Playwright and Screenwriter

Charlene James is an award-winning playwright and TV writer who trained at Birmingham School of Acting and The School at Steppenwolf, Chicago. 

Charlene was awarded the Alfred Fagon Award for best new play at the National Theatre for Cuttin' It, a play focusing on Female Genital Mutilation - which then transferred in 2016 to the Royal Court and Young Vic respectively to considerable critical acclaim and was nominated for Best New Play at the UK Theatre Awards 2016. Charlene was awarded the George Devine Award 2015 for the same play as well as winning a BBC Audio Drama award for her radio adaptation of

Cuttin' It. 

She was then awarded the Charles Wintour award for Most Promising Playwright at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2016. She was a Jerwood New Playwright in 2016 and is currently under commission from the Royal Court and Royal Exchange Manchester.

For TV she has written on Doctor Who and A Discovery of Witches, and recently wrote on Sky's supernatural crime thriller The Rising. She is currently developing original pieces for World Productions, BBC and Channel 4.




World Productions
In Development

Supernatural crime thriller series for Sky. 

Sky Studios for SKY
In Production
Director Emma Sullivan
  • Jodie Whittaker
  • Episode for Series 12, co-written with Chris Chibnall. Aired in Feb 2020. 

    Producer Dominic Barlow
  • Matthew Goode
  • Teresa Palmer
  • Badwolf for SKY
    Director Rachna Suri
  • Liv Hill
  • Episode 5: Reclaim the Night. A moment in the experience of a 19 year old woman in Leeds in 1977.

    Producer Rachelle Constant

    Monologue piece as part of the BBC's The Break short films. 

    BBC for BBC 3



    Co-commission between Royal Court and Talawa.

    Royal Court, Talawa
    Manchester Royal Exchange
    Cuttin' It
    George Devine Award, Alfred Fagon Award, Best New Play (UK Theatre Awards), Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright
    Director Gbolahan Obisesan
  • Adelayo Adedayo
  • Tsion Habte
  • Follows two 15 year-old girls from Somali backgrounds and their experiences of FGM. 

    Young Vic, Royal Court Theatre
    Director Tom Saunders

    Produced as part of a Young Theatre Makers partnership. 

    Birmingham Repertory Theatre
    Director Monique Sterling
  • Helen Embleton
  • Short play as part of Miniaturists 42
    Arcola Theatre
    New full-length play focusing on the effect of incest
    Talawa Firsts
    Grief and loss are explored in a play about what geography says about where you really are
    Maybe Father
    Shortlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award 2009
    Producer Talawa Theatre Company
    Play about fatherhood and motherhood and the meaning of commitment
    Young Vic as part of 'Flipping the Script'



    Cuttin It'
    WINNER BBC Audio Drama Award

    Radio adaptation of her award winning play - about two 15-year old Somali girls and their experiences of female genital mutilation. 

    Production Company BBC
    Broadcaster BBC Radio 4