afshan d’souza-lodhi is one of the first to receive The National Theatre’s Peter Shaffer 2022 Commission in conjunction with The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.

The National Theatre has partnered with the Sir Peter Shaffer Charitable Foundation in committing to supporting playwrights with an initial two-year collaboration. Celebrating the life and career of Sir Peter Shaffer, this partnership will continue his desire to support playwrights as they create larger scale plays.

Rufus Norris, Director and Joint Chief Executive of the National Theatre, said:  

“We’re thrilled to be working in partnership with the Sir Peter Shaffer Charitable Foundation. Sir Peter was one of the great writers of his generation and the National Theatre was enormously lucky to have such a fruitful and creative relationship with him. In nurturing talent from across the UK, this partnership will continue Sir Peter’s legacy, inspiring and supporting emerging talent.” 

Speaking about Peter Shaffer, Actor Lucian Msamati said:  

“Sir Peter tinkered for years with the confrontation scene between Mozart and Salieri in Amadeus long after the play’s acclaim on stage and screen. This obsessive, gleeful, rigorous love and dedication to his craft is mind-blowing and inspirational to me.  I can think of no greater way to honour this master storyteller than by nurturing and supporting that same spirit and endeavour in generations of great storytellers to come.” 

Awarding a total of 14 commissions over the next two years for playwrights from across the UK, we will work closely with regional companies and theatres to identify future talent. Of the seven commissions each year, two will be given for plays being developed by the National Theatre and five will be an open call to theatres and companies from across the UK, working in partnership with the National Theatre. All commissions will be for plays with more than three characters.