Introducing the Judges

We are delighted to announce our brilliant panel of Judges for the 2019 Prize. Chair of the Judges and Artistic Director of the Young Vic Theatre Kwame Kwei-Armah is joined on the judging panel by co-founders of The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting Sarah Frankcom, Artistic Director, Royal Exchange Theatre and Michael Oglesby, founder of the Bruntwood Group and chairman of The Oglesby Charitable Trust. The rest of the nine-strong panel comprises: Anna Jordan, Bruntwood Prize-winning playwright; Bridget Minamore, journalist, poet and critic; Jenny Sealey MBE, Artistic Director, Graeae Theatre Company; Kate Vokes, Director, Bruntwood Culture, and actor Shane Zaza. A new addition to the panel this year is ‘The Peoples Judge’, Faith Yianni, selected following a search by the Prize and leading theatre critic Lyn Gardner for a member of the public to bring a fresh, new perspective to the judging process.

You can find out more about the Judges and this years Prize here:



All plays are submitted anonymously to the competition and will be read by an expert panel of readers appointed by the Royal Exchange Theatre.  There is an extensive five stage process to the reading before creating the shortlist to go to our Judging panel.  Over 100 readers are employed to take the scripts through a rigorous process.  These readers are directors, producers, designers, actors, dramaturgs, literary managers, critics, agents and previous winners.  Once a script has been selected for the shortlist, it will have been read and championed by 16 different and distinct practitioners which we hope makes for a robust selection process. The final panel of readers, including key artistic staff from the Royal Exchange Theatre, will compile a shortlist of 15 plays to the Judges to consider.  The Judges will receive the shortlist of scripts by mid October 2019 and choose a winner. Only after a winner is chosen will their identities be revealed, both publicly and to the Judges and readers.

For a bit more on the readers process- please see some of our achieve of readers blogs. We’ll keep you up to date on the process throughout 2019 too!







Published on:
23 Jan 2019


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