2020 Longlisted Productions

One hundred and fifteen plays made it through three rounds of reading to the Bruntwood Prize Longlist. As the Longlist is announced prior to the final Judges meeting to decide upon the winners of the Bruntwood Prize the Longlist announcement remains anonymous.

By the end of 2019- all Longlisted writers have received a script report and there’s no longer any need to stay anonymous. It’s always wonderful to finally get to know the Longlist and see how their work develops!

Have you had a longlisted play go into production? Get in touch with Bruntwood Prize Co-ordinator Chloe Smith on chloe.smith@royalexchange.co.uk. I can provide marketing support here from the Bruntwood Prize platforms. 


Forthcoming Productions of Longlisted plays 

The Boy with the Bee Jar 

By John Straiton 

Sunday 15th March 7.30pm 

Old Red Lion, London 

“That apparently chaotic flight that looks like madness hatched and let loose in the world conforms to the rules of physics. Is nuanced. And elegant. And not at all random. How can I leave here?”

On a North London estate, a swarm of bees attracts an environmentally minded schoolboy who feels responsible for his father’s suicide. He meets an old anarcho-punk called Euston, a witness to a horrific stabbing, and together they literally play out the dark goings-on of life on the estate and of their own fears.





Chicken Burger N Chips
Writer & Performer – Corey Bovell

From March 10th 

The Jack Studio

During the summer holidays of 2009 Corey dreams of nothing but to hang around with his friends while ordering as much Morley’s as possible. Until Jodie comes along and makes Corey realise the changes that are happening within his beloved Lewisham Borough. Making Corey, for the first time, think about what path his future takes.

After a sold-out run during last year’s Camden Fringe, Corey Bovell has taken his societal tales across London theatres including The Pleasance, Tristan Bates, Arcola, The Vault & Ovalhouse.

Jack Studio Theatre


Our Name Is Not John
By Sarah Kosar

From 9th September 

Arcola Theatre 

Today there are fewer women running big companies than CEOs named John.

John’s smart furniture company, FLATT, is failing, but the new investor, also named John, thinks he has the answer: get all five of the female employees to construct the ultimate product for women.

Tasked with creating The Womb (™), Mary and her team start to question what it is they are building, and who they are really building it for.

Following writer Sarah Kosar’s acclaimed play Armadillo (Yard Theatre), she brings her distinctive style to this strikingly original satire about patriarchal control through capitalism.



Paper Cut
By Andrew Rosendorf

From March 18th 

Theatre 503

A young gay American soldier, Kyle, returns from Afghanistan after being injured in an IED blast. Only a paper cut. Or that’s what he wants his friends, family, and a potential new love to believe. Paper Cut is a raw exploration of the physical and emotional toll of returning soldiers and how they navigate their way through another minefield of returning home.

This is a love story through the prism of a soldier. Someone who will die for their country, even when their country tells them every day – in small and large ways – that they are less than. It’s an examination of what it means to be a man. And even more so, what it means to be a gay man?

Ecclesia is a theatre company dedicated to staging work about how big politics affect small people. Productions include Hidden by Nicola Werenowksa and Counting Stars by Atiha Sen Gupta, receiving a commendation for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award.

Andrew Rosendorf’s work has been produced or developed at La Jolla, MCC, KC Rep, Signature Theatre, the National New Play Network, American Theater Company, Nashville Rep, City Theatre, Geva Theatre, Actor’s Express, and Local Theater Company.
He is an alum of NNPN’s Playwright-in-Residence program, the Ingram New Works program, terraNOVA Collective’s Groundbreakers Playwrights Group, and has been a SPACE on Ryder Farm, Tofte Lake Center, VCCA, and MacDowell Colony Fellow. He was a previous McKnight and Jerome Fellow at The Playwrights’ Center. His play, Cottontail, was a runner-up for the Yale Drama Series Award. MFA: The New School for Drama, Playwriting

Paper Cut

By Kieran Knowles

From Thu 21 May
Studio, The Theatre By the Lake, Keswick 

Alan has worked as a park ranger for the last 50 years. He knows every square inch of the park; every tree, bush and plant. When a fatal case of wilt disease is detected nearby, the park’s population of beautiful oak trees comes under threat.

The team of park rangers don’t know how worried they should be. Jess tries to create order with an online inventory, Martin is busy dealing with budgets and local councillors and Chris has almost run over a badger. But when they’re hit with the latest round of spending cuts, some difficult decisions need to be made.

A love letter to the natural world, Wilt is a gentle, tender and lyrical play about the nature of change.



Me Myself I

By Carla Grauls

04 — 09 Feb
The Vaults, Leake Street

“You’re here so I can keep on living. You’re my legacy.”

