The Bruntwood Prize 2019 Shortlist

The 10 scripts in the running for the overall £16,000 prize are as follows (listed alphabetically by surname).

black bird by babirye bukilwa
Shed: Exploded View by Phoebe Eclair-Powell
Neptune by Sam Grabiner
The European Hare by Sami Ibrahim
Glass by Jacob Kay
Salty Irina: (Retitled as ‘Title Redacted’ for the judging process) by Eve Leigh
Hares by Lee Mattison
Ballybaile by Jody O’Neill
Akedah by Michael John O’Neill
Glee & Me by Stuart Slade

Four of these playwrights shortlisted for the overall Prize – babirye bukilwa, Sam Grabiner, Jacob Kay and Michael John O’Neill – are 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 have all been shortlisted with their first full length script.

The Bruntwood Prize International Award sees five playwrights from Australia and the USA vie to be crowned winner. They are (listed alphabetically by surname):

TAMBO & BONES by Dave Harris (USA)
Pavlov’s Dogs by Emme Hoy (Australia)
untitled f*ck miss sa*gon play (srsly this is not the title) by Kimber Lee (USA)
This Land Was Made by Tori Sampson (USA)
Periods of Collapse OR Mother Russia by Lauren Yee (USA)

The shortlist is vivid, imaginative and topical, with politics, mental health, race relations and climate change just some of the themes appearing within the scripts.

Suzanne Bell, Dramaturg at the Royal Exchange Theatre, said: “I am extremely pleased to present this year’s impressive shortlist for the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, which for the first time includes internal entries. It’s thrilling to see submissions growing year-on-year, and it is fantastic to celebrate the outstanding achievement of our 15 shortlisted writers who have been selected from over 2,500 entries. Theatre, as we know, is a mirror to the world. So, it comes as no surprise that many of the shortlisted plays reflect our times. From highlighting the crisis of mental health and the rise of the far right to stereotypes portrayed and enforced by the media, the 2019 shortlist represents the remarkable breadth of talent in the UK and further afield.”