2017 Round Up

Its been a busy year for the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting! Not only was the 2017 Prize opened to submissions with the winners announced at 13th Nov’s Award Ceremony but three of the 2015 Prize winners have seen their worked produced and staged.



10th Jan- Katherine Soper’s Wish List opened at the Royal Court

Winner of the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting; the production was a co-production with the Royal Court and the second year co-producing the Bruntwood Prize-winning play together, following Anna Jordan’s YEN in 2015/16. Wish List was directed by Royal Exchange Associate Director and 2017 Bruntwood Prize Judge Matthew Xia.

January also saw the launch and opening of 2017 submissions at a special event at the Royal Court. Here’s how we announced the 2017 Judges and their aspiration for the Prize at the event


To support the 2017 submission window we also welcomed leading playwrights, agents and directors to Manchester to lead live streamed workshops. This year our workshop leaders were; April De-Angelis, Matthew Xia, Phil Porter, Rachel De-Lahay, Chris Thorpe and Mel Kenyon.

For the first time ever we also teamed up with international partners to host workshops overseas in Australia, India and the USA with Joanne Murray-Smith, Abhishek Majumdar and Suzan-Lori Parks.

Go to ‘How do I develop my writing?’ for our archive of workshops from 2017 and 2015. We also post UK based events, script submissions and jobs for playwrights weekly on the ‘Opportunities and Events’ page.


April saw the opening of 2015 Judges Prize winner Alan Clark’s How My Light Is Spent here at the Royal Exchange- before a tour to at Sherman Theatre, Cardiff and Theatre by the Lake, Keswick.


On June 5th the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2017 closed to entries. This year we saw writers are aged from 19-100 year, equal numbers of men and women sent in their plays, and we receive plays from Shetland to Gibraltar. 62% entered the Prize for the very first time with 34% of our entrants had never written a play before.

The 4 phase reading process really began- with over 100 readers whose time and expertise enable us to reach the Award Ceremony.Of this years readers, who provided information;

9% Consider themselves disabled

30% are from a BAME background

63% are female and 35% men (2% prefer not to say)

They are aged between early 20’s to over 70

They have included Artistic Directors, dramaturges, readers at the Royal Court and National Theatre, Literary Managers of National Theatre of Scotland, Traverse Theatre, Orange Tree Theatre, Finborough Theatre, previous winners of the Bruntwood Prize, actors and national critics and theatre commentators.



On Sept 27th we announced the top 100 longlist here

The long list were still anonymous to allow for total anonymity at the October 23rd Judges meeting. Reading continued to identify the top 40, top 20 and finally top 10 shortlisted scripts.



2017 Judge’s Award winner James Fritz saw his play Parliament Square open on the main stage of the Royal Exchange Theatre, before transferring to the Bush.

On October 23rd the Bruntwood Prize 2017 Judges met Somerset House to identify the award winners. Chaired by broadcaster Kirsty Lang the 2017 judges were: Associated Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre, Matthew Xia; playwright and former Bruntwood winner, Phil Porter; screenwriter and producer, Russell T Davies; playwright Lucy Prebble; director Lyndsey Turner; actor, Alfred Enoch and Chairman of Bruntwood, Michael Oglesby CBE. The Judges meeting went on for over 6 hours!

With the winner decided, for the first time ever we were able to publicly announce the shortlisted writers on October 24th

You can also read more on all of the shortlisted writers on our ‘News’ page



November 13th saw the Bruntwood Prize Awards Ceremony at the Royal Exchange Theatre. Hosted by Naga Munchetty all ten shortlisted plays had a short film and scene presented, with the winners announced by 2017 Judges Phil Porter, Matthew Xia, Russell T Davies and Kirsty Lang.

Find more info on the winning plays here

Happy New Year!

Published on:
28 Dec 2017


Add comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *