I Wanna Be Yours

11 — 27 May 2023

Southbank Theatre, The Lawler

The widely acclaimed debut play from London Laureate and poetry slam champion Zia Ahmed, I Wanna Be Yours is a modern-day romance that asks whether love really is all you need.

Approx. 1 hour and 20 minutes, no interval

Education & Families
I Wanna Be Yours is part of our acclaimed Education and Families Program. 



The widely acclaimed debut play from London Laureate and poetry slam champion Zia Ahmed, I Wanna Be Yours, is a modern-day romance that asks whether love really is all you need.

Haseeb and Ella meet at a performance workshop. From opposite sides of the Thames, he’s a poet and she’s an actor hired to help him with his enunciation. Their attraction is immediate. They start dating, get serious and fall in love. Soon there is each other’s family and friends to navigate, and then big questions about the future – moving in together, marriage, children. Does it matter that Haseeb is British–Pakistani and Ella’s a white girl from Yorkshire? Can their love surpass the cultural and physical boundaries between them?

Through short, striking vignettes, Zia Ahmed builds an authentic and insightful picture of contemporary, cross-cultural courtship. Ahmed's performance poetry background is evident in his evocative and playful use of language, imagery and symbolism, which combine for a delightful mix of humour, heartbreak and hope. A compelling and topical work of extraordinary vitality, this production of I Wanna Be Yours for MTC’s Education and Families Program stars Eleanor Barkla and Oz Malik and is directed by Melbourne Theatre Company Resident Director Tasnim Hossain. It promises to be a powerful, lyrical and big-hearted night of theatre.


  • Wheelchair Accessible

  • Hearing Assistance

  • Audio Described

  • Tactile Tour

  • Open Captioning

  • Auslan Interpreted

Performance Type Performance Date(s)
Audio Described
by Vision Australia
Friday 19 May at 10am
Tactile Tour
by Vision Australia
Friday 19 May at 10am (Tactile tour commences at 9am)
Open Captioning
via screen
Tuesday 23 May at 10am
Auslan Interpreted
by Auslan Stage Left
Monday 22 May at 7pm
Artwork for Eleanor Barkla

Eleanor Barkla


Eleanor Barkla has always been surrounded by the arts, growing up in the regional creative melting pot of Castlemaine (Dja Dja Wurrung Country). Graduating from Federation University Arts Academy in 2018, Eleanor is thrilled to be making her Melbourne Theatre Company debut with I Wanna Be Yours. Other theatre credits include Much Ado About Nothing (Prague) (The Australian Shakespeare Company); Bright Star (Three’s A Crowd) and Analog (Three Fates Theatre Company). On screen, Eleanor’s recent credits include the SBS drama series New Gold Mountain.

Current as of May 2023.

Artwork for Oz Malik

Oz Malik


Oz Malik makes his Melbourne Theatre Company debut as Haseeb in I Wanna Be Yours. Oz has trained under the private tutelage of Master Acting Coach Natela Dzuliashvili and National Theatre of Victoria, The Australian Film & Television Academy and Brave Studios. Theatre credits include Bukjeh (La Mama Theatre); Ardna (Darebin Arts Centre and regional Victoria tour); Pass the Papadums, Katherine (Four Letter Word Theatre and the University of Melbourne); Making Cranes (The Capitol, RMIT Creative). Oz also starred as a lead in the series #MATCHED produced by Screen Australia, Tik Tok and Princess Pictures and on The Ninth Tower (SBS), which received the 2022 Multicultural Film Award. Other TV and film credits include Warnie, Human Error and Coconut. Oz has a Masters of International Relations and Politics from the University of Melbourne and is currently on the Dandenong Arts Advisory Board.

Current as of May 2023.

