Atiha Sen Gupta

Atiha Sen Gupta has been writing short plays, long plays and everything in between since the age of 14.

At age 17 Atiha was commissioned by Hampstead theatre to write What Fatima Did – a play about the hijab – which was produced on the mainstage four years later. Concurrently she was a member of the writing team of e4’s Skins and co-wrote an episode (Naomi, series 3, episode 6).

In 2014, her play about police racism, State Red, opened at the Hampstead Downstairs at the same time that Ferguson was in flames after a grand jury’s decision to acquit a white police officer who had shot dead an unarmed black teenager.

Her play Counting Stars about two Nigerian nightclub toilet attendants who are united in love but divided by a toilet wall in a club in post-Lee Rigby Woolwich played at Assembly Festival at the Edinburgh Fringe 2015 and on the main stage at Theatre Royal Stratford East from 26 August to 17 September 2016.

In early 2016 Atiha co-wrote an episode of BBC1’s medical drama Holby City. In June, she travelled to Copenhagen and wrote The Flood – a short play examining the refugee ‘crisis’ alongside five other international playwrights in a collaboration between Theatre Uncut and Teater Grob as part of the STAGE festival.

She is currently under commission to Derby Theatre, is writer-in-residence at ArtsEd and received the 2016 IARA award for Best Playwright.

2016 – Winner of the IARA Award for Best Playwright
2015 – Nominated for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award for Counting Stars
2012 – Winner of prestigious German theatre award Jugendstückepreis for What Fatima Did
2010 –Nominated for the John Whiting award for What Fatima Did


“This is the work of a writer with a future.” Michael Billington on What Fatima Did, The Guardian

“State Red is powerfully written, with a really intelligent questioning of issues around class as well as race. Like the best contemporary theatre, you instantly recognise that this is a perfect picture of the state of the nation.” Aleks Sierz on State Red

“With humour, intelligence, and a gut-punch of injustice playwright Atiha Sen Gupta writes a deeply affecting play.” Nicole Serratore on Counting Stars, Exeunt Magazine

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