NT Panel Event to celebrate 10 Years of the Bruntwood Prize

To mark the 10th anniversary of the UK’s biggest playwriting competition; the National Theatre is to host a discussion panel chaired by Kirsty Lang.

Playwrights Simon Stephens & Duncan Macmillan will join Journalists Miranda Sawyer & Matt Trueman, and Talawa Artistic Director, Michael Buffong to discuss what makes a great play. Come and explore the way in which new writing and the role of the playwright has changed in the last 10 years.


Over ten years the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting has become the biggest national competition for playwriting, providing important support for playwrights and having a huge impact on the new writing ecology in Britain.

The 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting opens for submissions on Friday 30 January 2015 and closes for submissions at 6pm on 5 June 2015. More information and support on playwriting can be found at www.writeaplay.co.uk

Michael Buffong







Date & Time: Thursday 29 January 2015, 6pm
Venue: Temporary Theatre at the National Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX
Running Time: Approximately 45 minutes
Tickets: Tickets £4 (£3 concessions)
Book via the National Theatre: 020 7452 3000 / online

Michael Buffong is the Artistic Director of Talawa Theatre Company, Britain’s primary Black-led theatre company. He has previously directed PRIVATE LIVES, ALL THE ORDINARY ANGELS, SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, ON MY BIRTHDAY and the multi-award winning A RAISIN IN THE SUN for the Royal Exchange Theatre. Other theatre credits include: GOD’S PROPERTY (Talawa Theatre Company, Soho Theatre and the Albany); THE SERPENT’S TOOTH (Talawa Theatre Company and Almeida Theatre); MOON ON A RAINBOW SHAWL (Royal National Theatre); ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (Leicester Curve); CRAWLING IN THE DARK (Almeida); TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (West Yorkshire Playhouse and Birmingham Rep); LITTLE SWEET THING (Hampstead Theatre); RAISING THE ROOF (Palace Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue); LONG TIME NO SEE, UNFINISHED BUSINESS (Talawa Theatre Company); SOULS (Theatre Centre); THE PRAYER (Young Vic Studio); STORIES FROM MEAN STREET (New End Theatre Hampstead); AIRPORT 2000 (Leicester Haymarket); BROTHER TO BROTHER (Lyric Hammersmith); SCRAPE OF THE BLACK (Theatre Royal Stratford East) and IN PIECES (Coventry Belgrade). Film and television credits include: HOLBY CITY, EASTENDERS, ADMIN, PLACEBO, CALAIS RULES, DOCTORS, CASUALTY, COMEDY SHUFFLE, HOLLYOAKS, FEELING IT, BLAZED and SIMPLE!

Simon Stephens was Chair of the Judges for the 2011 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. Simon’s plays include Birdland, Wastwater, Motortown, Country Music, Herons, and Bluebird (Royal Court); Blindsided (Manchester Royal Exchange); Seawall (National Theatre/Paines Plough); Three Kingdoms (Lyric/No99 Theatre, Estonia/Munich Playhouse, Germany); A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky (Lyric Hammersmith); Marine Parade (with Mark Eitzel, Brighton Festival); The Trial of Ubu (Hampstead/Toneelgroep, Amsterdam); Morning, T5 and Heaven (Traverse); Punk Rock (Lyric and Manchester Royal Exchange); Sea Wall (Bush/ Traverse); Harper Regan (National); Pornography (Tricycle/Traverse/Deutsches Schauspielhaus, Hanover); On the Shore of the Wide World (National/Manchester Royal Exchange – Olivier Award for Best New Play); Port (National Theatre/Manchester Royal Exchange). Adaptations include The Cherry Orchard, A Doll’s House and I Am the Wind (Young Vic). Radio includes Digging and Five Letters Home to Elizabeth. TV includes Carmen Disruption (Deutsche Scauspielhaus, Hamburg); Cargese (Sky Arts); Dive (with Dominic Savage) and Pornography. Simon is an Associate Artist of the Lyric Hammersmith.

Miranda Sawyer is a Judge for the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. Miranda started her career at Smash Hits, before moving on to Select Magazine where she won the PPA Magazine Writer of the Year Award in 1993; the youngest person ever to do so.  She won the In The City music writer’s award in 1995 and, in 2012 Record of the Day’s Outstanding Contribution to Music Journalism award. A contracted feature writer for The Observer for almost twenty years, she is the paper’s radio critic and writes regularly on pop culture. She is the host of The Guardian’s popular Family Podcast.  Miranda is a presenter for BBC 2’s The Culture Show, specialising in contemporary music, art and theatre. She has written and presented several TV and radio documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4, and is a regular guest on many review programmes. She was a judge for the 2007 Turner Prize, the 2010 Orange Prize and was on the panel that awarded Liverpool its Capital of Culture status. She is Deputy Chair of Tate Members’ Council and is on the board at the South London Gallery.   Her first book, Park And Ride, was published by Little, Brown, & Company in 1999, and has been reprinted in paperback several times since. Her new book, Out Of Time is due to be published in 2015.

Matt Trueman is a freelance theatre critic and journalist. He writes for a range of publications, including the Guardian, the Financial Times and the Independent, reviews regularly for Variety and Time Out, and has a regular column in The Stage. He started out as a theatre blogger and is a five-time winner of the Allen Wright Award for arts journalism at the Edinburgh Festival.

Duncan Macmillan was a winner of the 2005 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting for MONSTER – produced at the Royal Exchange Theatre as part of the first Manchester International Festival. Duncan is a writer and director. He is a former Writer in Residence at Paines Plough and the Royal Exchange Theatre. Duncan was the recipient of two awards in the inaugural Bruntwood Playwriting Competition, 2005. Other awards include UK Theatre Best Director (with Robert Icke), 2014, Best New Play at the Off West End Awards, 2013; the Nestroypreis for Best German Language Production, 2013; the Big Ambition Award, Old Vic 2009 and the Pearson Prize, 2008. His work with director Katie Mitchell has been selected for Theatertreffen and the Avignon Festival and continues to run in rep and tour the world. Full-length plays include: 2071 co-written with Chris Rapley (2014), Royal Court Theatre/Hamburg Schauspielhaus; The Forbidden Zone (2014), Salzburg Festival and Schaubühne Berlin; Wunschloses Unglück adapt. Peter Handke (2014), Burgtheater Vienna; 1984 adapt. George Orwell (2013/14), Headlong/Nottingham Playhouse/Almeida/West End, co-adapted with Rob Icke; Every Brilliant Thing (2013/14), Paines Plough/Pentabus Theatre, Edinburgh Festival and UK tour; Reise Durch Die Nacht adapt. Friederike Mayröcker (2012/13), Schauspielhaus Köln; Lungs (2011/12), Roundabout Season Paines Plough & Sheffield Theatres and Studio Theatre, Washington DC, USA and Monster (Royal Exchange, 2006).

Published on:
28 Jan 2015


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