Artwork for Zia Ahmed

Zia Ahmed


Zia Ahmed is a poet and writer hailing from North-West London. He is part of the London Laureates, having been shortlisted for London’s Young Poet Laureate 2015–16. He is a former Roundhouse Slam Champion and a Writer in Residence at Paines Plough as part of Channel 4’s Playwright Scheme 2017. In 2018 he was chosen to be a part of the Bush Theatre's Emerging Writers Group. In 2019, Zia’s stage debut I Wanna Be Yours premiered at the Bush Theatre. Zia's latest project, Peaceophobia, was performed at venues in Manchester and Bradford in 2021. Described as ‘part theatre, part car-meet’, the show was developed with Bradford-based performances, drawing from their experiences and love of automobiles to explore the realities of being a Muslim Man in Britain today. Zia has also written for My White Best Friend, was part of the writer’s room for the first series of We Are Lady Parts, and is currently under commission with the Royal Court and the Bush Theatre.

Current as of May 2023.

Artwork for Tasnim Hossain

Tasnim Hossain


Tasnim Hossain is Resident Director at Melbourne Theatre Company and has worked as a director, playwright and dramaturg. Her production of Yellow Face (Dinosaurus Productions/KXT) was nominated for four Sydney Theatre Awards in 2022, winning Best Direction of an Independent Production. For Melbourne Theatre Company, she was assistant director on Bernhardt/Hamlet, dramaturg on REALish for Cybec Electric 2023, and directed the First Stage 2022 readings. Other directing credits include How I Learned to Drive (NIDA), Sweat (VCA) and Rough Draft #49 – Garage Sale (STC). She co-directed and dramaturged Lost in Shanghai (CAAP/OzAsia Festival) and was assistant director on Banging Denmark (STC). As a writer, she was co-recipient of the inaugural NSW Musical Theatre Fellowship (CreateNSW/Hayes Theatre Company) and her script Bombay Takeaway was shortlisted for the 2022 Griffin Award. She also received the 2022 Women’s Agenda Award for Emerging Leader in Arts and Entertainment. Tasnim has been ATYP’s Resident Playwright, a Griffin Theatre Studio Artist, CAAP-Sydney Theatre Company Directors’ Initiative participant and an Artistic Associate at NIDA. She is a current participant in Theatre Network Australia’s Leadershift program and is an alumna of the Australia Council for the Arts Future Leaders program, as well as Melbourne Theatre Company’s Women in Theatre program.

Current as of May 2023.

Artwork for Kat Chan

Kat Chan

Set & Costume Designer

Kat Chan is a set and costume designer for theatre, dance, video and installation. Originally trained as an architect, Kat worked in practices in Adelaide and Tokyo before moving to Melbourne to study Master of Production Design at the Victorian College of the Arts. Recent and select credits include for Melbourne Theatre Company, Admissions (Costume Designer), Touching the Void (Costume Designer), Lifespan of a Fact (Costume Designer), Torch the Place (Costume Designer), Golden Shield (Associate Designer), Beached (Costume Designer); for Malthouse, Monsters (Costume Designer), Because The Night (Costume Designer); for The Australian Ballet, Annealing (Costume Designer), Raymonda Act III (Set Designer), From Silence (Set & Costume Designer), From Something, To Nothing (Costume Designer); The Sleeping Beauty (Design Associate); for IF Theatre + Belvoir, Mother (Set & Costume Designer); for Open House Melbourne, The Australian Ugliness (Costume Designer/Art Direction); and for AsiaTopa Fed Sq, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, The People’s Currency (Set & Costume design).

Current as of May 2023.

Rachel Lee

Rachel Lee

Lighting Designer

Rachel Lee is a lighting designer and artist based in Naarm. Her practice evolved out of her interest in how spaces are subjective through political, societal and economical lenses and in turn, how light can transform these spaces. Through creation and response, Rachel explores this notion in the visual spaces she creates. She works primarily with new writing. Rachel has designed across several companies and festivals including Laurinda and The Heartbreak Choir (Melbourne Theatre Company); Manifesto (Stephanie Lake Company); Telethon Kid, Stay Woke and Hello, World! (Malthouse Theatre); Gender Euphoria (Mama Alto and Maude Davey); 落叶归根 (Luò yè guī gēn) Getting Home (Melbourne Fringe); Security (Darebin Speakeasy); Prayer Machine, Single Ladies and Ulster American (Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre); Easy Riders (APHIDS) and various installation works across Flash Forward (City of Melbourne). She has been awarded the Green Room Award for Best Production. 

