Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting winners 2017

The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting is delighted to announce that Tim X Atack is the 2017 winner for his play Heartworm.

Heartworm was judged anonymously and chosen in the October 23rd Judges meeting.

Tim X Atack is an award- winning writer, composer and sound designer for stage and screen. His previous plays have already been met with great acclaim, a number having been adapted for BBC Radio 4 with The Morpeth Carol winning best drama at the 2014 Radio Academy Awards. He now joins the Bruntwood Prize’s prestigious alumni that includes leading UK playwrights such as Katherine Soper, Phil Porter, Duncan Macmillan, Alistair McDowall, Vivienne Franzmann and Anna Jordan.

Tim X Atack will receive £16,000 and Heartworm will be co-produced between the Royal Exchange and Royal Court theatres. On winning the 2017 Bruntwood Prize, Timothy X Atack said:It is the most amazing boost to my confidence as a writer and theatre-maker. I’m truly excited for conversations to begin about making a play I’m very proud of in a theatre I really love’.

Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director, Royal Court Theatre commented:”We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with the Royal Exchange Theatre to bring the winner of the prestigious Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting to life in our theatres. Bruntwood is a vital opportunity for the RC to connect with writers and plays who may not necessarily come through our structures and whose voice and talent will contribute to the Theatre landscape for years to come. Following the huge success of both WISH LIST by Katherine Soper and YEN by Anna Jordan, it will be wonderful to work again with the team at the Royal Exchange Theatre to bring Tim X Atack’s beautifully haunting script to life. We felt HEARTWORM is a brilliantly unnerving and visceral piece of work by a distinctive and vividly theatrical voice.”


Three Judges Awards of £8,000 were also awarded at today’s ceremony to Tim Foley for his play Electric Rosary, Laurie Nunn for King Brown and to Sharon Clark for Plow. All four scripts will now enter into a development process with the Royal Exchange Theatre. The Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC) in New York will also be supporting the development of Tim Foley’s Electric Rosary. They say ‘Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC) has long been an admirer and close follower of the Bruntwood Prize and the numerous playwrights whose careers it has helped to launch. We are thrilled to be joining as a partner in a year of such outstanding new plays. This year’s finalists offer a breadth of challenging, theatrical, and exhilarating new work. We were particularly taken by Tim Foley’s Electric Rosary, which shrewdly explores ideas around religious identity and the place of technology in our society with a darkly comedic sensibility. We are proud to be partnering with the Royal Exchange Theatre on its development. Congratulations to all the wonderful playwrights!’


Due to the high standards of entries, co-founder of the Bruntwood Prize Michael Oglesby also awarded Joshua Val Martin and Rebecca Callard £4,000 each, as a commendation for their compelling plays, This is Not America and A Bit Of Light respectively. The commended scripts will also receive a rehearsed reading.  Michael Oglesby CBE, Bruntwood Prize judge and Chairman of Bruntwood commented: ‘Ambition, community and innovation are at the heart of everything we strive to achieve at Bruntwood and the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting is central to our talent development work in the UK. This year we’ve seen a remarkable standard in entries to the competition. Our overall winner Timothy X Atack has produced a beautiful piece of work and we are thrilled to be supporting him and the other Judges’ Prize winners on their playwriting journey.’


Laurie Nunn


King Brown, the first stage play by Laurie Nunn, is set in the outskirts of 1970s Melbourne and explores toxic masculinity and the hierarchy of Australian society. Nunn is an established film and television writer and her feature film script, The Summer House is currently in development.


Tim Foley

Manchester-based Tim Foley, an Associate Artist at Pentabus Theatre, was honored for his play Electric Rosary set in a convent in the near future where technology is taking over. The play questions technology versus religion, and asks – what makes us human?


Sharon Clark

Sharon Clark is Creative Director of Bristol-based immersive theatre company, Raucous and a lecturer at Bath Spa University. Her previous works have been produced by Bristol Old Vic, Theatre 503, New Diorama and Arcola. Clark’s script, Plow follows an African-American woman as she walks across the US and the media response to her journey.


Rebecca Callard

In first time playwright Rebecca Callard’s A Bit of Light Ella has moved into her dad’s spare room with a futon and not much else. She meets Neil, a teenager who refuses to see Ella the way she sees herself. Rebecca Callard is best know as a actor and has worked in theatre, television and radio.


Joshua Val Martin

In This is Not America Idris can’t think why he’d want to stay on earth, but can think of many reasons why he’d blast himself into space and reach for a new future for the human race on Mars. Joshua has participated in the Royal Exchange Theatre and the SOHO Theatre’s respective playwrighting schemes. His play IN A TOWN SOMEWHERE NORTH OF MILTON KEYNES for longlisted for the Bruntwood Prize 2015








Published on:
13 Nov 2017


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