One hundred plays make 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 2017- 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 2017 Longlist and see how their work develops. Two writers currently have work in production;
Him Not Her- by Joanne Fitzgerald
Bea, an older woman, comes out late in life. She nabs herself a young lover, Ellie, who has aspirations of starting a family and putting them both on a path to domestic bliss. But Bea meets Jemima who catches her eye and steels her away from Ellie. It all falls apart when Bea finally meets James, the boy beneath Jemima’s make-up, wigs and glamour, who doesn’t excite her quite as much.
Joanne Fitzgerald is a playwright and project manager from Dublin, who trained as an actor at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She co-wrote and performed the devised play ‘LIVING BETWEEN LIES’ with Underfoot Theatre Company at the Stockholm Fringe, Brighton Fringe and Kings Head Theatre, Islington in 2015. Her short plays have been performed at BraveNewWord (SLAM Kings Cross) during 2016
Of her longlisting and the process of developing her play Joanne says;
‘It meant the world to me for Her Not Him be longlisted. It was the nudge I really needed to keep going, knowing that someone out there, a few someones in fact, thought it was a decent play. So armed with that small vote of confidence I decided to self-produce it. I also had the pleasure of doing a workshop with Simon Stephens last year who talked to me about what to do when you’re starting out and the importance of just getting your work performed and seen, whether its in your living room or in your local pub, and I’m very lucky living in London to have so many pub theatres around that support new writing.
I went looking for a director first, asking actor and writer friends for recommendations, and I was very lucky to find a brilliant director who was just as passionate about the piece as I was but also came to it with her own fresh ideas for staging it. We then proceeded to casting – a combination of actors we knew and some we found via Mandy.com. Then together we workshopped the play over the course of a week, culminating in an informal showing for a few people from local theatres who we invited to come to and see what we’d developed and to give feedback. And it paid off. I’ve learned so much about my writing and how to improve it just from seeing and hearing it performed, but also about the logistics of how to stage something, and the work that goes into producing a play’
Her Not Him marks Lughnacy Productions’ debut: A comedy drama exploring the things that keep us going in life, when relationships don’t fall under tidy labels, and the very human missteps we make when it comes to sexuality and sexual politics.
Him Not Her runs for a week at Theatre 503 from 30th Jan-3rd Feb Details here.
Wind Bit Bitter, Bit Bit Bitter- by Sami Ibrahim
Dymchurch, England – sometime in the 2020s.
Mary and Charley have just lost their child. Now the couple have to go back to daily life and try to start again. Arguments break out, support breaks down, and the pair slowly drift apart. But then Mary finds a body part washed up on the beach – a child’s arm, amputated. And then she finds another body part. And another. And as she starts to collect the body parts, a conspiracy builds – and maybe Mary’s child isn’t quite so dead after all.
Longlisted for the 2017 Bruntwood Prize; Wind Bit Bitter, Bit Bit Bitter was also shortlisted for the Tony Craze Award 2017 by the Soho Theatre.
Sami Ibrahim is a young writer from London. His show IRON DOME FOG DOME was performed at The Yard during the latest FIRST DRAFTS season. He has worked at the Almeida Theatre as a member of their Creative Board, developing and producing FROM THE GROUND UP – a piece of immersive theatre which went up to Edinburgh last Summer. At the same time, he wrote and directed FORCE OF TRUMP, a satire about Donald Trump becoming president. The show had runs at several theatres across London – including the Brockley Jack, where his short play, CARNIVORE, was also performed as part of the WRITE NOW 7 Festival. He has taken part in The North Wall’s Summer Residency Programme and is currently a member of Soho Theatre’s Writers’ Alumni Group.
Wind Bit Bitter, Bit Bit Bitter runs from 24-28 Jan 2018 as part of the Vault Festival 2018