Patricia Cumper, MBE
Patricia Cumper is an award-winning playwright, producer, director, arts administrator and cultural leader who's a passionate advocate for the arts, particularly the BAME arts sector. She's also an experienced and articulate critic and commentator.
Born in Jamaica, she studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University where she was a College Exhibitioner and a full swimming Blue. Returning to Jamaica after graduation, Cumper became an award-winning playwright and producer in Caribbean theatre, whose work was produced throughout the Caribbean, in Canada and the US.
After returning to the UK in 1993, Cumper led the UK's largest Black-led theatre company, Talawa Theatre Company, producing groundbreaking work with partners including the West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Victoria & Albert Museum and English Touring Theatre. The company also launched the careers of young Black British theatre makers and toured pioneering work to South Africa's Grahamstown Festival.
Cumper has won awards for radio drama with the BBC, for both original series and adaptations of work by, among others, Andrea Levy, Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison.
She's a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and was awarded an MBE for services to Black British Theatre.
Her son and grandsons are the great joys of her life.