Tess Berry-Hart

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Tamasin Elizabeth Berry-Hart was born in Warwickshire, England, and writes for adults, young adults and children.[1] Her novels and plays deal with themes such as the European migrant crisis, LGBT rights, mental illness, genetic engineering, and the sex-positive movement. She has also written some verbatim theatre pieces for stage to support human rights campaigns.[2]

Early life[edit]

Tess Berry-Hart is the daughter of painter and sculptor David Berry-Hart. Her grandmother, Alice Berry-Hart, was a journalist and author of children’s books and her aunt Marian Lines was a playwright and children's author. Her great-grandfather, David Berry Hart was a noted gynaecologist and one of the first male practitioners in the UK.

Berry-Hart attended Weddington Primary and Weddington Secondary Schools, and from age 11 to 18, she studied at Howell’s School, Denbigh. After school she spent a year travelling and working in Turkey and Pakistan's North West Frontier as a teacher of English. She graduated magna cum laude with a first-class degree in law from King's College London.[3]

Career[edit]

Berry-Hart studied at the Royal Court Theatre Young Writers’ Programme under the tutorship of Hanif Kureishi and Simon Stephens and was selected to be the Royal Court young writing representative at the Interplay Young European Playwrights Festival with her first play Legoland which dealt with post-traumatic stress and mental illness.

Young Adult Novels[edit]

In 2007 her first novel, Escape from Genopolis, was published. This was followed by her sequel, Fearless, in 2009.[4]

Verbatim theatre[edit]

In 2012 Berry-Hart was commissioned to create a verbatim theatre piece, "Someone To Blame"[5][6] based on the real-life case of Sam Hallam,[7] a teenager wrongfully convicted of murder and imprisoned for 7 years.[8] In 2014, she was commissioned by the King's Head Theatre in London to write a play about the lives of LGBT Russians following the passing of the anti-gay laws in Russia ahead of the Winter Olympics.[9][10] "Sochi 2014" was performed at the King's Head's new writing venue, The Hope Theatre London, in 2014, with similar benefit performances in New York and Los Angeles.[11] An updated version of Sochi 2014 was produced and won an NSDF commendation award at the Edinburgh Festival, during August 2014.[12]

Refugee Crisis[edit]

In September 2015, during the European migrant crisis, Tess Berry-Hart visited the refugee camp at Calais.[13] Upon her return she became aid and advocacy co-ordinator for Calais Action, a direct-giving charity which is part of the UK Grassroots Aid movement.

In July 2016 her play CARGO (inspired by her experiences encountering child refugees in Calais) set in a cargo container following unaccompanied minors travelling to Europe, was produced by the Arcola Theatre. [14]

References[edit]