People’s Judge Faith Yianni on the shortlist reading and Judges meeting

Faith Yianni is the first ‘Peoples Judge’ chosen from the Royal Exchange Audiences in the North West via a competition searching for the best script report. Faith’s report was chosen anonymously with the support of leading theatre critic Lyn Gardner. Faith is a Mancunian facilitator and director, with a keen interest in theatre for using theatre for social change. Since leaving university, she has began directing short pieces of new writing with Mancunian theatre collectives Declared Theatre and Hung Theatre.

At 24 she is the Bruntwood Prize’s youngest ever Judge.


Waiting to receive the shortlisted scripts has felt like the countdown to Christmas ever since I was chosen as The People’s Judge late last year. Throughout the process of reading them one of the things that I have enjoyed most is getting to ‘spend time’ with each writer. Whilst I love that a fully realised theatrical production holds uniqueness in its collaboration of many creative minds (containing input from designers, directors, performers, etc.), being able to read each script in its most basic and initial form has felt very special. I have often felt as though I am one-to-one with each playwright, exploring their creative world together and understanding why we are in it.

Before receiving the shortlisted scripts one of the things I was keen to experience during the process was the challenged to use my creative eyes in new ways. I also hoped to have the opportunity to peep into unfamiliar worlds and converse with people who experience life in a different way to me. Throughout my reading I have had these experiences over and over again. Each of the fifteen scripts is as varied in content, character and theme as it is form, rhythm and theatrical style which has made for an incredibly exciting experience each time I sit down to read.

Narrowing these fifteen treasures down seemed an impossible task. However through passionate and sometimes difficult discussions last Friday the decisions were made. I can’t wait to share them with you.

Published on:
10 Oct 2019


Add comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *