Prize History

A partnership between the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester and property company Bruntwood, the Prize is 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 totalling £40,000.


At the heart of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting is the principal that anyone and everyone can enter the Prize – it is entirely anonymous and scripts are judged purely on the basis of the work alone and with no knowledge of the identity of the playwright. Since its inception in 2005 over 15,000 scripts have been entered, £304,000 has been awarded to 34 prize winning writers and 26 winning productions have been staged in 38 UK wide venues.  In 2015 it celebrated its 10th anniversary and is now recognised as a launch-pad for some of the country’s most respected and produced playwrights.


Each winner enters into a development process with the Royal Exchange Theatre in an endeavour to bring their work to production.  It is not guaranteed but we aspire to produce each play and find co-producers to give the plays a longer life and further reach.  There have been co-productions with Lyric Hammersmith, Live Theatre, Soho Theatre, Bush Theatre, Orange Tree Theatre, Sherman Theatre, High Tide and the Royal Court Theatre. Work has also gone on to be produced internationally from Australia, USA, Germany, France, to Canada and Sweden.


2022 Winners

2022 shortlist

The 9 scripts shortlisted from the UK and Ireland were;


TIME, LIKE THE SEA by Georgia Bruce

Georgia Bruce is a writer and actor from London. As an actor, their theatre credits include Wuthering Heights (Wise Children), Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical (ROYO) and Malory Towers (Wise Children); TV credits include It’s A Sin (Channel 4). Time, Like the Sea is their first play, which explores lesbianism and queerness through different generations.

THE INSTITUTE by David Dawson

Olivier-Award nominated actor David Dawson plays a leading role in Michael Grandage directed My Policeman, opposite Harry Styles and Emma Corrin – due for release in early 2022 – following a varied career on television. His play The Institute is set in Berlin in 1919 and based on the true story of people who dedicated their lives to abolishing ‘Paragraph 175’, the criminalisation of homosexuality.

THE CHINA PLAY by Jeremy Green

Jeremy Green is a playwright whose works include Snakes (Young Vic); The Wolfgang Chase (BBC Radio); Fairy Tale and a version of Chekhov’s The Proposal (Pleasance); and Lizzie Siddal (Arcola). His latest play The China Play focuses on an Asian-American interpreter who finds herself unexpectedly thrust into a summit meeting between two Presidents, where nuances of language collide with diplomatic tension.


Paddy Hughes is a playwright, dramaturg and script reader based in Liverpool, who seeks to support and develop new writers in the North-West of England. Leave the Morning to the Morning is a story of heartbreak, speaking the truth and the right to live and die on your own terms.

BINDWEED by Martha Loader

Based in Ipswich, Martha Loader is a writer, producer and actor, who won the ‘Award for Promising Young Playwright’ presented by Richard Curtis at INK Festival 2019. She is an alumni of the Mercury Playwrights, Soho Writers Lab and HighTide Writers programmes. Bindweed follows the facilitator of a perpetrator programme for domestic abusers, whose life outside of work begins to buckle.

ALLAH IN THE WALLS by Jasmin Mandi-Ghomi

Jasmin Mandi-Ghomi is a British-Iranian playwright and screenwriter born and raised in Yorkshire. Her work has been staged at the Southwark Playhouse, the Arcola Theatre, and the North Wall Arts Centre, with her debut full-length show MADDY premiering at the VAULT Festival in 2019. Allah in the Walls follows Fairuza, who, with her family, takes in an old childhood friend for the duration of Ramadan. Everything is not as it seems, however, and Hannah finds herself trying to keep her past hidden in the midst of the dysfunctional family.

THREE by Jill O’Halloran

Jill O’Halloran grew up in Leigh, now living in Liverpool. Prior to her writing career she was a practising barrister, the first in her family to attend university. She has an MA in Television and Film Scriptwriting from Salford University. Three follows Carol on her wedding anniversary, looking back with fierce jealousy to the younger woman her husband once loved – her younger self.


Nathan Queeley-Dennis is an actor born and raised in Erdington, Birmingham. His acting credits include Black Love (Kiln Theatre) written by Chinonyerem Odimba, Really Big and Really Loud (Paines Plough) written by Phoebe Eclair-Powell and A TASTE OF HONEY (National Theatre). Bullring Techno Makeout Jamz is NQD’s first play, which follows Nathaniel; a young man on his journey of self-discovery as he explores Black masculinity through Beyonce lyrics, techno raves and the deeply intimate relationship a man has with his barber.

(THE) WOMAN by Jane Upton

Writer Jane Upton’s plays include The Price of Home (Paines Plough & Derby Theatre), Finding Nana (Pleasance Edinburgh Festival) and All the Little Lights (Fifth Word, UK tour, Arcola Theatre). (the) Woman follows M, who is trying to write a play about motherhood, but in the 21st Century it is not sexy to be ‘just’ a mum.

Three of the playwrights shortlisted for the overall Prize – David Dawson, Patrick Hughes and Jill O’Halloran – were also eligible for the Original New Voice Award.

The five scripts shortlisted for the International Award were;

THE RED LEAD 红铅 by Roshelle Fong

Hong Kong born multi-disciplinary artist Roshelle Fong wrote, directed and produced the Melbourne Fringe award-winning immersive show ‘nomnomnom’ in 2018, and is currently completing a Master of Theatre (Writing) at University of Melbourne’s Victoria College of the Arts. The Red Lead 红铅 is set in 1542 Ming Dynasty China, painting an anachronistic portrait of sisterhood, survival and an attempt to rise up.

WATCH ME by Dave Harris

Dave Harris is a poet and playwright from West Philly, who has coincidentally been shortlisted for the Bruntwood Prize before for his play Tambo & Bones in 2019, which is seeing its London premiere in 2023. His latest play Watch Me takes place in subconscious void of an interracial couple from their first date to their first time, to a reckoning with heritage, ancestry, and Black Jesus.

THE ZAP by Kirsty Marillier

Kirsty Marillier is a South African / Australian, award-winning playwright and actor. She is best known for her work Orange Thrower – which had its 2022 stage premiere with Griffin Theatre Company and National Theatre of Parramatta. Her acting credits include Home and Away, The Greenhouse (Netflix) and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Her new work, The Zap, is a play of power and potential, resistance and resilience, ambition and fitting in. A high intensity, radical romp imagining our very near future, intersectional feminism and fake ass news.

NO PINK DICKS by Moreblessing Maturure

Moreblessing Maturure is a multi-award-winning Zimbabwean/Australian inter-disciplinary artist, TEDx Speaker and founder of FOLK Magazine. Her written work across literature, stage and screen has included recent engagements with Screen Australia, Associate Development Producer at Kojo Studios and Sydney Theatre Company (Resident Writer, 2017-19). Across a series of scenes, couples and relationships, No Pink Dicks picks at our perpetual (dis)comfort with the space between the personal and the political.

WAY BACK WHEN by Dylan van den Berg

Dylan van den Berg is a Palawa writer originally from the northeast of lutruwita/Tasmania and an emerging artist-in-residence with the Sydney Theatre Company. For his work, Dylan has received the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Playwriting, the Victorian Premier’s Award for Drama, the Griffin Award for New Australian Writing, the Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award, and has twice been shortlisted for the Patrick White Playwrights Award. way back when is set in a post-colonial Tasmania where three women meet, reimagining the colonisation of Tasmania as a Gothic revenge drama.

2022 longlist

The 2022 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting Longlist- alphabetically via script title 


Edith Hazeldine (the) woman
Writer X A Shero’s Journey, Or What Anacaona and Yemayá Taught Me…
Natalie Arn A Submarine For Mice
Jean Medicin A Woman Walks into a Bank
Persephone Winter ALLAH IN THE WALLS
Dusty Raymond Awareness
Who Are We Bars & Birth
XYZ Belly of the Beast
Jack Snipe Bindweed
Al Calavicci Birdie
Wong Kim Art Birthright
Aunty Sceptic Bitter
Dorothy Fletcher Bloody Woman
Sum Thang Bowl EP
Dustpan Jacobs Bullring Techno Makeout Jamz
Egg Bump
Jemima James COCKROACH
High Treason Compositor E
MJ Kelly Cui Bono
Fazia Neem Dirty Dogs
Hause Yorfarver Dirty Mahmood
Jamie Wade Divine Noise
Jennifer Duncan DREAM SCHOOL
Kofi Tetteh Dreaming and Drowning
Estie King Dropped
Alex Wyld Ecstatic Electric
Daragh McCarthy endogenous
Melania Trump Fake Melania
Sweetcorn Frittata First Let Me Ask You Some Questions
Quinoa Cunningham For the Culture
Dorcas Corcha Fort
Arif Friday at the Masjid
CarderBee Funny Farm
Tiger Daughter Pelican Great Mother – Iya Ayaba
A.R. Florizel Hawk-Eye
Mr Morale Healing The Sick
Sanctuarian Helmet with laughter lines
sitsurisit HERE WE ARE HERE
My Dog Sighs How a Sting Tracks, Post-Show Talk
The Synecdoche and the Tyrannosaurus How to be Black
Midnight Blue I’M YOUR ROPE
The Worm from the Labyrinth In One Short Moment
Ishbel Ross incel
Memory Export Island
Isla Stormont Jockstrap
Albert Pursuit King Sonny the First
Homer Simpson Lady Macbeth of the Grayling Ward
Xadrach Lakeland Calypso
Elephant Lavender Hill
ConorTakenQuicklyORIG Leave The Morning to the Morning
The Real Dave Davidson Leeches
Gunnar Little India
Sami Skeeters Manifest Release Machine
Tisiphone Manmade
Fridge Magnettica Meet Me In The Moss
Mary Jordan Milk and Cigarettes
MG McDonnell National Trust
Liam Bell Natural People
Sourmilk Gill Night Terror
Dwight Deblanc No Pink Dicks
Kizzy Smith NOT
Joss Higgins Now You See Me …
Stan Washburn Octopolis
Bee Fox Oil for Burning
JDC Patriot Weather
bobbin rogue comet(s) remnants of a decommissioned star
scraps Russell
Jackie Samuel Takes a Break in Male Dungeon No.5 After A Long But Generally Successful Day of Tours
Lea Tuccini Seesaw
Hyperion Flapchappel Sick Children Karaoke
Nick Miller Smoke and Mirrors
Penguin Snail Bones
Hidden as requested Society of Dogs
Chan Hook Some Of These Plants Are Burnt
sweet plum Some of Us Exist in the Future
safety first Some play about race
Bridget Brewer Some Smart People
Sophia McInnes and Iestyn Thomas STUCK
Gutter in a Glass Sweet Heathens
pale ocean Sweetmeets
Noxy Takeaway
Elijah Moore The Art Of
Lisa Harvey The Assistant
Wednesday Adams The Big Bad
Ari Paradise The Birthday, Engagement, Funeral Party
Jim Irving The Bounds
James Dean The Boyfriend Experience
Bennett Rose The Bris
Gabriel Oak The China Play
Penwortham Peanuts The Cracks
Jack Krick The Devil’s Chaplain
Dahlia Huss The Filleting App
Janine Butcher The Freak
D J Silver The Institute
Kim Derwent The Paragon of Animals
Mary The Pinot Princess
Moussaka The Price of Happiness
Auntie-Jeans The Red Lead
Anonymous The Roving
Charlotte Bronte (not really) THE SAVIOR AND QUEEN OF URUK
Amy Lyon The Seduction of Emma Hamilton
K Harker The Shadow Garden
Serena Darling The Soon Life
Placed Nash The Sun King
Freddie Fish The Thing About Touch
Emerald Oak The Wood The Trees
Bunny Adams The Zap
Kenneth Henry There’s a Good Boy
Frankie Sankey Three
Some Kinda Cowboy Time, Like the Sea
Imogen North True Cry
Gansito You Deserve to Be Here
Brigid very wet
eq261 visions (a reading)
Marsyas Watch Me
Hotstepper WAVES
Nocci Donk Way Back When
Luke We Go Again
Lee Supply Werewolf
Elizabeth Sharp Whilst Life Exists
The Incredible Jessica James WHITE GIRLS GANG
GhostlyWriter WIGHTWATER
The Motorcycle Boy Wild Horses
Henry Portway ZORIC


2022 judges

The 2022 Judging panel consisted of Amanda Parker, Diversity Activist, as Chair. She is joined by Miranda Cromwell, Olivier Award winning Theatre Director; Julie Hesmondhalgh, award winning actor and supporter of the Royal Exchange Theatrekimber lee, winner of the inaugural Bruntwood Prize International Award in 2019; Farai Matekenya Nhakaniso, Local Exchange Ambassador for the Leigh area for the Royal Exchange Theatre; Kate Vokes, Non-Executive Director at Bruntwood, and Roy Alexander Weise, Joint Artistic Director at the Royal Exchange Theatre.

2019 Winners

2019 shortlist

The shortlist for UK and the Republic of Ireland 2019 were; 

black bird by babirye bukilwaActor, model, podcaster and songwriter babirye bukilwa, formerly known as Vanessa Babirye, from Bethnal Green, London, was most recently seen returning to the National Theatre stage opposite Cate Blanchett and directed by Katie Mitchell. black bird is a personal story about a black woman’s experience of mental illness, told in a distorted reality wherein a mentally ill woman is found by two of her exes. black bird is bukilwa’s first play.

Shed: Exploded View by Phoebe Eclair Powell
Phoebe Eclair Powell, a writer from South East London, was the resident playwright at Soho Theatre through the Channel 4 Playwright scheme for 2016 and 2017. Shed: Exploded View is a jigsaw play, inviting the audience to make the connections between characters and how their stories fit. At different stages of their lives, the characters navigate love, life, marriage, parenthood and the modern world in a series of short scenes.

Neptune by Sam Grabiner
London-based writer Sam Grabiner is a resident playwright at Papatango Theatre Company. Neptune is a futuristic drama set on a base on Neptune, where four human beings Molly, Sarah, Ben and Harry are sent to the furthest known planet to undertake research. The play evokes feelings of isolation and disconnect from the familiar.

The European Hare by Sami Ibrahim
Sami Ibrahim, a young writer from London, is currently a writer-in-residence at Shakespeare’s Globe and has been on attachment at the National Theatre Studio and Theatr Clwyd. His shortlisted play The European Hare is set in Norfolk and follows an Egyptian woman and her English partner as they grapple with the expanding construction site that will encroach on their land. The play happens across the timespan of humanity’s existence.

Glass by Jacob Kay
Lincoln-based writer Jacob Kay, originally from Derby, studied Drama at the University of Lincoln and went on to complete an MA in Drama (Playwriting) in 2018. He went on to co-write a screenplay that was shortlisted for BBC Wales’ It’s My Shout competition. Glass, his first play, is written in a poetic style, with no designated characters, setting or timeline. The story explores the idea of bodies of water, people underwater and the presence of an ominous Lake of Glass.

Salty Irina by Eve Leigh
London-based playwright and theatremaker Eve Leigh is one of the Royal Court’s two Jerwood playwrights of 2019. Salty Irina is set in an unnamed Eastern European country where Anna and Eireni meet after a spate of violent crimes. This love story explores the rise of the far right in Europe.

Hares by Lee Mattison
Award-winning writer Lee Mattinson, originally from Workington, Cumbria graduated from Northumbria University with a degree in Fine Art. His shortlisted play, Hares introduces three fourteen-year-old girls, Shania, Whitney and Courtney living in a deprived area in Cumbria. While trying to find themselves in a world of violence, the girls are given a videotape that draws them into a dangerous secret.

Ballybaile by Jody O’Neill
Irish actor and writer Jody O’Neill is currently based in Wicklow, where she spends much of her time learning about geography, science and the Universe from her seven-year-old son. She has spent the past two years researching and developing work that promotes autism acceptance. Ballybaile is set in Ireland and explores government failings and inactivity whilst a small town struggles to adapt to the world rapidly changing around them.

Akedah by Michael John O’Neill
Glasgow-based producer Michael John O’Neill has worked with companies including Blood of the Young, Tron Theatre, Theatre Gu Leòr, National Theatre of Scotland, SUPERFAN, Little King, Royal Lyceum Edinburgh, The Arches and Traverse Theatre. His first full length play, Akedah centres on two sisters who, after two years apart, find each other and discuss their abusive past. The play explores religion, abuse and forgiveness in Northern Ireland.

Glee & Me by Stuart Slade
London-based playwright Stuart Slade’s previous plays include BU21 (Trafalgar Studios) and Cans (Theatre503). Glee & Me is a one woman play which sees 16-year-old Lola delivering a monologue charting her journey after being diagnosed with a rare, degenerative neurological condition.


Four of these playwrights shortlisted for the overall Prize – babirye bukilwa, Sam Grabiner, Jacob Kay and Michael John O’Neill – were also eligible for the Original New Voice Award. This new prize is available to playwrights who have not had full-length play professionally produced for 12 performances or more in a professional venue. Jacob, babirye and Michael were all been shortlisted with their first full length script.

The Bruntwood Prize International Award also saw five playwrights from Australia and the USA shortlisted for the first Bruntwood Prize International Award. They were: 

TAMBO & BONES by Dave Harris (USA)
Poet and playwright Dave Harris, from West Philadelphia, is the Tow Playwright-in-Residence at Roundabout Theatre Company. His play TAMBO & BONES is a passionate piece that wrestles with Blackness and its mythologies. Harris weaves together various forms of writing including rap, monologue, and dialogue, to tell the story of two homeless black men who rise to become founders of a civilisation.

Pavlov’s Dogs by Emme Hoy (Australia)
Award-winning Australian writer Emme Hoy completed her Master of Fine Arts in Writing at NIDA and was recipient of the 2017 Belvoir Philip Parson’s Fellowship. Her play Pavlov’s Dogs has a Frankenstein-esque narrative that asks big questions about humanity and our control over our own actions and emotions.

untitled f*ck miss sa*gon play (srsly this is not the title) by Kimber Lee (USA)
New York-based playwright Kimber Lee’s work has been presented by The Lark, Page 73, Hedgebrook, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Old Globe Theater, and Magic Theatre. Her shortlisted play untitled f*ck miss sa*gon play (srsly this is not the title), is a fresh look at absurd Asian stereotypes across American entertainment. The piece parodies media from 1949’s South Pacific through to 2016’s Moana, with a smart political commentary.

This Land Was Made by Tori Sampson (USA)
A Boston native, Tori Sampson’s plays have gained her multiple awards and honours including 2016 Relentless Award, Honorable Mention; the 2016 Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting from The Kennedy Center; the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award and many more. Her play This Land Was Made, is set in Oakland, California in 1967/68, during the time of the organisation of the Black Panthers with a particular focus on the arrest and trial of Huey Newton. The play uses different stylistic modes to tell the story, including re-enacted scenes of political events and speeches by Huey Newton.

Periods of Collapse OR Mother Russia by Lauren Yee (USA)
American playwright Lauren Yee is a Residency 5 playwright at Signature Theatre, New Dramatists member, Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab member, and Playwrights Realm alumni playwright. Her shortlisted play, Periods of Collapse OR Mother Russia, is a satire set in 1992 about ordinary Russians’ loss of confidence after the downfall of the Soviet Union. The story is told from the perspective of two 25-year-old men.



2019 longlist

The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2019 Longlist

Fifteen scripts made the shortlist this year (five shortlisted for the International Award, as well as the usual ten for the UK awards) so the Longlist has been increased to 115 plays.

Of this 115, 56 per cent are eligible for the Original New Voice Award, and 15 per cent for the International Award.

14% – Razorke
A Canal Across A Park– Mavis Maguire
A Partnership: A Tragi-Comedy For Two Men– Artemis Ford
After The Peace– V J Epsom
AKEDAH– Sarah laughed to herself
And I Dreamt I was Drowning– Jade Cain
And It Rains– Fanny Tickler
Ballybaile– Rosaleen O’Brien
Bare Bones– Victoria M
Bare Girl– Tammy Roberts
Beautiful Autumn– J Lin
BITS– Sara Aria
black bird– black bird
Bones– Constance Gamble
Boys Build Forts– Rose Joes
CALVARY– Ekemma Adeyemi
Chekhov Got His Gun– TD
Chicken Burger N Chips– Daniel Mac
Cottontail– Wallace Gromit
Dad– Joni Wren
D’Annunzio– Eleanora Brevis
Death Metal Band– Britney Spears
ECHOES– Play Wright
FEEDING THE DOGS– Victor Jobanputra
FLEX– Toyota Tercella Red
Fragments– Oscar Kilo
Glass– Pepperjack
Glee & Me– Wham TakaTaka
Golden Boy– Liam Ridley
Hares– Charlotte Webb
Here Are Our Monsters– Flip N. Queer
How To Start A Knife Gang– Louie Miro
If Greenland Fell– Kurt-Vivian Delaney
In My Bones– Doc Petersen
In The Time of the Volcano– Ogred Weary
Integrity– Luke Roberts
Island People– Pearl Cortez
Jesus in Manhattan– Joan Brown
Just Stay– Nathalie Traganza
LET IT LIE– AJ Phoenix
Like I Care– Mary Wollstonecraft
LOOKING UP– Tweety73
Lovesick and Twisted– Kelly Dunbar
Maggie & Maire– Eustace Amadán
Masc– Gary Mabbutt
Me Myself I– C Michel
Me.– Oscar Lilman
Mobility– Katie Morag
Model Minority -Betsy Chee
My Brother’s Keeper– Susanna Dean
My Favourite Place In The Whole Wide World– Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
Neptune– Genly Ai
Never Not Saying Exactly What You Mean– Lew Archer
Our Name is Not John– SmE
Out of Mind– Tebazile Retep
Park-e Laleh– Jalal Balkhi
Pavlov’s Dogs– Emily Roy
Picked Clean– Foyer Brigade
Pretty Girls– Jay Keddie
RAT KING– Yitzi Ben
Remember The Future– StillCrazy
Salamander– Honoria Dickens
SANDS– Mari King
Savage -Briony Connor
Set you free– Nina Yorke
Shame Circle– Wes Koo
SHED: EXPLODED VIEW – Cornelia Parker
Single Ticket– ButtonMoon
SNOW DAY– Pip Brown
Soothe– Michael Fox
Stall– Jamie Carter
Staying at Stacey’s– Stella Artois
Stop Motion– Billiam Shakerson
Subject to Change– Brylcreemer
SUNSHINE– Felicity Flim-Flam
T&B– Boo Boo The Foo
Tahara– KV Mason
The 8th Day– Grace
the aves– pudding
The Bees Are All Dead– TK Laughton
The Boy with the Bee Jar– Jack Redman
The Devil’s In The Chair– Niall Rooney
The European Hare– Tortellini De Beaumarchais
The Family Unit– Rose Lawson
The Grove– Nieh’s Daughter
The Home Front– Keith Wrass
The Jackanooni– Scarlett Gallimore
The King Is Dead– Bryony Noble
The Monsters– Clare Quilty
The Morgue of Dogs– Llewelyn Blocquet
The New Voice of Home– Laoynette Henry
The True History of Susanna Shakespeare– Parker Gratwick
This is my Verse. This is my Song.– Jo Casey
This is Where We Were Now– Tyrone Power
This Land Was Made – Sonnet Alexander
Tinsel & Turkey– Sheila Gregory
untitled– Furtive Bird
Virtue– Sol Wythens
Warchild– Ladybugs
What Does It Take To Slay A Dragon?– Saint George
Wilt– Florence Mortimer
WINGS– Cryptogran
Winter Came– Hillary Britain
Woodpecker No1– X.Y.Z.
Yellow Bird– Marion Winks
You didn’t know you were thirsty until you started to drink– blrfitzhugh

2019 judges

The 15 scripts have been judged by a prestigious panel of figures from across the arts industry. Alongside Joint Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre Bryony Shanahan, judges include: Kwame Kwei-Armah (Chair), Artistic Director of the Young Vic; Michael Oglesby CBE DL, founder of the Bruntwood Group and chairman of The Oglesby Charitable Trust; Anna Jordan, Bruntwood Prize-winning playwright; Bridget Minamore, journalist, poet and critic; Jenny Sealey MBE, Artistic Director, Graeae Theatre Company; Kate Vokes, Director of Social Impact, Bruntwood and actor Shane Zaza.

New to the panel this year is ‘The People’s Judge’, Faith Yianni, a member of the public selected following a search by the Prize and leading theatre critic Lyn Gardner, to bring an audience member’s perspective to the judging process.

2017 Winners

2017 shortlist

Here are the ten shortlist for the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2017 


A BIT OF LIGHT by Rebecca Callard

I love that people might be thinking you’re my mum. You could be my mum. 

Ella, at forty, is moving into her dad’s spare room with a futon and not much else. Desperately grieving the separation from her children, she meets Neil, a profound and disparate teenager who refuses to see Ella the way she sees herself and offers her the hope she thinks is lost.


A PLACE FOR WE by Archie Maddocks

This is we life. This is everything there is for we. Without it, we die

Nine Nights, a traditional West Indian funeral parlour in Brixton, can no longer function. The West Indian community that was once prevalent in the area has all but disappeared. Now Clarence and his family face a decision of whether to adapt to the new needs of the world around them, or leave the only life they’ve ever known.



We’re Children of God, Sister. No hunk of metal could replace any one of us.

In St Grace’s, the sisters are divided. Outside, the world is increasingly marked by man’s reliance on technology but an angry nation fears the changes that innovation brings. When an unusual postulant arrives at the convent some see her presence as a miracle but to others, she’s the biggest threat to their way of life. How long can the nuns hide from this growing unrest?


HEARTWORM by Tim X Atack

I got to take you back. Make a big slice in the night, step over the road like this. Remember what you are, when bloomed. All your roots in a different mud now. Different thing.

Joni K arrives at your house. She’s paid to stay in your home, through a website. But upon walking into your spare room, Joni tells you: I grew up here. This was once my bedroom. And it’s creepy, sure… but Joni’s funny, and young, and vivacious. You and your partner have been arguing constantly, the night is already looking dark and long – so how could things get any worse?


KING BROWN by Laurie Nunn

‘It’s like hell on earth. Makes you think we ain’t supposed to live here. Humans, I mean. When the ground is tinder-dry like this, all you need is one spark and we’re up in flames. I’ve seen the sky rain ash. Looked like snow, or what I imagine snow would look like’.

