Levi David Addai

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Levi David Addai (born 2 August 1983) is a British playwright and screenwriter. He is best known for the award-winning Damilola, Our Loved Boy,[1] the critically acclaimed Youngers and his stage plays 93.2FM and Oxford Street.


Addai was born in South London to Ghanaian parents.[2] He studied at Brunel University.[2]


Addai wrote his first play, 93.2FM, as part of the Royal Court Young Writers Programme.[3][4] It was performed at Royal Court Theatre in 2005, and then revived in 2006 before touring to Cardiff, Birmingham, Liverpool and Brighton. In a Times review it was said that "There is an enormous generosity in Addai's writing. He shows us the caring, supportive side of community.. this is a memorable and decidedly promising debut."[4]

Addai's second play, House of Agnes, premiered in March 2008 at the Ovalhouse in a co-production with Paines Plough.[5] A review in the Financial Times said "Addai writes his characters' most heartfelt emotions with the clarity and sincerity of a younger Richard Cameron."[5]

Addai's third play, Oxford Street, premiered at the Royal Court in May 2008, before transferring for a limited run in Elephant and Castle shopping centre.[6][7] The Times in a review said "All the tawdry dazzle of London's most famous shopping district glitters in the third play by the sharp-eyed young talent Levi David Addai... This is a joyous hymn to our flawed, fabulous city."[7] Oxford Street was nominated for a Writers' Guild award in the "Best Play (Theatre)" category (2008);[8] and was nominated for the "Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre" category of the Olivier Award (2009).[9]

His play for Polka Theatre, I Have A Dream, ran in September 2011.[10] A new play, Blacklands, won the Alfred Fagon Award[11] (2011).[12]


In 2011, Addai wrote a short film, Micah, starring Daniel Kaluuya for the Channel 4 series Coming Up which highlights films made for television by new directors and writers. It was broadcast in August and screened at the Edinburgh Film Festival. The short led to his winning "Best Breakthrough Talent" at the CDN Diversity Awards[13] (2011).[14]

BBC Current Affairs commissioned Levi to write the drama My Murder starring John Boyega,[15] based on a gang-related honey trap murder which premiered on BBC3 on 26 March 2012.[16] My Murder won a Broadcast Awards (2013) in the "Best Single Drama" category;[17] it won "Best Drama" at the Movie Video & Screen Awards (2012);[18] it received a recognition at the 2012 Screen Nation Film and TV Awards for "Diversity in Drama Production";[19] and was nominated for "Best Single Drama" at the 2013 Royal Television Society awards.[20]

Addai was lead writer, co-creator and associate producer of Youngers, an E4 critically acclaimed drama series, which was first broadcast on Channel 4 on 20 March 2013, and ran for two series. The Guardian in a review said, "Youngers has heart, conviction and a spring in its trainers so pneumatic it's surely only a matter of time before it crunks itself clean through the ceiling tiles".[21] It was nominated for a Screen Nation Film and Television Awards for Diversity in Drama Production (2014), a Broadcast Award for Best Multichannel Programme (2014),[22] and a BBC Radio 1 Teen Award for Best British TV show (2013).[23]

Addai's 90-minute BBC One drama Damilola, Our Loved Boy,[1] starring Babou Ceesay and Wunmi Mosaku,[24] tells the story of Damilola Taylor from the point of view of the Taylor family. It won the Best Single Drama BAFTA TV Award [25] and the Screen Nation Film and Television Award for Diversity in Drama Production. Other wins include the Banff Rockie Best Television Movie Award,[26] the CDN Best Drama Award[27] and the CDN Best Author/Creative Award. It was nominated for a BAFTA TV Award [25] for Best Writer, a Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Single Drama, and the Banff Rockie Special Jury Prize.[28] It has won at the inaugural Diversity Awards [29] and at the Movie, Video & Screen Awards.[30] Other nominations include best single drama for the Broadcast Awards 2018[31] and the RTS Awards 2018.[32]

Addai's 4 part drama Dark Mon£y,[33] starring Babou Ceesay and Jill Halfpenny, was broadcast between 8 and 16 July 2019 on BBC One.


