Who we are
Ellie Keel studied Modern Languages at Oxford University and developed a successful career as an independent theatre producer before founding the Women’s Prize for Playwriting in 2019. She launched the prize with Founding Partner, Paines Plough, after her work as a producer and a litany of unacceptable statistics made it clear that plays by women writers were severely underrepresented on national stages in the UK and Ireland.
As Founder Director, Ellie leads on all aspects of strategy, communications and fundraising for the Women’s Prize for Playwriting, as well as overseeing the day-to-day operations and administration of the Prize. She works closely with Charlotte Bennett and Katie Posner, as well as the wider Paines Plough team, to deliver the Prize and ensure it serves writers in the best possible way. With Paines Plough, Ellie is also responsible for programming and producing plays which win the Women’s Prize for Playwriting, and for championing the plays which reach the longlist, shortlist and finalist stages.
As well as running the Women’s Prize for Playwriting, Ellie is an award-winning theatre and audio producer with her company EKP, which specialises in creating fearlessly imaginative, thrilling and memorable new plays by early- and mid-career female playwrights. Ellie is also a writer represented by Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown. Her début novel, THE FOUR, will be published by HarperCollins in Spring 2024. She lives in East London with her fiancé and two badly-behaved cats.
Tommo is a Sheffield-based dramaturg for text and production, and a director. He is Co-Founder of RoughHewn dramaturgy company, Residencies Dramaturg and a Supported Artist at Sheffield Theatres, and a Board Member of the Dramaturgs’ Network. Previously, he has run script-reading and dramaturgy workshops for multiple institutions, been a reader for multiple theatres and prizes, and tutored on the MA Playwriting at City, University of London.
As dramaturg, theatre includes: Jews. In Their Own Words. (Royal Court); One Jewish Boy (Trafalgar Studios); Out of the Dark (Rose Theatre Kingston); There Is No Planet B (Theatre Delicatessen, Sheffield); In My Lungs the Ocean Swells (VAULT Festival, Origins Award).
As director, theatre includes: Stray Dogs (forthcoming, Theatre503); Jam, I Wish To Die Singing, Obama-ology (Finborough Theatre); How to make a revolution (Finborough Online); Mumburger (Old Red Lion Theatre); Comet (Pleasance London); Boy (Leeds Conservatoire); The Strip, Fear and Misery of the Third Reich (Oxford School of Drama). Awards include: Olwen Wymark Award (Writers’ Guild of Great Britain), for RoughHewn.
Paines Plough is the UK’s national theatre of new plays. The company commissions and produces the best playwrights and tours their plays far and wide. Whether you’re in Liverpool or Lyme Regis, Scarborough or Southampton, a Paines Plough show is coming to a theatre near you soon.
Paines Plough was formed in 1974 over a pint of Paines bitter in the Plough pub. Since then they’ve produced more than 150 new productions by world-renowned playwrights like Stephen Jeffreys, Abi Morgan, Sarah Kane, Mark Ravenhill, Dennis Kelly, Mike Bartlett, Kae Tempest and Vinay Patel.
Founded in 1841, The London Library is one of the world’s leading literary institutions, with a collection containing over one million books and periodicals, and seventeen miles of open access shelves for members to browse.
Its Emerging Writers Programme supports writers of all disciplines at the very start of their careers, offering writing development masterclasses, literary networking opportunities, peer support and a year’s free membership of the Library.