Crips without Constraints writer Q&A: Leanna Benjamin


Every week for the next five weeks, we’ll be getting to know the writers from Crips without Constraints part 2 better, with a five quick-fire question and answer session.

This week, it’s Leanna Benjamin, writer of The Gift. Leanna is from Leeds, and is a graduate of Graeae’s Write to Play programme, more recently graduating from the BBC Writers Room Northern Voices 2020. Previous work includes Sister Joy for Ilkley Literature Festival 2013 (winning first prize), I Smile (West Yorkshire Playhouse and WOW Festival at the Southbank Centre) and Soul Food (online).

Her play The Gift for Crips without Constraints part 2, starring Sharon D. Clarke and Saida Ahmed, can be watched now here.

What is your current state of mind?
It’s constantly changing. A rollercoaster of chaos, confusion and fleeting clarity.

What is your most treasured possession?
My bear Alfie, he is made from my late Grandfathers collection of fabrics he left behind. He was an incredibly talented tailor.

What do you most value in your friends?
Their patience, generosity and slightly unhinged sense of humour.

Which living person do you most admire?
That has to be my mum.

How would you like to die?
At my home surrounded by my mum, my future husband and my best friend Kathryn. I would be making them laugh right up to the ‘final curtain call.’