Naomi Westerman

Writer | 2021 Bursary

Naomi used her bursary to finish writing her new play about the links between mental illness and the environment.

Since receiving the bursary…

“My bursary allowed me to spend time in rural Wales exploring how geography influences access to education, and the huge educational disparity that exists in different areas of the UK. This research is forming a crucial part of my play The Best Days of Your Life, which will debut at Derby Theatre in 2024. I am currently conducting workshops with disabled and neurodivergent participants to explore access barriers and prejudices within education, both historically and now. I am also conducting Zoom sessions with people who either were home schooled or were currently home schooling. The play is being created with the intention of making a versatile touring production that can tour to both mid-scale venues and non-traditional theatre spaces such as town halls, as well as schools.”

“The biggest thing that happened to me is that I signed a book deal! My first non-fiction book Happy Death Club (a mixture of personal and anthropological essays exploring death, grief and bereavement across cultures) will be released in May 2024 and is available to pre-order from all good booksellers and Amazon. I am currently spending two months working in Mexico and the USA researching the book. Earlier this year I also started writing a regular column for the Guardian newspaper looking at medical misogyny and chronic pain. My play Puppy (a lesbian romantic comedy about dogging, feminist porn, and political protest) is due to receive a four-week run at a major London theatre in November 2024, and I have a few other theatre productions and bits and pieces that aren’t yet confirmed.”

Researching in Mexico

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