I WANNA BE YOURS: Meet the team

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Zia Ahmed, Anna Himali Howard, Emily Stott and Assad Zaman. Photo: Helen Murray.

We’re delighted to announce the cast of Zia Ahmed’s debut play I WANNA BE YOURS.

Meet Emily Stott and Assad Zaman! Emily will play Ella – an actress from Yorkshire while Assad will play Haseeb – a poet from London.

I WANNA BE YOURS is co-produced with Tamasha and will tour North Yorkshire with Rural Arts on the CREATE Tour. Full dates here.


Ella is from Yorkshire. Haseeb is from London. They order a pizza. House red for Ella. Hot chocolate for Haseeb.

“I think I’m falling in love with you.”

Meet in the middle. Meet the parents. Meet the friends. Meet the aunties. They say opposites attract, but can they stay together?

A tender, funny, lyrical play about finding love and holding onto it with everything you’ve got. I WANNA BE YOURS is the debut play from slam poetry champion Zia Ahmed.

I WANNA BE YOURS was developed with support from the Channel 4 Playwrights’ Scheme.

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Writer: Zia Ahmed. Photo: Helen Murray.

I WANNA BE YOURS is written by Zia Ahmed.

We first worked with Zia in 2016 when, alongside Tamasha, we commissioned him to write a short play about where he calls home, North West London, for our COME TO WHERE I’M FROM series. The short play which was performed at Kiln Theatre (formerly Tricycle Theatre) in summer that year. It moved us in such a way that we knew we had to work with Zia again.

Zia joined us on attachment through the Channel 4 Playwrights’ Scheme in 2017. During this time he developed his first full length play – I WANNA BE YOURS.

You can listen to Zia perform his short audio play LAH-DI-DAH here. It’s also available on our free app alongside 160 other short audio plays about home. Download here.

Zia is from North West London. He is a London Laureate, having been shortlisted to be the Young Poet Laureate for London 2015/16. He is a former Roundhouse Poetry Slam champion.

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Director: Anna Himali Howard. Photo: Helen Murray.

I WANNA BE YOURS is directed by Anna Himali Howard.

PP fans will know Anna for her work on I GOT SUPERPOWERS FOR MY BIRTHDAY by Katie Douglas, GROWTH by Luke Norris and LOVE, LIES AND TAXIDERMY by Alan Harris in 2016. Anna was our Trainee Director that year and worked as Assistant Director on all three shows.

This year she directed our collaboration with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, ALBATROSS by Isley Lynn. ALBATROSS played in Cardiff and transferred to The Gate for a sold out run.

Anna is also a Creative Associate at the Gate Theatre and an alumnus of the Birmingham REP Foundry. Her work includes:

Director: ALBATROSS by Isley Lynn for NEW (RWCMD/Paines Plough/Gate Theatre), LIFE IS NO LAUGHING MATTER by Demi Nandhra (Birmingham REP/mac birmingham), 20B by Jane English (Birmingham REP/CPT).

Theatremaker: MAHABHARAT/A by Anna Himali Howard and Zarina Muhammad (Camden People’s Theatre), THE BEANFIELD by Breach Theatre (New Diorama, National tour 2016)

Associate Director: FLEABAG by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Drywrite/Soho Theatre international tour).

Assistant Director: OTHELLO, dir. Ellen McDougall (Shakespeare’s Globe), IN THE NIGHT TIME (BEFORE THE SUN RISES) by Nina Segal, dir. Ben Kidd (Gate Theatre).

EMILY STOTT ;Portrait ; London, UK ; 10 APRIL ; Credit: Helen Murray ;
Ella: Emily Stott. Photo: Helen Murray.

Emily trained at The Oxford School of Drama.

Credits include: GLITTER PUNCH (VAULT Festival); THE KITCHEN SINK (Oldham Coliseum); INSIDE PUSSY RIOT (Saatchi Gallery/Les Enfants Terribles); THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY (Watermill Theatre); PANCAKE DAY (PLAY Theatre Company/The Bunker Theatre); EARLY DOORS; ELECTRIC EDEN (Not Too Tame/UK Tour); THE SUBTERRANEAN SEASON (PLAY Theatre Company/VAULT Festival) and THE SELFISH GIANT (Arcola).

ASSAD ZAMAN ;Portrait ; London, UK ; 10 APRIL ; Credit: Helen Murray ;
Haseeb: Assad Zaman. Photo: Helen Murray.

Assad trained at the Manchester School of Theatre.

Theatre credits include: CORIOLANUS (RSC/Barbican); SALOME (RSC); ARMS AND THE MAN (Watford Palace); A MIDSUMMER NIGHT¹S DREAM (New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich); EAST IS EAST National Tour (Jamie Lloyd Productions/ATG); BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS (National Theatre, London); BEATS NORTH (Northern Stage/Curious Monkey); TYNE (Live Theatre and Theatre Royal Newcastle); GRIM TALES (Northern Stage).

Television credits include: APPLE TREE YARD (Kudos for BBC1); CUCUMBER (Red Productions for Channel 4).

Assad can also be heard voicing Sathnam Sanghera’s critically acclaimed book, “The Boy With The Topknot”.


We’re delighted to be joined by Jennifer Jackson and Kieran Lucas who work on Movement and Sound Design respectively.

Jennifer trained at East 15 and is a movement director and actor.

Movement direction includes: Brighton Rock (Pilot Theatre), Parliament Square (The Bush & Royal Exchange), Our Town (Royal Exchange), The Mountaintop (The Young Vic), Out of Love/ Black Mountain/ How to be a Kid (Paines Plough, Orange Tree Theatre/ Theatr Clwyd & Roundabout Tour), Kika’s Birthday (Orange Tree Theatre), Death of a Salesman (Royal & Derngate), The Ugly One (The Park 90), Phone Home (Shoreditch Town Hall), Why The Whales Came (Southbank Centre), Stone Face (Finborough Theatre), Debris (Southwark Playhouse/Openworks Theatre), Macbeth (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), Silent Planet (Finborough), Pericles (Berwaldhallen), The Future (The Yard/ Company Three), Other-Please Specify, Atoms (Company Three).

Check her work out here.

Kieran is a London based sound designer and theatre-maker and founding member of Barrel Organ. Kieran has worked with various theatre companies and venues including the Young Vic, the RSC, the Roundhouse, Battersea Arts Centre and The Yard as a sound designer, musician, composer, technician, stage-manager and performer as well as creating and devising his own work.

Check his work out here.


You can catch I WANNA BE YOURS on a tour of North Yorkshire next week. Full dates here.

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