Lynette Linton

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Lynette Linton
Alma materUniversity of Sussex
National Youth Theatre
Artistic Director at the Bush Theatre

Lynette Linton (born 1990) is a British playwright and the artistic director at The Bush Theatre. She directed the award-winning Donmar Warehouse production of Sweat. In 2019 she was named as one of Marie Claire's Future Shapers.

Early life and education[edit]

Linton is of British Caribbean heritage and grew up in Leytonstone, East London.[1] Her father is from Guyana and her mother is from Northern Ireland.[2] Linton became interested in theatre and writing as a child. She has said that she wanted to be Malorie Blackman.[2] At the age of eight she moved to Ballymena, where she and her brothers experienced racism.[1] She studied English at the University of Sussex and soon after joined the National Youth Theatre. Here she met Rikki Beadle-Blair, who encouraged her to write a play.[2][3] The play she wrote – Step – was about a young man working out his sexuality, inspired by James Baldwin. It was programmed at the Theatre Royal Stratford East.[2] Her writing explores who she is and where her family are from.[2] She trained as a Director at StoneCrabs in 2013.[4][5][6]


In 2014 Linton founded the production company Black Apron Entertainment, which was named after the uniforms worn by her and her colleagues Daniel Bailey and Gino Green at their first jobs in John Lewis.[7] Black Apron Entertainment have produced several plays and short films, including Passages: A Windrush Celebration at the Royal Court Theatre.[8] Passages included seven monologue films that were written in response to the Windrush scandal.[9][10]

In 2016 she was appointed as Assistant Director at the Gate Theatre.[11] Linton directed Lynn Nottage's play Sweat at the Donmar Warehouse in 2018.[12] The success of the production, which starred Clare Perkins, Martha Plimpton, Osy Ikhile and Parick Gibson, resulted in it transferring to the Gielgud Theatre in 2019.[13] It was awarded the 2019 Evening Standard Play of the Year award.[14] Her production of Richard II was the first ever all women of colour company performing a Shakespeare play on a UK stage.[11]

In 2019 it was announced that Linton would become the artistic director of The Bush Theatre.[1] Linton's appointment has been celebrated by the UK theatrical community, which is dominated by white men.[15][16] When asked about the reason she applied for the job she quoted James Baldwin, "The place in which I’ll fit will not exist until I make it".[2] She hopes to make the theatre more welcoming to traditionally minoritized groups, including people of colour and those from working class backgrounds.[2][17] Her first season as Artistic Director started with a revival of Jackie Kay's Chiaroscuro and several other works by British writers of colour.[1][17] The Evening Standard remarked that in terms of "sheer emotional power", nothing came close to Linton's Chiaroscuro.[18]

She was selected as one of the Marie Claire Future Shapers in 2019.[19] She was named as one of London's most influential people in the Evening Standard's Progress List.[20]

Theatrical works[edit]


Amongst other theatres, Linton has written for Theatre Royal Stratford East and the Arcola Theatre.



  1. ^ a b c d "Lynette Linton on her first season as Bush Theatre's artistic director". Evening Standard. 2019-06-17. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Minamore, Bridget (2019-01-02). "Lynette Linton: 'Why are we not marching in the streets?'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  3. ^ Keegan, Hannah (2019-05-15). "Work/Life: Lynette Linton, artistic director of Bush Theatre". Stylist. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  4. ^ Musa, Roda (2017-11-06). "Interview with playwright Lynette Linton". The Stage. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  5. ^ "Young Directors Archives". StoneCrabs Theatre. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  6. ^ Directors, Young (2013-12-05). "Blog: Young directors – Collaborating with the creative team". A Younger Theatre. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  7. ^ "About Us – Black Apron Entertainment". Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  8. ^ "Passages: A Windrush Celebration, Seven Films for Seven Decades Now Available to Watch Online". Royal Court. 2019-06-22. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  9. ^ TBB (2019-07-04). "Passages: A Windrush Celebration, Seven Films for Seven Decades..." The British Blacklist. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  10. ^ "Passages: A Windrush Celebration". Royal Court. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  11. ^ a b "Introducing Lynette Linton as our new Artistic Director". Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  12. ^ a b "Production – Donmar Warehouse". Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  13. ^ Longman, Will (2019-02-07). "Lynn Nottage's Sweat to transfer to West End from Donmar Warehouse". London Theatre Guide. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  14. ^ correspondent, Mark Brown Arts (2019-11-24). "Maggie Smith wins best actress award for role as Goebbels' secretary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  15. ^ "Lyn Gardner: Progress for diversity in theatre leadership is glacial – more needs to be done | Opinion, Picks". The Stage. 2020-01-02. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  16. ^ Minamore, Bridget (2019-12-27). "Better, bolder, further to go: the decade in black British theatre". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  17. ^ a b "Subscribe to read | Financial Times". Retrieved 2020-01-05. Cite uses generic title (help)
  18. ^ "The top 20 best London theatre shows of 2019". Evening Standard. 2019-12-17. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  19. ^ Goddard, Sophie (2019-09-19). "Meet the Future Shapers of 2019 who are inspiring women worldwide". Marie Claire. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  20. ^ Comerford, Ruth (2019-10-04). "Lynette Linton, Andrew Scott and Marianne Elliott named among theatre's most influential people in London | News". The Stage. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  21. ^ a b "Lynette Linton Archives". A Younger Theatre. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  22. ^ a b c d e f Able, Sane and. "Lynette Linton". The Agency. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  23. ^ "#Hashtag Lightie – Black Apron Entertainment". Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  24. ^ "All the women players: cross-gender Shakespeare – in pictures". The Guardian. 2018-11-23. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-01-05.