Set in the near future as the climate crisis takes hold, Lana decides to clone herself so she can continue her life, relationship and digital presence. Lena takes on Lana’s identity but the life and world she has inherited is not what she expected.
Me Myself I is about how we continue to create meaning in a world that is disappearing.
Brought to you by a team of multiple Off West End Award nominees, Me Myself I is written by Carla Grauls (Audible Emerging Writer, Nick Darke Award winner), directed by Andrew Twyman (Velvet – VAULT Festival, Pleasance Edinburgh Fringe, on tour) and presented by Holly White (Brilliant Jerks – VAULT Show of the Week 2018. Finding Fassbender – VAULT Festival, Pleasance Edinburgh Fringe).

Carla Grauls is an award-winning writer. She was commissioned for Audible’s Emerging Playwrights Fund and wrote Life ever After. She has been shortlisted for the Yale Drama Award and won the Nick Darke Award for Made for Him. Her play Occupied was produced at Theatre503 and was nominated for two Off West End Theatre Awards.


When We Died

By Alexandra Donnachie

10 — 15 Mar
The Vaults, Leake Street, London

He’s dead, and it’s her job to prepare and present his body for his family’s final goodbye. She often imagines what each person’s life was like. But today she doesn’t have to imagine who he is. She knows him.

Faced with the body of the man who raped her eleven months ago, When We Died is a striking new play about one woman’s choice to confront her trauma and tell her story, on her terms. The show contains an account of rape, and descriptions of dead bodies. Please note, at no point is rape presented onstage.

Alexandra Donnachie is an award-winning writer and performer. Credits inc.: Sylvia Pankhurst in BAFTA Award-winning THE SUFFRAGETTES WITH LUCY WORSLEY (BBC One); 3 YEARS, 1 WEEK AND A LEMON DRIZZLE (Writer/Performer. Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018 and London); RETURN TO ELM HOUSE (Battersea Arts Centre); ATOMIC 50 commissioned for the 2019 London Borough of Culture; MUGS LIKE US by Michèle Winstanely (ONLY FOOLS AND HORSES, SID AND NANCY).

Carbon Theatre is a female-led company specialising in complex and divergent, free-form theatre. Founded and run by creative producer, Courtenay Johnson. Previous work includes: MISSION ABORT by Therese Ramstedt (★★★★ The Stage) at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017, VAULT Festival 2018 and London/Sweden/UK Tour; BABY DADDY by Elinor Coleman (★★★★ Stage Talk Magazine) at Assembly Festival Edinburgh Fringe 2018; WELCOME… ? by Lily Lowe-Myers (★★★★ Spy in the Stalls) at Nottingham Playhouse and Bridewell Theatre; HEAD ROT HOLIDAY by Sarah Daniels at The Hope Theatre (★★★★ Broadway World UK).




Time and Tide
By James McDermott


05 Feb – 29 Feb

Batten down the hatches, a storm is coming.
May runs a crumbling caff on the end of Cromer Pier. Her delivery man, Ken, is running out of customers, thanks to Costa. Nemo is desperate to tread the boards in London. His unrequited love, Daz, is burying his head in the sand over his best mate leaving.
Time And Tide is an LGBT comic drama about a Norfolk community, struggling with change.

Relish Theatre are proud to present the world premiere of Award-winning writer James McDermott’s new play. Time and Tide was longlisted for The Verity Bargate Award, the Bruntwood and Papatango Playwriting Prizes, and developed as part of Park Theatre’s Script Accelerator Programme.
James McDermott is a scriptwriter and performance poet based in East Anglia. Plays include Fast Food starring Jude Law (Lyric Hammersmith), Justice 39 (Luton Culture, co-written with Roy Williams and Atiha Sen Gupta), Street Life (Norwich Theatre Royal) and Rubber Ring (Pleasance Islington; UK Tour; Winner of Pulse Festival’s Suitcase Prize 2017). James is an Associate Artist at HighTide and Norwich Arts Centre, and resident playwriting teacher at Norwich Theatre Royal.

Relish Theatre is a previously Norwich based theatre company, dedicated to showcasing the work of regional talent. Previous work include Cuttings (The Hope Theatre), Unicorn (Theatre N16), A Matter Of Life And Debt (Edinburgh Fringe) and the podcast Theatre Feuds!





How we identify the Longlist

All of the plays submitted to the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting are subjected to the same reading process. We’re proud of how this process of anonymity and a varied panel of readers enables us to level the playing field for new writers to compete alongside already established playwrights.
Our dedicated team of readers are experienced in reading scripts for the stage and the group is made up of directors, dramaturgs, previous winners of The Bruntwood Prize, producers, literary agents, other theatre practitioners and artistic staff at the Royal Exchange Theatre.
All plays are submitted anonymously to the competition- at no point do we ask for your real name- and the script itself is identifiable to readers only by it’s Title. Before announcing the Longlist publicly, the Bruntwood Prize Co-Ordinator googles all of the titles to ensure they are not immediately identifiable via a search online. If they are, the title is anonymised for further reading (with the playwrights permission)
The Bruntwood Prize Co-ordiantor is the only person who contacts the playwrights while reading is underway, and the only person with access to the back of the writeaplay website were submission information is stored. Consequently, I don’t have any input on reading or judging scripts.

Published on:
21 Jan 2020


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