1972, Australia, the outskirts of Melbourne. Twelve year-old Lee is living with her grandmother, brother and uncle in Honor Park, a forgotten suburb at the end of the train tracks. In the midst of a searing heat wave her father returns home following a long absence. The return of the patriarch will force Lee’s family to confront its legacy of abuse. King Brown is a visceral exploration of inherited dysfunction and toxic masculinity.  


PLOW by Sharon Clark

You sure got people stirred up.

Ain’t you never heard of a bus?

You gotta walk all them miles?

In the US a lone woman hits the road and starts to walk. In a matter of weeks she has covered four states. Nobody knows her name or her destination as she never utters a word. Is she an agent for hope in uncertain times or the harbinger of something ominous? As social media and the press fuels an ever-growing mass of followers, the end of her journey is in the hands of just one man.



PUMPJACK by Daniel Foxsmith

There’s always one. One little bastard who spoils it for the rest. 

Some clever-dick tin of beans with a sense of self-import. But, we all fit into the pattern boss, whether you’re Heinz or Daddies. And you don’t write the pattern, whatever it says on your label. Because when’s it’s said and done, we all get devoured in the end.

Rabbit buries her dead after a catastrophic slaughter, Slick and Neath run from a familiarly modern-looking explosion, whilst Reynolds and Puck prospect for water in a future world run dangerously dry. Three generations of survivors explore England’s wastelands, separate but bound together by what it means to live post-resources



‘Welcome to work at the benefits office.

First thing to know – it beats being on benefits.

Now here are some other things to know.’

An interlinked series of vignettes concerning (but not restricted to) such enchanting topics as frog economics, library arson, partying professionally, bartending as nihilism, a philosophy of pipe-in music and the ever-multiplying joys of the modern uniformed work experience within the gothic castle of capitalism.


THIS IS NOT AMERICA by Joshua Val Martin

we’re the lucky few see

who’ll be able to say

We belong not to earth

But to stars

Idris lives in the shadow of his precocious sister Nusiba, seemingly unable to ever do enough to impress his Dad. His girlfriend gives him an ultimatum – find a job or lose the love of his life. Then he’s offered the chance to escape. To Mars. 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.



The killing went on for weeks. You said, “Never again.” I don’t know how to tell you. The killing went on for weeks.

An American, a Russian, a Frenchman, and a British Man walk into a restaurant. Everything is marvellous until a commotion breaks across the room. As the waiters investigate, the situation spirals out of control. Violence breaks out at one table, and then at another. But which major nation will intervene in time? And will we still have time to eat dessert? A relentless and unflinching distillation of international relations that challenges our humanity.


2017 longlist

Scripts are listed in alphabetical order by title followed by pseudonym.

&Blood Jose Carreon
…said the Monster Thomas Buchan
17. YasminaS
A Place for We Angelou Peterson
A bit of light Bille Dupree
A Brother is Born in Adversity T.Thornton
A Difficult Translation Youyou
A Single Good Hour Carol Grimm
An Empire of Lights J.Anthony
Beheading Dolly Ellie Sammler
Biting Point Charlie Brown
Blackbirds Rachel Main
Box Rae Black
Breaking Point Ganesh
Buddy Sam Arnold
Carcass GTADoll97
Dead Yard RV Lewis
Doing Time Vambo123
Down by the Dirty Old River Sebastian Melmouth
Edible Girl General Cecil Hogmanay Melchett
Electric Rosary Taren Capel
Elysium Ian Chomsky
Eris at the Wedding Sandy Residue
Es and Flo Lisa Claremont
Euphoria Ally Morley
European Cannons Irma Blestis
FAM Slew
Fell James Frederick Ashton
Flicker Rose Prone
Full Tilt Samuel E. Copley
Fundamentalist British Values Andrew James
Gangsta Town- Five Gold Rings The NoName Crew
Girl Least Likely To Jacob Viner
God’s Day Off Elizabeth Jacob
Going Under Pseudo Nym
GONZO Ms Thing
Hadrian’s Wall JM Strandborn
Hand to Mouth Bamboo McBaddy
Headland Alan Tuttle
Heartworm Asdfgh J
Her Not Him Arma Chance
Home is where the candles burn Lyndon Casey
How to Become Invisible Trigger
Human Suit Malvina Cacti
Icarus Drowning Fred Catrall
I’m Gonna Jump Little Bee
I’m still here Olwyn Jones
IRON OXIDE Patrick O’Farrell
Killing Time in the Kremlin M. Bobolink
King Brown Frieda McKullen
Layla and Youssef Yaz Geldi
Like You Hate Me Seymour Butts
Major Tom Goes To The Lake Gwynne Fonteyn
Memoir The Earl of Wicklow
Mother F**k Up Helen Belle
No Other Medicine Rose Romano
NO-ONE’S LAUGHING NOW Hamilton Berstock
No-Platform Charlotte Dickson
Oil & Matter Slymon Stephens
Our Boy Duncan Ferguson
Over the Hill There’s Something Better Estelle Wallace
Pet Shop Boy Finley Joseph
Petrichor Desert Toast
REPEAL Wes Rotis
Saved by the Bell Jar Johnny Proudfoot
Shakespeare’s Gunpowder Plot Emmadoogey
Sleeping tigress ALDO KAI
soft animals vita sackville-woolf
Something About Bears Ben Bartolozzi
Speak Me England Joef Foej
Sucker Darla
Sunday’s Child Houghton Stewart
The Dog On The Stair Q. Lovelock
The Gothic Castle of Capitalism Lenny Starkweather
The Noises B.R Mutt
The Right Kind of Violence Baba Babayaro
The Sea Maidens Freya Gordon
The Slaughter House Cicely Porcus
They F**k You Up Micheal Baron
This is Not America Hussain Manawer
This Is Where We Are, Not Where We Always Have To Be Jeremy Corbyn
Three Leaps of the Gazelle Gloria Trubshaw
Three-Point Turn Rachel Simon
Time and Tide Shelagh Marr
Tourists Denis Ó Hargáin
Truth Street lorcadog
Wake Amber Shepherd
We are not going to save this world Merched Y Byd
Welcome Home C**t Pab Temp
We’ve been running since we moved here Sue Donnam
when after all, it was you and me (or – the genocide play) Rodger Dodger
When We Died Miss Wanda Sabottin Lycra
Wind Bit Bitter & Bit Bit Bit Her Aphrodite Guzzle
Worth Chantelle Ebo
You Can’t Perform this Play Ali Rowan


2017 judges

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.

2015 Winners

2015 shortlist

Here are the ten shortlisted plays for The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2015.


Jimmy wondered if this was the last time he’d see his daughter. Or rather, the last time she’d see him. Tuesday, July 7, 9.37pm. Jimmy had been totally invisible for the last three hours.

Jimmy had considered having phone sex for a while, but when Kitty answered – if that is her real name – he quickly fell in love so that every Wednesday evening became a regular fixture, for nine minutes. Kitty isn’t a psychologist yet, but she thinks she knows the reason for Jimmy’s slow disappearance and offers him some advice for his £1.20 per minute that will change his life forever. A heartfelt and humorous take on loneliness, isolation and longing.

Originally from Wales, Alan’s plays include: Marsha: A Girl Who Does Bad Things (liveartshow/Arcola), The Opportunity Of Efficiency (New National Theatre Tokyo/National Theatre Wales), Wolf, The Lighthouse, A Certain Date, Take Me To Victoria Park (all BBC Radio 4), The Gold Farmer (BBC Radio 3), The Future For Beginners (liveartshow/Wales Millennium Centre), The Magic Toyshop (Invisible Ink/Theatr Iolo), A Good Night Out In The Valleys (National Theatre Wales), Re-Set (Mess Up The Mess), Marsha (Capital Fringe, Washington DC), Rhinegold, Manga Sister (both liveartshow, The Yard, London), The Journey (Welsh National Opera), The Hidden Valley (Birdsong Opera/WNO) Cardboard Dad (Sherman Cymru), Miss Brown To You (Hijinx Theatre), Brute (Operating Theatre Company), Orange (Sgript Cymru), Come To Where I’m From (Paines Plough). He was given a Creative Wales Award in 2011 from the Arts Council of Wales and, following work with prisoners at HMP Cardiff, is a Koestler Trust platinum award winner.


Things are different now. I’ve got a gym membership. I’m reading the backs of cereal boxes. And then I started thinking how strange it was to know the calorie intake of a bowl of cornflakes but not the contents of my own medication, don’t you think that’s strange?

Now that Anna is twenty-one, her child and adolescent psychiatrist is referring her treatment for Bipolar Disorder. But after 13 years on a cocktail of drugs, Anna is starting to wonder whether her mother was too quick to medicate, and so decides to rediscover the talent and passions she believes were interrupted. Suddenly the world is a much more volatile and challenging place, but does this herald the return of a childhood illness, or is the real Anna simply ‘waking up’? An unflinching and eloquent examination of the highs and lows of human emotions.

