The Adrian Pagan Award, which was set up in 2014 to provide a platform for exceptional new writing, will this year be awarded to Charles Entsie’s NSA, a groundbreaking exploration of family, survival and same-sex relationships, set in London’s Peckham.
NSA started life as a 15 minute play, and was selected by The Mono Box – a collaborative, not-for-profit network that caters for actors and theatre-makers seeking alternative, affordable training – among 4 other pieces (from over 700 applicants) for their Playstart Initiative, which sees high profile mentors (including Tristan Bernays, Hannah Khalil and Arinze Kene) working with young artists. The selected pieces are published in an anthology by Oberon Books. King’s Head Artistic Director Adam Spreadbury-Maher saw Charles’ piece at The Mono Box, and then encouraged him to develop it into a full length play. NSA will be Charles’ first full length play, and will receive a full production at the King’s Head Theatre in Spring 2020.
Charles Entsie says: “I’m so excited to be the winner of the Adrian Pagan Award. It’s been an amazing 12 month journey developing NSA from an idea into a fully fledged play with the help of the fantastic people at the King’s Head Theatre and The Monobox. I’m incredibly grateful for their support and belief in my work.”
Adrian Pagan was a Stage Manager for 10 years before his first play, The Backroom, won the Verity Bargate Award in 1996, going on to be staged at the Pleasance and Bush Theatres. The Award was established after his tragic death at the age of 39 to recognise unconventional routes into writing for the stage. Every other year, a play is selected to receive a full production at the King’s Head Theatre. Previous winners include Dead Party Animals by Thomas Pickles in 2013, Russian Dolls by Kate Lock in 2016 and Sex with Robots and Other Devices by Nessah Muthy in 2018.
King’s Head Theatre Artistic Director Adam Spreadbury-Maher says: “Look out British Theatre, there’s a magnificent new talent on the scene and he’s called Charles Entsie. This astonishing debut piece encapsulates everything that the Adrian Pagan Award was set up to represent; bold new work from brand new voices that champions diversity in its many forms. I can’t wait for our audiences to see NSA next Spring.”