre and film project exploring the issue of domestic violence within the Traveller community, and Piece of Silk, a multi-media play that was developed through work with Southall Black Sisters and Iranian/Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation.

Watch this space for further exciting news about the project!

Find out more about Sabrina’s work at

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