The Prize’s sixth search for the best original new plays in the UK starts today.
Returning for 2017, the biennial Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting is Europe’s largest playwriting competition and highlights the importance of new writing for theatre and the value of nurturing playwrights and their craft.
A partnership between the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester and property company Bruntwood, it’s an opportunity for writers of any background and experience to enter unperformed plays to be judged by a panel of industry experts for a chance to win part of a prize fund of £40,000.
British broadcaster and journalist Kirsty Lang will chair the 2017 judging panel, she will be joined by the award-winning screenwriter Russell T. Davies (Queer as Folk, C4; Doctor Who, BBC), previous Bruntwood Prize winner Phil Porter (The Miser, West End; Vice Versa, RSC; The Cracks in my Skin, Royal Exchange Theatre), stage and screen writer Lucy Prebble (The Effect, National Theatre; Enron, Royal Court, Chichester Festival Theatre, West End & Broadway), Director Lyndsey Turner (Hamlet, Barbican; Chimerica, Almeida; Posh, Royal Court & West End and Associate Director of the National Theatre), award-winning actor Don Warrington (King Lear, Royal Exchange Theatre & BBC Four; Death in Paradise, BBC), and Royal Exchange Theatre Associate Artistic Director, Matthew Xia. Chairman of Bruntwood, Michael Oglesby CBE completes the distinguished panel.
Michael Oglesby CBE, Chairman of Bruntwood commented: “We are delighted to be launching the sixth edition of the Bruntwood Prize. It provides a unique opportunity for aspiring playwrights to have access to a network of opportunities which help them to bring their plays to the stage”.
The competition is open to anyone over the age of sixteen, in the British Isles. All scripts are judged anonymously by a team of skilled readers and the final ten will be judged by this expert judging panel.
Each of the winners will enter into a development process with the Royal Exchange Theatre. The winning scripts, will be announced at an awards ceremony in Manchester this November.
Since beginning in 2005 The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting has grown to be the largest playwriting competition in Europe and has provided a launch pad for many of the UK’s top playwrights including: Duncan Macmillan (1984, People, Places and Things, Monster), Alistair McDowall (Brilliant Adventures, X), Vivienne Franzmann (Mogadishu) and Anna Jordan (Yen).
Sarah Frankcom, Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre, said: “Launching the Bruntwood Prize is always a defining moment for me. Each year we have thousands of entries and it’s very exciting to imagine those writers beginning to develop their ideas into the scripts that we will read. It’s an opportunity for them to be as bold, as creative and as brave in their writing as they can be.”
In 2015 Katherine Soper became the fifth overall winner of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. Her play ‘Wish List’ premiered at the Royal Exchange Theatre in 2016 before transferring to the Royal Court Upstairs (10 January – Saturday 11 February 2017).
Katherine Soper, 2015 winner of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting said: “The prize has given me opportunities I could never have imagined, and given me so much more confidence as a writer.”
The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting is delighted to work in partnership with Nick Hern Books, The Kenyon Institute, The Banff Centre and The National Theatre Studio who all provide winning writers with development opportunities.