Roy Williams (playwright)

Roy Samuel Williams, OBE FRSL, is an English playwright.[1] Williams has won many awards, including the George Devine Award for Lift Off, the 2001 Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright for his play Clubland, the 2002 BAFTA Award for Best Schools Drama for Offside and 2004 South Bank Show Arts Council Decibel Award. Most recently his play Sucker Punch was nominated for the Evening Standard Award for Best New Play and the Olivier Award for Best New Play 2011. He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours[2] and sits on the board of trustees for Theatre Centre.[3] In 2018, he was a made a fellow of The Royal Society of Literature.[4]

Roy Williams
BornRoy Samuel Williams
Fulham, London

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Early lifeEdit

Williams was born and brought up in Notting Hill, London, the youngest of four siblings in a single-parent home, with his mother working as a nurse after his father moved to the US. Williams decided to work in theatre after being tutored by the writer Don Kinch when he was failing in school and attended some rehearsals in a black theatrical company Kinch ran. After leaving school at the age of 18 Williams did various jobs, including working in McDonald's and in a props warehouse. He was 25 years old when he took a theatre-writing degree at Rose Bruford College and has worked ever since as a writer.[5]

His first full-length play was The No Boys Cricket Club, which premiered in 1996 at Theatre Royal Stratford East.[6] Williams has done work in television, including adapting his own play Fallout, and also co-wrote the script for the 2014 British film Fast Girls.


Williams has won the Alfred Fagon Award twice; in 1996, for Starstruck, and in 2010, for Sucker Punch.[7][8]

In 2011, he received the Best Play award for Sucker Punch at the Writers Guild Awards.

In 2020, he received an RTS nomination for Best Writer for Drama and a BAFTA nomination for Best Short Form Drama, both for Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle (Episode 1:7, 'Cyrus', shown on the BBC in 2019.)


His plays include:

Kingston 14, Theatre Royal Stratford East, 2014.

  • Wildefire, Hampstead Theatre (2014)[16]
  • 'Soul: Royal & Derngate/Hackney Empire, (2016)[17]

The Firm, Hampstead Theatre, 2017, returning for a second run in 2019.


  1. ^ Playwright Profile.
  2. ^ Queen's Birthday Honours List.
  3. ^ Theatre Centre board members
  4. ^ "RSL Fellows: Roy Williams". The Royal Society of Literature. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  5. ^ Miranda Sawyer, "Taking the stage" (interview), The Guardian, 10 February 2008.
  6. ^ Simon Hattenstone, "Roy Williams: Confessions of an uncool kid"], The Guardian, 7 June 2010.
  7. ^ "About Us". Alfred Fagon Award. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  8. ^ Pinnock, Winsome (14 December 2010). "The Alfred Fagon awards: the best of black British playwriting?". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  9. ^ Clubland.
  10. ^ Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads. Archived 18 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Fallout. Archived 23 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Baby Girl. Archived 17 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Sucker Punch.
  14. ^ Bush Theatre. Archived 4 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Theatre Centre
  16. ^ Johanna Thomas-Corr, "Playwright Roy Williams: 'The time just seemed right to put the Metropolitan Police in the spotlight'", Evening Standard, 28 October 2014.
  17. ^ Hannah Ellis-Petersen, "Let's put it on: Roy Williams on Soul, his play about Marvin Gaye", The Guardian, 30 November 2015.
  18. ^ "Death of England | National Theatre". Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  19. ^ "Death of England: Delroy | National Theatre". Retrieved 27 October 2020.