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Introducing our First Dib Dibbers

Our first ever cohort of LGBTQ+ talent that will complete First Dibs - our 14-week play making and writing course for LGBTQ+ artists in Greater Manchester has been assembled.

Below is a bit more about how we chose the five people who will embark on our brand-new playwriting school for LGBTQ+ artists, by LGBTQ+ artists, but first, let's introduce them...


Mandla Rae


Alma Renée Lipari


Susan Kerr


Elizabeth Gibson


Rebekka Platt


The other 6 applicants who made it to our shortlist were:

Ailbhe Treacy

Sorcha McCaffrey

Emma Goswell

Emma Hinds

Libby Williamson

Lucy Hilton-Jones


With 78 applications in total, we were bowled over by the talent on display - this made the decision making process really tough for our selection panel.

To make the process as fair as possible, every application was read by at least two panelists (one Co-AD of DT and one from outside the company).

The shortlisted eleven were then invited to an online pitch development workshop with the panel before their second applications were submitted.

We're made up that we are providing all 78 applicants with individual feedback from the panel via email.

We're also pleased that we could pay the shortlisted eleven £50 to cover the labour involved with their second stage application and offer each of the six unsuccessful shortlisted candidates detailed feedback over the phone.

The selected five will now embark on a 14-week intensive play making/writing journey led by Co-AD Chris Hoyle, with input from other celebrated LGBTQ+ playwrights, culminating in a sharing of twenty minute extracts of their work for industry professionals.

Each First Dibber will also receive a £1K bursary and a package of access costs to support them on the course.


The volume and quality of the applications has demonstrated the need for more talent development opportunities for LGBTQ+ and working class artists across Greater Manchester and we're working hard to develop our outreach and education offer in this area.

Coming up we have Dibby's Pick and Mix - four online workshops by celebrated LGBTQ+ play makers and writers.

Find out more and how to book a place the workshops on our socials very soon!


First Dibs is supported by Comic Relief's LGBTQ+ COVID-199 Recovery Fund, in partnership with METRO Charity, Yorkshire MESMAC and Birmingham LGBT and is delivered in partnership with Creative Industries Trafford and Pride in Trafford.


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