Australian playwright Kendall’s previous works include The Hiding Place (ATYP Under the Wharf), Rocket Boy (Adelaide Fringe Festival) and The Forgotten (Shortlisted, Sydney Theatre Company ‘Young Playwright of the Year’ Award). Most recently, she wrote Kingdom Come for The Story Project at Arcola Theatre, New Dawn for Islington Youth Theatre, Push It as part of Scrapyard Theatre at The Traverse, and created installation The Glossatree for Just So Festival, Cheshire. Kendall has an MA in Writing for Performance from Goldsmiths, University of London, which was supported with an Ian Potter Cultural Trust Award.

RAILS by Simon Longman

No one will really ever know about these stories. They’ll just drive past them on the bypass. They’ll just fade away like all the rest. Just burn away in the sun.

It’s summer. It’s too hot. Mike’s sixteen and is really into his scooter. Sarah lives over the road and isn’t really into much. Ben works at a garage and is in love with someone that drives an Audi. He’s also sick of trying to hold his family together while his Mum won’t get off the sofa. In a town dissected by roads and railways where everyone’s just passing through, these unforgettable characters don’t want to miss each other as their lives collide.

Simon is a playwright from rural Herefordshire. He was a member of the Royal Court Young Writer’s Group in 2013 and won the Channel 4 Playwrights’ scheme in 2014. His first play, Milked, was produced by Pentabus Theatre Company and toured venues nationally including the Soho Theatre, London. For television, his short film, Oakwood, was commissioned and produced by the BBC.


Focus on that anger that hatred inside you for everything that they’re doing that’s what will drive you that’s what will make the difference.

The news has been bringing Kat to tears. How can she make a difference? Through 15 seconds of sacrifice she decides to make an impact that will never be forgotten. But will her family understand, or will they coax her back to a life of numb contentment and paralyzing apathy? This hard hitting and vital scream against injustice probes whether political protest can ever make a difference and asks if violent action is madness or compassion?

James’s first full-length play, Four Minutes Twelve Seconds, was runner-up of the Soho Theatre’s 2013 Verity Bargate Award. It premiered at Hampstead Theatre downstairs in Autumn 2014 and was nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre before transferring to Trafalgar Studios in 2015.

TABS by Ellie Kendrick

I am twenty four. I am single – looking for fun – friendship – companionship – a relationship. I am available. I am –

Can the internet make our lives easier, or does it rule them completely? Can it connect us as human beings, or does it drive us further apart? As a young woman struggles to keep up, trying to gain control of her life and finally find love, her grandmother connects with people on the other side of the world and does battle with Google over copyright. A sophisticated, engaging and entertaining piece about the overwhelming impact of the digital revolution.

Ellie is an actor and writer. She has written for the Royal Court Theatre on the Young Writers’ Programme and the Studio Group. Tabs, her first full-length play, was developed with the literary department at the Royal Court and was completed with the help of an attachment. She is currently working on two new plays. She is also a winner of the Foyle Young Poets prize. She has appeared as an actor across theatre, television, film and radio. Television includes Game Of Thrones (HBO), The Diary Of Anne Frank, Being Human, Upstairs Downstairs (BBC) and Misfits (Channel Four); film includes An Education and Whisky Galore (in post-production); theatre includes Pests (Royal Exchange/ Royal Court/Clean Break), Romeo And Juliet (Globe Theatre), In The Republic Of Happiness and The Low Road (Royal Court).

WILD IS DE WIND by Chino Odimba

We have our ways and you have yours. And when people are struggling just to survive then those ways can be all they have.

In the north-eastern corner of Kenya near the Somali border, tensions grow as security tightens around the world’s largest refugee camp ready for the minister’s visit. But this unstable world built on rubbish and tents is bursting at the seams and Marcel is responsible for keeping up appearances; that means no more intrusions, black market items or child labour. Lolly a young ambitious British aid worker wanting to escape the drudgery of life as a GP in the UK, may have bitten off more than she can chew. She’s been asking too many questions, interfering with traditions she doesn’t understand and is now in danger of damaging Marcel’s reputation. But Lolly’s seen too many young girls bleed to death to turn a blind eye, and she’ll get to the bottom of it one way or another.

Nigerian born, London raised Chino Odimba was working in TV production in Bristol before writing her first play Women Embrace Two. Since then, she has written a number of plays including Rainy Season and His Name Is Ishmael, The Birdman Of Lewisham and a short film A Blues Of Nia. Her plays have been staged at Bristol Old Vic, Ustinov Theatre, Arcola Theatre, and Latitude Festival.

WISH LIST by Katherine Soper

I dreamt about this last night. I dreamt that I was packing boxes in boxes in boxes.

Tamsin is sole carer for her brother, Dean whose crippling OCD leaves him housebound in a perpetual state of ritual. Now that “Help to Work” has cut all his benefits, she’s taken a zero-hour contract performing packaging rituals of her own, on the clock and to a quota. If she doesn’t pack faster, whilst keeping her brother on track, she’ll lose out to the next in a long line of temps, and soon they could both lose their lifelines. A sensitive and delicately powerful play about trying to survive when every system is against you.

MADRA by Frances Poet

You went into the boy’s toilet didn’t you, with the man? Like you do with Daddy. How much did the man help you?

A generation of parents are raising children in a world that has lost its innocence. If childhood heroes are exposed as villains, can neighbours, friends and even our own families be trusted to look after our children? A seemingly innocent trip to the supermarket leads a mother to question everything she took to be safe – bringing her family under scrutiny and heightening every protective impulse she has, to breaking point.

Frances started writing following the birth of her son five years ago, after over a decade working as a Literary Manager and dramaturg for a number of UK theatres. Her debut play, Faith Fall, was produced in Glasgow at Oran Mor as a lunchtime A Play, A Pie And A Pint and at Bristol’s Tobacco Factory in 2012. Since then Frances has completed Oran Mor Classic Cut adaptations of Moliere’s The Misanthrope and Racine’s Andromaque which also played at The Byre, St Andrews. This year, her first radio play, The Disappointed was broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland. She also received a Short Film Talent Network commission for her black comedy, SPORES which was completed in September. Madra is Frances’s first full length play.

JONESTOWN by Kellie Smith

I was so scared that I was going to take him home and that was going to be it. I was never going to see him again… When he was born I said, I am never going to let anyone hurt you. I am never going to let anyone – Never, never, never.

Anne and Joe both love their son, Alistair. Equally. And even if they aren’t together anymore, surely they can both find a way to bring him up. Equally. But when love and loyalty go hand in hand, how far are they prepared to go to win the biggest stake in Alistair’s heart, and his mind? If it can’t be proved who’s the better parent then let Ally decide, once and for all. A sharply devastating play about a bitter struggle for custody, recognition and love.

Kellie Smith has developed two afternoon plays for BBC Radio 4 Can’t Live Without You and Homeowners. Kellie has taken part in the Royal Court’s Invitation Group, and she has been the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse’s Writer on Attachment. During this time she wrote The Sum Of Parts, which formed an anthology of site specific stories produced by Slung Low Theatre Company . She has written plays for young people including I performed by the Liverpool Everyman youth theatre, and her play Dog Eat Dog which toured the Northwest with Collective Encounters Young Company. Her play for children, The Lost Things won Theatre Centre’s Skylines Showcase and she is currently under commission to write a Connections play for the National. Her short play Black Gold was recently performed at the Royal Exchange Theatre as part of the Hunger for Trade project.

SOUND OF SILENCE by Chloe Todd Fordham

The penalty for having an instrument on the premises is one finger. I don’t have enough fingers on my hands for your instruments.

An antique and very valuable ngoni – a traditional Mali instrument – goes on an extraordinary journey through hands and personal stories from England to Africa and back. This engaging and far reaching story explores how lives are destroyed through war and conflict, whilst championing music as a vital expression of resilience and resistance against the destructive power of fundamentalism.

Chloe’s first play Land’s End was selected for inclusion in the Arcola Theatre’s inaugural PlayWrought Festival and was one of 6 plays shortlisted for Theatre503’s Playwriting Award in November last year. Sound Of Silence is her second play. She is currently under commission with Theatre503 through their writers residency scheme, 503Five, and was one of five writers collaborating on Elexion earlier this year, which was co-written by the 503Five. She has had short plays presented at Theatre503 (Rogan Josh), RichMix (Girls) and RADA (Sound Bites). Chloe has always written in one form or another, but started writing seriously for theatre when she was invited to take part in the Royal Court Young Writers Programme, and went on to do an MA in Writing for Performance at Goldsmiths University.

