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Penny Black

Novelist, Playwright, Translator

Penny Black is an award-winning translator (from the German), writer and dramaturg. Her love of theatre started in Vienna, where she lived for five years and completed her acting training. She has translated and adapted plays for the Royal Court, Gate Theatre, Arcola Theatre and the National Theatre amongst others. A highpoint was Sports Play by Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelinek , which toured the country in 2012 and was read in its five-hour entirety as a Cultural Olympic Pop-Up Event. Her first original play Sudden Silence, a look at the effects of stroke, was seen at the Arcola Theatre; Making Babies, a farce about fertility, was produced in Heilbronn, Germany, and will be produced in Istanbul later this year.

Alongside her European work, Penny Black spent several years working with Arabic-speaking playwrights, and is presently working with Scottish-Iraqi writer Betool Khedairi on an adaptation of her novel Absent. Other dramaturgical work includes Ode to My Sisters, a play based on interview with UK Muslim women, Simon McBurney’s The Magic Flute for the DNO / ENO, and Lilac Wine for the Roundhouse/RVT. She is president of the Dramaturg’s Network 2016-2018.

Penny lives in London but enjoys travelling and networking, and is part of an international network of theatre-makers called The Fence. She is published by Oberon Books.

Penny Black


St Mary's University, Twickenham 2017/18
Oxford Brookes University 2015-17
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