Current as of May 2023.

Artwork for Mufeez Al Haq

Mufeez Al Haq

Composer & Sound Designer

Mufeez Al Haq is making his Melbourne Theatre Company debut with I Wanna Be Yours. Mufeez has completed a Bachelor of Music in Audio Engineering, as well as Songwriting & Music Production. As a technician, Mufeez has worked with acts like Wenzu U Rozi (Musicworx), Once On This Island (ACF), Rebel (Highwire), Emma Donovan and The Putbacks, I Am Woman, Kutcha Edwards, Jude Pearl and other community and corporate events. Some of his local film credits include Stories From Oz (Princess Pictures) and The Ninth Tower (Blacksand Pictures). Mufeez releases music as an independent artist, under the alias of Vertex, and also works as a mix engineer and producer. A few examples of his music/mix credits include 2555 (Vertex) and 100% Strawberry Concentrate (JamXD).

Current as of May 2023.


Geraldine Cook-Dafner

Voice & Dialect Coach

Geraldine Cook-Dafner previously worked for Melbourne Theatre Company on Bernhardt/Hamlet, Sunday, Girls & Boys, The Lifespan of a Fact, Home I’m Darling, The Golden Shield, Wild, The Children, Hay Fever, Di and Viv and Rose, Melbourne Talam, John, The Odd Couple, Straight White Men, The Distance, Birdland, The Waiting Room, Top Girls, The Heretic, The Swimming Club, The 39 Steps, The History Boys, All My Sons, The Clean House, Boy Gets Girl, Take Me Out and The Glass Menagerie. Geraldine was recently the voice and dialect coach for &Juliet (Regent Theatre). Geraldine has also worked at SBS, Malthouse and Musica Viva. She trained at Middlesex University, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has a doctorate from the University of Melbourne. Geraldine is an Honorary Senior Fellow at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, where previously she held positions as Head of Voice, Head of School of Performing Arts and Associate Dean. She is currently voice and dialect coach for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Current as of May 2023.

Artwork for Gurkiran Kaur

Gurkiran Kaur

Dialect Coach (UK)

Gurkiran Kaur is a voice, accent and dialect coach from London. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Drama and Theatre Studies (Royal Holloway), completed actor training (The Bridge Theatre Training Company) and has a Master of Arts in Voice Studies (The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama). Gurkiran is part of VASTA’s EduCore Leadership Team and serves as a Junior Board Member. Credits include Extinct (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Queens of Sheba (Soho Theatre); NW Trilogy (The Kiln); How To Save The Planet When You’re A Young Carer And Broke (Boundless Theatre); Best of Enemies (The Young Vic & Headlong); Red Pitch, The P Word, Paradise Now and Sleepova (Bush Theatre); Lotus Beauty (Hampstead Theatre/Tamasha Theatre); Henry VIII (Shakespeare’s Globe); Offside (Futures Theatre); Marvin’s Binocular’s (The Unicorn); Favour (Bush Theatre); The Climbers (Theatre by the Lake); Chasing Hares (The Young Vic & Uncut); Finding Home (Curve Theatre); The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Noel Coward Theatre); Silence (Donmar Warehouse & Tara Theatre); A Dead Body In Taos (Fuel Theatre); I Wonder If (Young Vic); Anansi The Spider (Unicorn Theatre); Unexpected Twist (Royal & Derngate Northampton Theatre); Wuthering Heights (China Plate Theatre) and Good Karma Hospital (ITV/Tiger Aspect Productions).

Current as of May 2023.

Artwork for Jonathan Homsey

Jonathan Homsey

Movement Consultant

Artwork for Isabella Vadiveloo

Isabella Vadiveloo

Intimacy Coordinator

Learn more about I Wanna Be Yours

The Lawler

140 Southbank Boulevard

Southbank, Victoria 3006