2015 longlist
Play Title Pseudonym
6EQUJ5 Aaron Lichman
#Bros Jolene Ransom Hutcheson
A Gradual Loss of Control Tom Bray
A Joint Venture Kalice Quinn
A-Bomb on Broadway Alex Lee
Abandoned Land Sam Tate
All in a row Ross Johnston
All These Maybes Eoghan Corrigan
Amazingly Blue Gina Braithewaite
Any Friend of My Father Nikolas Drebble
Aquarium Matthew Taffin
AT ONCE Ellie Kharms
Better Together Bryceland Laurenso
Bitterweed Amira Kojak
BLESSED Stanley Saurus
BU21 Lev
But I Don’t Like Girls Geoffrey McNamara
Capital Stuart Goddard
Checked for Defects Erica Morley
ChildMinder Munkion
City Melodies Tweety1973
Cosmos Lucy Jukes
Death Pledge Mo Ney
Dickless Zoe Harvest
Drown Your Empty Selves Creeping Jenny
Durable Blue Bags Harrison Soto
fallow field Alice Stephenson
Girl Walks Into A Bar Carlos Valderrama
Good Number Ma Rainey
Halflings Alfred Hennessy
Happy Andy Tonkin
Haunts Tom Dekker
Hiraeth Annie Garratt
How My Light Is Spent Lucy Weir
I’m Freddy X-Ray Raffy
IED Iain Maginnis
I VOW TO THEE Annandale
In a Town Somewhere North of Milton Keynes Margaret Jaconelli
Isaac Came Home from the Mountain Swifty Wainwright
Jonestown Droopy Tutu
Madra Elizabeth Martha
Maidan V.Rotaru
Mona’s Room Ella J Baldwin
Muscle Memory Bruno Shaduwa
Near Life Imogen Brian
No Flag Evelyn Bond
No Laughing Matter L. J. Keeley
No Man Stands Alone Fortune Kossoko
Obscenities PWG Parker
On The Out T.Monk
Ordinary Perverts C M Goss
Parliament Square Penelope Pitstop
PEACOCKS Esher Farron
Porcelain Clara Codd
Proof of Person Alexander Serrelli
Prophecy Mary Rose
Rails Sam Moore
Saint Jude Danny Liffey
Sanctioned Miss Gruntled
Screaming Heart Curtis Beresford
Sihanoukville Gong Li
Shakes the Sky Emma Roberts
Shangri-La Jederfrau
Skin Like Butter Bootlegger
Skipping Rope Simon Bray
Skydepth Dae Sung-Xi
Smithereens Theo Tenan
Snowangel Arthur Winston
Some Speciman J.M.Pearse
Someone With A Naturally Cheery Disposition Sought Brizzard Mary
Sound of Silence Tim Buktu
Spiders Billie Morrissey
St Jowan’s Tide Kolya Krugsy
Stains on our Skin R Z Miranda
Sucking on Tramps Ben Bush
Sunshine Happy Planet
Sweet Rockall Jack Fisher
Tabs Lucy Tratalos
tain’t me Shamba Kahoon
Terrors Jimi Redding
The Almighty Sometimes Emma Lewis
The Blue Hours Abehn
The Disappeared Shane Bentley
The House of My Father Mona Cactus
The Jellyfish Gabrielle Solis
The Life of Cardboard Xander Stockton
The Lotus Eaters Robert Batty
The Mercy Yolanda Nathan
The Pensioners Car
There is a Noise Brenda The Tiny Toad
This is Jihad Daniel Lee
This is not the Title T.A.Woodson
This is Real Life Rabbitgurl
Tigers Tigers
Wheatsheaf Joney Ong
Wild is De Wind Oki Ma
Wish List J Moscow
Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Children Odessa Kilkenny
2015 judges

Chaired by Nicholas Hytner, former Artistic Director, National Theatre; the 2015 Prize Judges were: Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre, Sarah Frankcom; playwright and former Bruntwood winner, Vivienne Franzmann; Artistic Director, Actors Touring Company, Ramin Gray; playwright Bryony Lavery; writer and broadcaster, Miranda Sawyer; actor and writer, Meera Syal CBE and Chairman of Bruntwood, Michael Oglesby CBE.

2013 Winners

2013 shortlist

Here are the ten shortlisted plays for the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2013.

BIRD by Katherine Chandler

If it all gets too much Ava.  We’ll fly.
Fly away will we.

We will.

On the brink of leaving the place they’ve known forever, Ava and Tash have to work out what they’ll do next when the rest of the world comes rushing in. A story of two best friends trying to understand what freedom means for them, as sweet sixteen beckons and casts them out of their care home into a quiet storm of separation.

DECEMBER by Alice Birch

Tomorrow. Let’s go out on the boat. Let’s eat fish in the evening. Let’s sit on a white pebble beach near a lighthouse, like you used to say. Let’s be the very still. Let’s be forever ago. Let’s get ready for December. And for this boy.

A maritime winter. Fishing boats. A light house. A lost son.

Ben is married to Kate and they live by the sea. They escaped the city and made a promise to each other, to be all the other ever needs. One day a ghost washes in with the tide; a reminder of Ben’s transitory past in the form of Danny, a 19 year old boy born of a long forgotten fling. Can their relationship withstand this wave?

DORM by Lynda Radley

You know I’m starting to think that if we stopped walking the world might stop turning.

A corridor.  A railway carriage.  An airport departure lounge.  A hospital.  A hotel.

You can see many doors. You’ve checked in. You’ve been told what your number is. What’s next?

IMAM (Faith) by Toby Clarke

They’re using it.  Abusing a faith to keep control of this poor girl who has gotten caught up in the middle of it.  They don’t care about real faith or law.  They don’t care at all cos they’ve gone beyond that place where you rationalize your thoughts before acting on them.

Lawyer Danny is in London. He’s in love, with Maia, a human rights activist. Before their first child is born, Maia asks Danny to return to his birthplace in northern Nigeria to defend a woman facing the death penalty under Sharia Law.  Landing in Nigeria Danny soon realises the complications of this case and the very real danger he faces.

P’YONGYANG by In-Sook Chappell

Every morning I wake up full of rage.  It makes me a good worker.  I come to work, exhaust myself, like to feel the ache in my body.  Go home, feel empty.  It’s all I have.

Love, hope and hunger. P’yongyang is an epic drama and an ambitious telling of the tensions between North and South Korea, Communism and Capitalism, told through a simple love story spanning three decades. Chi-Sook and Eun-Mi are childhood sweethearts who dare to dream. As those they love disappear around them, they must confront whether their dreams can ever be real and what survival truly means.


How do I know you aint a murderer?
I go to church innit.
So did Henry the Eighth and that never stopped him.
You English?
You racist?

75 year old Hilda is struggling to get the hang of blindness. 17 year old Camelia hates getting out of the Young Offenders; its far more complicated on the outside. A story of two women whose lives are challenging in very different ways and proves that friendship can flourish despite social differences.

SO HERE WE ARE by Luke Norris

Are you gonna, like, miss him and that? ‘Cause I reckon I might be a bit like, f**kin’… thingy. When he goes. Not thingy but y’know. Not in a gay way, but it’s us ennit, it’s always bin like, us.

Frankie’s dead.  And no-one’s quite sure why.  The lads are bereft, but the 5-a-side is still booked for Monday night. As we flash back through Frankie’s last day on earth, we discover that the people who still want him here might be the reason he’s not. So Here We Are is a play about what can happen when nothing happens.


All I am is what other people have ever wanted me to be.  All I’ve ever done is appease people’s expectations.  And all everyone else has ever done is to project their wants onto me.  So now I’ve grown up believing that’s what I want.  That’s who I am.  But it’s not.

Dembe is discovering what it means to be a man. He’s falling in love for the first time.  But it’s a love that threatens the future of the family and could crumble everything around him. A thought provoking exploration of prejudice, hypocrisy and the courage it takes to be yourself in Uganda.

WASTE by David Kantounas

I’m expanding, it’s taken over my life…we’re going from one to five.  Can you believe it?  One of the new places is in the city.  It’ll be a chain.  We’ll be worth a million pounds in ten years.  I know it.

An epic multi-generational story about how industry has shaped the British landscape over the last hundred years. One family of butchers takes us from the small brick shops of 1946 to a faceless corporate Dystopia in 2025.

YEN by Anna Jordan

You think this is my fault don’t you?  You think I’m a weak and selfish person? Alright I’ve not been the best Mum in the world.  I know that. I take responsibility for that.  But this? This ain’t right.  This ain’t natural.

Sixteen year old Hench and his younger brother Bobbie live alone with their dog Taliban.  Their days are spent watching porn and playing videogames, their mother occasionally passing out on the front door step. Exploring lost innocence, love, violence and the effects of pornography on young minds, Bobbie and Hench’s world is turned upside down when Jenny knocks on their door.

2013 longlist

Scripts are listed in alphabetical order by title followed by pseudonym.

4m 12s

A Guilt, Darker
Ruby Goldberg

Finnegan Black

All At Once I Saw A Crowd
Claire Meilicke

All But Gone
Aaron Caleb Lewis

All Those Things That Happen
Tommy Sandow

Another Greenland
Tim White

Springer Naasen

Beautiful People
Reverend John Monique

Anthea Moss

Lawrenceof Arabia

Booby’s Bay
Huck Trebilcock

Call Of Duty
Stewart Nicholls

Cats In A Pipe
Cole Raifteiri

Andrew Scott

John Burn

City College
Ataka Rodney

Eoin Sweeney


Ben Quinn

Father Ned

Dead Pets
Finn The Human

Jude Russell

Deep Pit
Aaron Appleseed

M Angard

Dewi of the Llyn
Pete Brown

Robin Bradley

Charlie Price

Eye Of A Needle
Terry Henry

Kitty Gribbins

Glass House
Heart of Glass

Rosie Hiss

Halfway Home
Norman Undercroft

Happy Like Us
Mavis Welsh

Dusty Brannan

I Am Not Sick
Miranda Von Panda

Imam (Faith)

Kissing With Tongues
Boy George

Pepper Fairlie

Liberian Girl (Working title)

Life Could Be A Dream
Donald Duck

Loud Bangs
Danny Eggars

John Ford

Mrs America
Brigette Brigstowe

Aroldt Rattigan

Dandelion Rising

Emily Eliot

My Big Fat Fishy F**king Epiphany
Frida Khalo

My Eyes…Your Smile
Paul Dan

My Stag Brother
Kat Maccobb


Night Shift

Nineteen Sixty-Six
Norin Radd

No More Stories
Jacob Wright

Opal Star Fruit Burst

Out Flew A Bird

Faye Hart


Morgan Parry

Pink Confetti
Pab Temp

Postcards from Suburbia
Jill Adamson

Sue Donnam

Profit And Loss
Campbell Knox

Freddy Park

Sarah Guomundsdottir

Russian Dolls
Zebra Parks

Serena  Hong

So Here We Are
John Doe

Social Cohesion in Greater London
Haroun Jacob-Hameed

Sons of the Mother
Princess Carpenter

Calamity Cabbage

St Anthony
V A Oram

Sean Patton

Tastes Like Chicken
Luke Thornborough

The Beginning of the End

The Belladonna Coup
Dirja Sertine

The Day After They Went Off On One
Kerim Tonkin

The Demolition
J P Farrokhzad

The Distance
Clare Perry

The Email History of Josef K

The Girls’ Guide To Saving The World
Alice Stevenson

The Good Secretary of Lusaka
Charlie Montaigne

The Invincible Sum
Camielle Printemps

The Knot of Eve
Clementine Cannybody

The Little Ark
Liam Stokes

The Museum
Muna White

The Predator

The Rialto Burns

The Rolling Stone
Rosa Davis

The Wall

The Way Men Breathe
Isaac Ruiz

Them N Uz
T. H. Arrison

Ajay Khafar

Oscar Laudell

Tonight Is Your Answer
C Stewart


Walls of Jericho
Caoimhe McGoldrick

Gary Edwards

Women Like You
Clark Robertson

Jo Ruthrand

2013 judges

Chaired by Broadcaster Dame Jenni Murray the 2013 Prize Judges are: award-winning playwrights David Eldridge and Tanika Gupta MBE; Associate Director of the National Theatre, Marianne Elliott; actress, Suranne Jones; Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre, Greg Hersov; theatre critic, Benedict Nightingale; Chairman of Bruntwood, Michael Oglesby CBE.

2011 Winners

2011 shortlist

A MAP OF THE REGION by Tim Luscombe

When Piret wakes one morning with a Russian stranger in her bed, her flat and family are thrown into confusion. It’s 1989 and Soviet Estonia is crumbling around her and her son Tonü. With a husband whose disappearance the authorities won’t explain, Piret embarks on a campaign to find out the truth, whilst Tonü makes friends with the stranger who’s come to stay.

Tim Luscombe trained as a director at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Directing credits include: The Merchant of Venice & Volpone (Lyric Hammersmith, World Tour); Artist Descending A Staircase (Helen Hayes New York, Duke of York’s London); When She Danced (Kings Head London, Playwrights’ Horizons New York); Easy Virtue (Garrick); Snow Orchid and Salvation (both at the Gate London); The Browning Version & Harlequinade (Royalty), Intimate Exchanges (Scarborough, 59E59 New York). Tim started writing full time six years ago. Productions of his plays include: EuroVision (Drill Hall & Vaudeville); The One You Love (Royal Court & Barracke Berlin); The Death of Gogol and the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest (Drill Hall); The Schuman Plan (Hampstead), Hungry Ghosts (Orange Tree), and adaptations of Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.


A working time machine?


What have you done with it?



It just…sits there.

Nineteen year old science genius Luke is holed up in a dingy flat on a near-abandoned Middlesbrough housing estate. He finally has some peace to work on the extraordinary box in his living room. But when he’s introduced to a wealthy out-of-towner by his unbalanced brother Rob, tensions build and a battle is set in motion that threatens to tear the brothers apart and unleash the power inside his invention.

Alistair McDowall is a writer from the North East of England. Previous plays include Plain Jane, Some Stories, 5:30 and eighteen stupid reasons why i love you lots and lots. He has been a writer-on-attachment at the Royal Court Theatre and is currently on attachment with Paines Plough.


I joined the army because I couldn’t get a job on civvy street, couldn’t get one, didn’t want one. I didn’t want to get stuck in a down, brown, empty old town, I didn’t want to be working for the weekend and wasting the week. I wanted more.

Dirty old Blackpool is the dead end that Carl needs to escape. It’s the home of his broken father, old pubs and the boys who sell drugs from the British Legion. The army and Afghanistan offer him the chance to be anything he wants, but it’s a bargain that brings him back to Blackpool a different man.

Gareth Farr has been working as a professional actor for the past eleven years, working with the RSC, The Royal Court, Young Vic and in the West End. He has been part of the Royal Court Writers Programme and Super Group and had worked developed and performed at The Green Room Studio Theatre in Manchester. Gareth has also written for the Tristan Bates Ignition scheme and has since been invited to develop his work for them into a full production. Britannia Waves the Rules is his first full length play.


It’s 1999 and the summer of the United Treble, Daryl’s come out of prison and he’s got plans for the gang who’ve been waiting for him. As Moss Side heats up and United keep winning, Daryl’s ambition hits the street corner and pulls him and everyone around him towards a danger he can’t control.

Curtis Cole is an actor based in Manchester. He has numerous theatre credits performing up and down the country at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Royal Court London, Birmingham Rep, Ipswich Wolsey as well as going abroad to the Sydney Opera House. He has also been a regular feature at his local theatre Contact. It was at the Contact where his writing career began, he was young writer in residence in 2005 completing a one hour play Face Front. Since then he has been a regular winner at Contact’s monthly script competition Verbally Challenged and was co-writer of Action Transports play Night Train which had two successful schools tours. Climbing Snakes is his first full length play.

I AND THE VILLAGE by Silva Semerciyan

Van Vechten is a small American town in Southwest Michigan. It’s Aimee’s home, but something has set her against the community, at odds with her mother, the church and sometimes with the world. As outsiders investigate what happened on the day she brought a gun to church, we follow Aimee around the town that she wants to escape.

Silva Semerciyan is a native of Michigan; she moved to the UK in 1998. While at university, she wrote Another Man’s Son which won the 2010 William Saroyan Prize for Playwriting. Her other stage works include Full English and Reality, a satirical musical for which she wrote the book and lyrics. In spring 2012, her short play, Stalemate, will be presented at the ReOrient Festival in San Francisco. She holds a BA in English from the University of Michigan and an MPhil in Playwriting from the University of Birmingham. She currently lectures in Drama and English in Bristol.

I STARTED A FIRE by Miriam Battye

Jamie is Alice’s first boyfriend and she couldn’t be happier. Their dates in the park are everything that she’s dreamed of, but no one’s sure how Jamie feels. It’s up to jealous Fi and his sister Liv to stop him from making a fool of himself, because everyone knows that Alice is crazy.

Miriam Battye grew up in Manchester and has been a theatre lover her whole life. She started writing bad poetry during her teenage years before trying her hand at writing for stage. At the age of seventeen she was accepted onto The Twelve playwriting programme at the Royal Exchange and since then has written avidly. Currently studying at Bristol University she has been lucky enough to have her work staged in productions and rehearsed readings at her university union in Bristol and the Bristol Old Vic Basement. She is also a stage technician and aspiring director.

ONE LOOK by Cornell S John

Tjay and George are growing up in a hectic world, making plans for the future and chatting up girls, until one moment on the street after school everything suddenly stops. As Tjay replays things in his head and works out what to do next, the gun that killed George bursts into life and his grandma sits at home waiting for him to come back from school.

Cornell S John’s film credits as an actor include: Curtis in the hit urban youth dramas, Kidulthood and Adulthood. Glenstorm in The Chronicles of Narnia – Prince Caspian and Lawrence in the soon to be released Dreams of a life. Some of his West End theatre credits include: Javert in Les Miserable, Crown in Porgy and Bess, Horse in The full Monty, and he Originated the role of King Mufasa in The Lion King. He played Satan in Steven Berkoff’s Messiah, Malcolm X in The Meeting and Clay in Dutchman. Born in Handsworth, Birmingham, One Look is Cornell’s first stage play and was written in response to the challenges facing young people today.

SHADOW PLAY  by Louise Monaghan – JUDGES’ AWARD

I have to explain it to you. That’s me in the middle. Then there’s me Nanna and me Grandad, yeah…Then there’s me mam up there. And you.

Katie is eleven, watching films after tea and learning shadow puppets from her grandad. But something happened in the past and it’s not gone away. Katie’s mother is dead and her father’s in prison and she’s starting to act up. It’s for her grandparents to decide whether she should meet the man who changed her life forever.

Louise Monaghan has just received her first commission for BBC Radio 4’s Afternoon Play.  Directed and produced by Jessica Dromgoole, Alone in the Garden with You will be broadcast next summer. In 2006, Louise was nominated by The Bush Theatre for The Fifty, a new writing initiative run by The Royal Court in conjunction with the BBC. Her play Beautiful, was nominated by Out of Joint for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize 2009.  She was a finalist for both The London Fringe Festival’s Theatre Writing Award 2010 and Little Brother Productions Big Opportunity 2011 with her play Aurora. She lives on the South Coast with her husband Mike. They have two sons, James and William and a Lakeland terrier called Bruce.


At first, I wouldn’t have thought anyone was in. Your curtains. The way you have them drawn. You always keep them like that?

Tiana’s in charge at home. She’s got to look after brother Tionne and little sister Tanika. As they negotiate school and cooking at home, something strange is going on. Their mother has gone and Tionne’s experiments are getting stranger and stranger. As the outside world starts to ask what’s happened, Tiana tries to keep the siblings together, even when a teacher comes to call.

Janice Okoh was born, raised and lives in South East London. She has a background in law and worked in the city for 7 years. She has been writing in one form or another since she was 14 years old when she used to dream of becoming a romantic fiction writer.  Her first play was written in 2008 as part of an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and has yet to be produced. Three Birds is her second full-length theatre play. Janice has had work produced for radio and currently teaches English as a Foreign Language.

WHITE by Kenneth Emson

Derek and Molly have done alright, they have a business, a son in the army and their youngest, Danny, is just about to start work with his old man on an apprenticeship. But Derek’s been hiding letters by the hundred, Danny has a new girlfriend he won’t bring home and a Canadian businessman has put in an offer on the business that Derek isn’t telling the lads about. As the fractures in the family start to appear Derek is forced to decide whether the past is more important than the future.

Kenneth Emson was born in Essex in 1983. He has written many plays for fringe venues in London as well as having work premier at the High Tide, Hot Ink, Hotbed, Latitude and Pulse theatre Festivals. In 2008 he took part in the Old Vic 24 Hour Play event and has continued to work with them through their US/UK Exchange and Ignite programmes. He is currently one of the BBC Writersroom 10 (with the Old Vic as his partner theatre) and the 2011 BBC Writers Academy.

2011 longlist

A White Man in England
(pseudonym: Alexis Abdul)

All the Bens
Pseudonym: Ben Hall)

Artichoke Heart
(pseudonym: Artichoke Heart)

Be Infants in Evil
(pseudonym: Bring Mars)

(pseudonym: Maria Buscema)

Belfast Girls
(pseudonym: Edwin Roche)

(pseudonym: Chris Scott)

Blue Yonder
(pseudonym: Alexander McCarthy)

Boxer’s Blood
(pseudonym: Mike McAllister)

Bricking It
(pseudonym: Bruce Gacke)

(pseudonym: Colin May)

(pseudonym: MJM7691)

Chicken Shop
(pseudonym: Zola Gorgon)

Coming of Rage
(pseudonym: Stephen Armstrong)

(pseudonym: Charlie Lynch)

Damaged Goods
(pseudonym: Chrissie Garner)

(pseudonym: Yitzhak Goodman)

Every Hero Has a Flaw
(pseudonym: Anne Bonham-Brown)

(pseudonym: Janet Junior)

(pseudonym: Tiger Bywater)

(pseudonym: Bridget Jones)

Frank Sent Me
(pseudonym: John Tyneman)

Glory Dazed
(pseudonym: Maki Perceval)

Hammering Near Glass
(pseudonym: Ekaibe Topp)

Hannah and the Fox
(pseudonym: MoominB)

Helsinki Blonde
(pseudonym: MD)

His & Hers
(pseudonym: Charlie Marzetti)

(pseudonym: Johnny Fred)

Hundreds and Thousands
(pseudonym: Jamie Campbell)

(pseudonym: Green Gloves)

(pseudonym: Vince Moon)

Kicking Like a Ninja
(pseudonym: Esme Miles)

Learning How to Swim
(pseudonym: Robyn Howe)

(pseudonym: Al Stewart)

Little Fish
(pseudonym: Paul Jeffrey)

Liver & Onions
(pseudonym: Booktownman)

Lover’s Rock
(pseudonym: Ataka Rodney)

MacGregor & Beth
(pseudonym: Howard Stentor)

(pseudonym: Charlie Rose)

(pseudonym: F Madison)

(pseudonym: Maria Ciarella)

(pseudonym: Spider Jerusalem)

Oh, Town of Little Bethlehem
(pseudonym: Rachel Simon)

Old Money
(pseudonym: Helen Slingsby)

Overture to Tannhauser
(pseudonym: Moses Miller)

Playing with Grownups
(pseudonym: Anonymous)

(pseudonym: John Eldridge)

(pseudonym: Vernon Blue)

Queen of the Silver Dollar
(pseudonym: Joe Robinson)

(pseudonym: David John)

(pseudonym: Glynn McGregor)

(pseudonym: Christine Whitehead)

(pseudonym: Pepper)

(pseudonym: Gladys Tomlinson)

(pseudonym: Gloria)

Sensitive Skin
(pseudonym: Robin McKenzie)

She Flies from Us
(pseudonym: Sarah Bowie)

$h!t Disco
(pseudonym: Milly Piccadilly)

(pseudonym: Maggie O’Reilly)

Take Me 2 Manhattan
(pseudonym: Ruby da Costa)

The Andes
(pseudonym: Joy Lauder)

The Awkward Squad
(pseudonym: Sue Alison)

The Bad Plum
(pseudonym: Paul Eunan)

The Complaint
(pseudonym: owais)

The Girl Next Door
(pseudonym: Doris May)

The Insect House
(pseudonym: Bright Meadow)

The Killing Jar
(pseudonym: Jon Raymond)

The Matter in Hand
(pseudonym: Bertie Wagglehead)

The Road to Nowhere
(pseudonym: Stanley Ramony)

The Roof
(pseudonym: Ida Rae)

The Seer
(pseudonym: J Smith)

The Sweeps of Cavanakeeran
(pseudonym: JH McGurk)

The Tallest Man in the Word
(pseudonym: Ailbhe Carroll)

The Tenth Box
(pseudonym: L. Gill)

These Fragile Walls
(pseudonym: Orla O’Connor)

This is not a Festival
(pseudonym: Melanie Wilson)

Three Words
(pseudonym: Nadine Wright)

True Zero
(pseudonym: Fred Splendid)

Truth and Reconciliation
(pseudonym: Baron Samedi)

(pseudonym: Nicholas George Cooper)

Walk the Dog
(pseudonym: Evra Stone)

We Are Made Of
(pseudonym: Martin Leigh)

(pseudonym: Lola Davies)

What Mrs Baker Saw
(pseudonym: Raoul P. Quill)

White Scented Jasmine
(pseudonym: Lauren Bacall)

Who Killed Lauren Swift?
(pseudonym: Rose Astley)

Will & George
(pseudonym: Ioan Me)

Years of Sunlight
(pseudonym: J.M. Nashe)

You’re Wondering Now
(pseudonym: Sam Wainwright)

(pseudonym: Will Whiteford)

2011 judges

The Judging panel was chaired by playwright Simon Stephens and included, Royal Exchange Artistic Director Sarah Frankcom, writer Jackie Kay, actors Sue Johnston and Maxine Peake and Chairman of Bruntwood Michael Oglesby.

2008 Winners

2008 judges

The  judging panel was chaired by actor and director Richard Wilson and included actress Brenda Blethyn OBE, actor Michael Sheen, film director Roger Michell, playwright Roy Williams, Royal Exchange Artistic Director Greg Hersov and Chairman of Bruntwood Michael Oglesby DL LLD DSc

2005 Winners

2005 judges

The 2005 judges were Chaired by Chris Smith MP and consisted of Brenda Blythyn OBE, the much loved actress, Director of the National Theatre Nicholas Hynter, actor, playwright and singer Kwame Kwei Armah, The Founding Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre Company Braham Murray and Micheal Oglesby DL LLD DSc  – Chairman of Bruntwood