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KUDOS KNIGHT OPTIONS FRINGE PLAY FOR BIRMINGHAM SLATE

Nathan Queeley-Dennis’s debut takes in various West Midlands cultural touchpoints



Kudos Knight’s West Midlands-focused slate has yielded its first project under newly appointed Rem Conway, with a story about a young Black Brummie’s fraught love life. Broadcast can reveal that the partnership has optioned Nathan Queeley-Dennis’ 2023 Edinburgh Fringe play Bullring Techno Makeout Jamz and is in the early stages of developing a drama out of the show. Bullring Techno Makeout Jamz is Queeley-Dennis’ debut work, for which he won the 2022 Bruntwood Prize for playwrighting. It follows the story of Nathaniel as he explores the tricky world of dating around his locales in Birmingham.

Nathaniel, a serious romantic, views love as a fine art and is looking for a suitable match. During his journey of self-discovery Nathaniel explores Black masculinity through Beyonce lyrics, live music experiences and the deeply intimate relationship a man has with his barber.

The coming-of-age story takes audiences to different cultural touchpoints in the West Midlands including raves in Digbeth, the Rotunda and – specifically – the McDonald’s in New Street Station. The title from theatre company Paines Plough, which has just completed its run at the Roundabout at Summerhall in Edinburgh to positive reviews, had been brought to Kudos Knight prior to Conway’s appointment as development producer earlier this month. But the Sex Education, My Name is Leon and Riches producer was immediately taken by the script and is working with Queeley-Dennis on the project. The playwright and actor was born and raised in Erdington, Birmingham. His performance credits including Black Love (Kiln Theatre) written by Chinonyerem Odimba, and Really Big and Really Loud (Paines Plough) written by Phoebe Eclair-Powell.

Kudos Knight, set up by the Banijay label and Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, has ambitious plans to grow a world-renowned scripted production hub in the West Midlands, and is already prepping Knight’s historical music drama This Town for the BBC.

Conway has been brought in to spearhead a local development slate of dramas to be produced in Birmingham using local talent and stories.

Speaking to Broadcast at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Conway and Kudos co-managing director Martin Haines talked up the importance of securing pipeline for the Digbeth Loc-based Kudos Knight, to help underscore its reputation as a hub for local programming.


Article originally written by John Elmes for Broadcast, August 2023 - https://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/indies/kudos-knight-options-fringe-play-for-birmingham-slate/5185329.article

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