It’s a few days now until the announcement of the winners of the 2011 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting and preparations for the announcement are underway here at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. Our judging panel for the competition meets at the Exchange on Monday to discuss and deliberate the fate of the ten plays shortlisted for the awards. At this stage the plays remain entirely annonymous to the panel, with only a script and a pseudonym provided. Once the panel have selected a winner of the £16,000 first prize and three further awards of £8,000 each, they will finish for the evening. Listen below to judge and Exchange Artistic Director Sarah Frankcom explain what she looks for when reading a new play for the first time.
Tuesday 15th November will see all the shortlisted writers, judges and other guests gather for a lunchtime ceremony at the Exchange. Hosted by the brilliant Dave Haslam, the event will guide our audience through introductions to each of the shortlisted plays and writers through video and live extracts, before the awards are announced. Check back here for full information on all the shortlisted writers and winners on Tuesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Bruntwood-winning writers continue to go from strength to strength, with 2005 second prize winner Duncan Macmillan garnering fantastic reviews for his play LUNGS in a production by Paines Plough and Sheffield Crucible and our winner in 2005, Ben Musgrave, receiving similar plaudits for HIS TEETH with Only Connect Theatre. Not content with being shortlisted for the Evening Standard Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright, for her Bruntwood winner MOGADISHU, Vivienne Franzmann’s second play and Royal Court debut, THE WITNESS has just been announced for June 2012. Finally, fellow 2008 winner Naylah Ahmed will see her new play MUSTAFA produced by Kali theatre company and Birmingham Rep in April 2012.
Bruntwood Judge and Royal Exchange Artistic Director Sarah Frankcom explains what she looks for in a new play: