Bruntwood, in partnership with the Royal Exchange Theatre, today announces the shortlist for the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2022.
The prize – which seeks scripts from established, emerging and debut writers to develop for the stage – is a partnership between leading commercial property developer Bruntwood, a major supporter of the arts, and world-class producing theatre, the Royal Exchange Theatre, in Manchester.
14 plays have been shortlisted from the 130-play longlist – the biggest longlist in the Prize’s history – to be considered across four categories. 9 plays from the UK are in the running for two categories: overall winner of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, who takes home £16,000, as well as the Judges Award for a ‘runner up’, worth £8,000.
Three of those plays are in the running for the North West Original New Voice Award and Residency, new this year in recognition of the Prize’s Manchester home. In addition, five further plays are eligible for the International Award, who apply through partners in Australia, Canada and the US. Four of the five shortlistees are from Australia.
Of this shortlist of 14, three playwrights are best known for their acting careers, and for one of them – Georgia Bruce – this is their first play. Actor David Dawson stars alongside Harry Styles and Emma Corrin in My Policeman, in cinemas now, while actor and writer Bruce appeared as Sal in Channel 4’s popular It’s A Sin (2021). Actor and playwright Kirsty Marilier from Australia, known for playing Rose Delaney in Home and Away since 2018, is shortlisted for this year’s International Award.
Reinforcing the Prize’s aim to showcase new voices and stories is the inclusion of work by another first-time playwright: Nathan Queeley-Dennis, an actor from Birmingham. For the first time ever in the Prize’s history, a playwright has been shortlisted for a second time: Dave Harris’s Tambo & Bones was shortlisted for the International Award in 2019 and receives its London premiere next year. Jill O’Halloran (Manchester), David Dawson (Manchester) and Patrick Hughes (Liverpool) are also all in the running for this year’s new North West Original New Voice Award and Residency.
All winners enter a development process with the Royal Exchange Theatre in an endeavour to bring their work to production, with the winner of the North West Original New Voice Award and Residency also having access to an additional £10,000 fund dedicated to their professional development at the Royal Exchange Theatre during a bespoke one-year residency in partnership with Bruntwood and the Oglesby Charitable Trust.
The 9 UK scripts in the running for the overall £16,000 prize are as follows (listed alphabetically by surname).
- Time, Like the Sea by Georgia Bruce
- The Institute by David Dawson
- The China Play by Jeremy Green
- Leave the Morning to the Morning by Patrick Hughes
- Bindweed by Martha Loader
- Allah in the Walls by Jasmin Mandi-Ghomi
- Three by Jill O’Halloran
- Bullring Techno Makeout Jamz by Nathan Queeley-Dennis
- (the) Woman by Jane Upton
Three of the playwrights shortlisted for the overall Prize – David Dawson, Patrick Hughes and Jill O’Halloran – are also eligible for the Original New Voice Award.
Five scripts have been shortlisted for the International Award from Australia and the US. They are (listed alphabetically by surname):
- way back when by Dylan van den Berg (Australia)
- The Red Lead 红铅 by Roshelle Fong (Australia)
- Watch Me by Dave Harris (USA)
- The Zap by Kirsty Marillier (Australia)
- No Pink Dicks by Moreblessing Maturure (Australia)
Roy Alexander Weise, Joint Artistic Director at the Royal Exchange Theatre and judge for the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, said: “The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting is an extraordinary outpouring of creative talent and a huge celebration of the art of writing a play. Thousands of writers from across the world are actively engaged in crafting, writing, inventing, reading and rewriting their plays ready for a brilliantly skilled army of readers. Each one of these plays is a piece of an intricate jigsaw that creates a picture of who we are and where we are today – on a global scale. And that is why championing new writers and supporting their development is vital – it opens many new and exciting windows onto our world. It is thrilling to be part of this process and I’m delighted to be celebrating these fantastic pieces of writing and the people who shared them with us.“
The Judges will announce the winner of the 2022 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting at an awards ceremony at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, on 14th November 2022.