Taking inspiration from Sketches by Boz, Charles Dickens’ first novel which chronicled all walks of Victorian London Life James Graham’s SKETCHING will play at Wilton’s Music Hall from Wednesday 26 September – Saturday 27 October, with a press night on Tuesday 2 October. Tickets.

Dickens updated: 24 hours in the life of London. The rebellious daughter of a keycutter is about to unlock some of the capital’s most forbidden doors, a physicist’s faith in facts is shaken by a fortune tellers prophecy, and a surprise discovery in the Victorian sewers will unravel the life of a refugee forgotten by the city. Drag queens, squatters, jewellers and thieves overlap in a tale of one city.

Oliver Award-winning playwright James Graham and director Thomas Hescott are pleased to announce the eight emerging writers they have picked to collaborate with on this uniquely multi-authored play. Graham and Hescott put out a call for submissions from emerging talents - particularly those currently underrepresented in the industry - with exciting and innovative story and character ideas.

From a submission list of over 800 applicants, Aaron Douglas, Chloe Mi Lin Ewart, Alan Gordon, Adam Hughes, Ella Langley, Himanshu Ojha, Sumerah Srivastav and Naomi Westerman were picked. The successful writers will work alongside lead writer James Graham, to write a uniquely multi authored play.

James Graham said, “When we set out to create a play about London, we knew the stories we told, and the characters created had to be as diverse as the city we were portraying. This unique process of creating a play collaboratively with a group of emerging writers has given us the opportunity to create a narrative far more representative of the city we live in than any singular voice could do.

We’re all aware of the growing deficit of opportunities for emerging artists from working class, and regional backgrounds, or who are women, or black, Asian or minority ethnic. We are delighted that the group of talented writers working with us to create Sketching, and the stories they are bringing to the play are as diverse, imaginative and extraordinary as the city we are writing about.”

Sketches by Boz (1836) was Charles Dickens’ first novel (published under the pen-name ‘Boz’). The book is a richly varied collection of observations and fantasies about London and the people who inhabited it in the 19th Century, in honest and visionary descriptions of everyday life and people

James Graham has enjoyed huge critical success as a playwright and writer for TV and film. Following a sold out run at Chichester Festival Theatre, his most recent play, QUIZ, a provocative new play about Charles Ingram, the man convicted of cheating on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, is now running at the West End’s Noël Coward Theatre. In 2017, his play Ink opened to critical acclaim at the Almeida and transferred to the West End in September 2017, where it played in the theatre next door to another of his plays Labour of Love - creating theatre history.

Director Thomas Hescott has previously collaborated with James Graham on Tory Boyz in the West End. He is the co-author of Outings, which toured nationally. He co-wrote and directed The Act for Ovalhouse, which subsequently transferred to the West End. His production of Wolves at the Window transferred from the Arcola Theatre, to 59E59, Off Broadway, and he was named on the BBC's Hot List of New Talent. He is Executive Director of Stage Directors UK.

Further details and casting to be announced.

James Graham’s Sketching is supported by Cockayne - Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation.

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