Ali’s play CATHY will be playing at the Kingdome at the Edinburgh Fringe throughout August, following its successful tour of the UK this year. Written for Cardboard Citizens, it’s a hard-hitting response to Ken Loach’s seminal film on the housing crisis, Cathy Come Home. To date, CATHY’s played in theatres, prisons, hostels and the House of Lords.
In September, GOTH WEEKEND opens at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough before moving to Live Theatre in Newcastle. Set around the legendary Whitby Goth Weekend, it’s a raucous and moving comedy about teenage Anna and her quest to break up her Dad and his new girlfriend, a goth singer called Belinda.
FAULT LINES is a hilarious send-up of the charity sector and follows Disasters Relief as they attempt to beat their rivals to a response to an earthquake in Pakistan. It was a sell out at Hampstead Theatre Downstairs in December 2013.
Ali’s first play COTTON WOOL won the 18th Meyer Whitworth Award. Set on the east coast of Scotland, the play is a poetic and mythic story of two teenage brothers who spot their mother’s body floating in the sea. It was Critics’ Choice in Time Out and described as “poignantly funny” and “grittily poetic and thrillingly imaginative” by The Times. Since being selected for the prestigious Berliner Festspiele in 2007, COTTON WOOL has been produced across Germany as well as Hungary and Romania.
OVERSPILL was one of the winners of Metamorphosis08, a new play competition run by the Churchill Theatre, Bromley. It was performed at the theatre in June 2008 before transferring to Soho Theatre. A poetic and explosive thriller, OVERSPILL follows a lads’ night out which takes a dramatic and terrifying twist when an explosion rocks the town centre, and a suspicious population points the finger at them. It was Critics Choice in Time Out, which described it as “a dazzling display of dramatic virtuosity”. The Stage heralded it as “the most exciting piece of new writing in London” and The Guardian called it “a gem”. Critics praised its theatricality and the heightened poetic writing. The Independent said it created a “pulsating rhythm, beautifully attuned to the strutting beat of bravado, the pounding nightmare of paranoia and sudden outbursts of savagery”
His writing for young people includes UNDER MY SKIN for Pegasus Theatre and two plays for Polka Theatre: STICKS AND STONES, a verbatim piece about the riots and an adaptation of THE MACHINE GUNNERS by Robert Westall (shortlisted for the Brian Way Award). He has also written CONSPIRACY for RWCMD, HIVE 9 for Islington Community Theatre and SLICK for National Youth Theatre.
Ali worked with the innovative Goat & Monkey on A LITTLE NECK, a site-sympathetic play which brought Hampton Court Palace to life by allowing audiences to experience the downfall of Anne Boleyn.
Radio plays include EIGHT FEET HIGH AND RISING and CINDERS – both directed by Jessica Dromgoole for Radio 4’s Afternoon Play.
He trained at the Royal Court Young Writers’ Programme and in December 2001, an excerpt of his play PORCELAIN was part of The Royal Court Theatre’s Workers Writes festival. In 2002, Ali was selected to join the UK/Royal Court contingent at the years INTERPLAY Festival in Hungary, featuring the work of 50 emerging writers from across Europe.
He is focusing on developing ideas for television following his first TV script PURE EVIL developed during the 4Screenwriting programme at Channel 4 and an adaptation of FAULT LINES.