  1. ^ a b "BBC - BBC One drama Damilola, Our Loved Boy commences filming with Babou Ceesay and Wunmi Mosaku to star - Media Centre". www.BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Biography". National Theatre's Black Plays Archive. Royal National Theatre. Archived from the original on 23 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  3. ^ Berkowitz, Gerald. "93.2 FM". Stage; 28 September 2006, Issue 6545, p20-20. Abstract: The article reviews the play "93.2 FM," written by Levi David Addai, directed by Dawn Walton, and performed by Ofo Uhiara and Richie Campbell, at the Royal Court Upstairs in London, England on 6 September to 11 October 2006.
  4. ^ a b Marlowe, Sam. "Lives and loyalties give radio play a warm heart; Theatre." The Times [London, England] 9 September 2006: 35. Academic OneFile. Web. 22 November 2013.
  5. ^ a b Shuttleworth, Ian. "House of Agnes." Financial Times 11 March 2008: 17. Academic OneFile. Web. 22 November 2013.
  6. ^ de Jongh, Nicholas. "Evening Standard". Theatre Record; 6 March 2008, Vol. 28 Issue 10, p 538-538. Abstract: The article reviews the play "Oxford Street," written by Levi David Addai, directed by Dawn Walton performed by Cyril Nri at the Royal Court Upstairs in London, England from 7–31 May 2008.
  7. ^ a b Marlowe, Sam. "Oxford Street; Theatre." The Times [London, England] 12 May 2008: 14. Academic OneFile. Web. 22 November 2013.
  8. ^ "Writers' Guild Awards 2008 Shortlists Announced". Writers' Guild Blog. 20 September 2008. Archived from the original on 23 September 2008. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Oliver Winners 2009". Laurence Olivier Award. 2009. Archived from the original on 27 May 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  10. ^ Lesley Finlay (September 2011). "Levi is living the dream". Ink Pellet. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  11. ^ Alfred Fagon Awards
  12. ^ Woolman, Natalie. "Levi David Addai wins Alfred Fagon writing award". Stage, 12 January 2011, Issue 6812
  13. ^ CDN Diversity Awards
  14. ^ "Winners celebrated at CDN Diversity Awards 2011". BBC. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  15. ^ "My Murder - BBC Three". BBC. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  16. ^ Justin Davenport. "Stabbed boy's mother relives 'honeytrap' murder in film." Evening Standard. 20 March 2012, p 27. Abstract: The "honeytrap killing" of teenager Shakilus Townsend is the subject of a powerful new documentary drama on the BBC.
  17. ^ Christian Tobin (30 January 2013). "Broadcast Awards 2013 winners list: The Chase, Educating Essex, more". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on 23 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  18. ^ Delroy Constantine-Simms (2 November 2013). "7th annual Music Awards held in Birmingham". Demotix. Archived from the original on 23 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  19. ^ Tambay A. Obenson (10 October 2012). "8th Screen Nation Film & TV Awards Nominations (Celebrating Achievement, Diversity on British Screen)". Indiewire. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  20. ^ Ben Dowell (1 March 2013). "BBC leads the way in Royal Television Society awards nominations". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  21. ^ Dempster, Sarah (16 March 2013). "The Guardian Guide".
  22. ^ "Battle begins for Broadcast Awards 2014". BroadcastNow.co.uk. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  23. ^ "2013, BBC Radio 1's Teen Awards - Teen Awards Winners 2013 - BBC Radio 1". BBC. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  24. ^ Lawrence, Ben (12 May 2017). "Bafta Television Awards 2017: who will win, who should win". Retrieved 12 January 2018 – via www.Telegraph.co.uk.
  25. ^ a b "Television Awards Winners 2017". www.BAFTA.org. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  26. ^ "2017 Rockie Awards - Banff World Media Festival". BanffMediaFestival.Brunico.com. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  27. ^ "CDN Awards – Creative Diversity Network". CreativeDiversityNetwork.com. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  28. ^ "Rockie Awards ★". RockieAwards.Brunico.com. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  29. ^ Diversity Award
  30. ^ Movie, Video & Screen Awards
  31. ^ Broadcast Awards 2018
  32. ^ RTS Awards 2018
  33. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/mediapacks/dark-money

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