Matt Hartley

SIXTY FIVE MILES (Under 26 Prize 2005)

Biography

Matt grew up just outside Sheffield in the Peak District. He studied Drama at the University of Hull, graduating in 2002. Since then Matt has lived and worked in London. He studied under the tutelage of Simon Stephens at the Royal Court Theatre and in 2006/07 was one of Paines Plough/Channel Four’s Future Perfect group. Matt’s play SIXTY FIVE MILES, was one of the winners of the inaugural Bruntwood Awards. Matt’s other work includes MAD FUNNY JUST, which won the Old Vic New Voices Award, SENTENCED at the Union Theatre, PUNCH, for the Hampstead Theatre Heat and Light Company, THE BEE at the Edinburgh Festival in 2008, EPIC for Theatre 503 and THE PURSUIT for Radio 4.

Future work includes the full length productions of SIXTY FIVE MILES, MICROCOSM, SILVER BULLET, EPIC as well as the short film WHITBY, which is going into production in late spring. Matt is currently under commission to the Royal Shakespeare Company, Theatres Valence and Theatre 503.

Synopsis

Sean is just out of prison, nothing’s the same as it was. His younger brother, Rich, lets him move in but he may as well be a stranger and the city he knew is no more. But Sean’s the last thing Rich needs as he’s got problems of his own. As Sean embarks on a journey to find the daughter he abandoned both he and Rich must learn to accept that their past choices will be with them forever. SIXTY FIVE MILES is a story about family, redemption and learning how to say sorry.

Interview

What impact did winning the Bruntwood have at an early stage in your career as a writer?

I was very young when I won an award at the Bruntwood. I suppose the main thing it gave me was a bit of recognition in terms of my writing, but also the money and time to write something new. It has also been a great way to advertise new shows and to get meetings with other theatres. It gave me a starting platform, which was what I think my award (Under 26 Prize) was there to do.

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