Bruntwood Prize Winners Announced

Janice Okoh has today been announced as the winner of the £16,000 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting for her play Three Birds. Set in South East London, Three Birds is a play about the real and imaginary lives of three siblings who are home alone and left to protect their world against the adults who come to call. The judges chose it as the unanimous winner for its startling and unique juxtaposition of reality and fantasy.

Alongside the first prize, three Judges’ Awards of £8,000 were presented to: Alistair McDowall for Brilliant Adventures; Gareth Farr for Britannia Waves the Rules and Louise Monaghan for Shadow Play.  

Chair of Judges, the playwright Simon Stephens, made the announcement at a lunchtime ceremony at the Royal Exchange, Manchester:

‘The range and caliber of all ten plays on the shortlist this year was exceptional.  It was a range that was a fitting reflection of the extraordinary response to this competition.  It was a range that was reflective of the creative energy in this country and the moment.  Janice Okoh’s Three Birds is a play of extraordinary humanity and imagination.’

As part of the prize all four award winners will now develop their play with the Royal Exchange, with a view to production.  In addition, leading theatre publishers Nick Hern Books will publish all winning plays that receive a production at the Exchange.

The winners were selected from a shortlist of 10 who remained anonymous until today, allowing the panel’s decisions to be based on the plays themselves.   Also on the shortlist were:

Miriam Battye – I Started A Fire

Curtis Cole – Climbing Snakes

Kenneth Emson – White

Tim Luscombe – A Map of the Region

Silva Semerciyan – I And The Village

Cornell S John – One Look

Full information about all the writers shortlisted for the competition will be published shortly.


  1. Well done Gareth- You are an amazing writer and actor- Still remember your reading of the husband in W.I.F.E in the Royal Court Super Group.

    All power to you.

    And to the first black woman to win the Bruntwood- Very good Very Good.

    There is light in the tunnel xx

    by Ann Ablewoman - November 15, 2011 at 5:09 pm
  2. And many congrats Kenny- So many congrats indeed.

    by Ann Ablewoman - November 15, 2011 at 5:12 pm
  3. Congratulations to the four winning plays a fantastic afternoon, four worthy worthy winners.

    A shortlistee x

    by Anon - November 15, 2011 at 5:35 pm
  4. Congratulations to all the winners, especially Louise Monaghan – brilliant and well done.

    by Josie Melia - November 15, 2011 at 8:48 pm
  5. Congratulations Alistair, It is exciting to see your originality flourishing!

    by Eileen Driver - November 16, 2011 at 9:50 am
  6. well done janice!!!!!!!!

    by michael okoh - November 16, 2011 at 10:16 am
  7. Well done Janice Okoh! Three cheers for you x

    Great to see Kenny Emson on shortlist as I am fan.

    Looking forward to finding more out about the work of all of the shortlisted writers in the theatre seasons ahead.

    More power to all of your pens/keyboards!


    by Lita Doolan - November 16, 2011 at 10:36 am
  8. Congratulations Janice. Very well deserved. So pleased for you :) cannot wait to celebrate x

    by Lisa Wilkinson - November 16, 2011 at 6:39 pm
  9. Wow, the winner was a black writer writing about life on the edge in suburban London.. Big surprise….

    by CC! - December 12, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Leave a Reply