Property company Bruntwood and the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester have announced that the 2017 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting has inspired 1,898 writers to put pen to paper and submit their plays to Europe’s largest prize for playwriting, which closed for entries on Monday 5 June.
Each of the original plays will be judged anonymously by a team of readers with the final 10 plays announced on 24 October 2017 before being read and debated by a prestigious panel of top industry figures. The total prize fund of £40,000 will be awarded to four winners at a ceremony at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester on 13 November 2017.
Michael Oglesby CBE, Chairman of Bruntwood commented: ‘That almost two thousand people put pen to paper to submit an original, unperformed play to the 2017 Bruntwood Prize is outstanding. In the prizes twelve years I believe it has been the success of previous winners and the very high standards they have set which has challenged writers to push boundaries and take risks.’
In the new autumn/winter season at the Royal Exchange two Bruntwood Prize winning plays will have their premieres in this unique Manchester theatre. James Fritz’s PARLIAMENT SQUARE, co-produced with the Bush Theatre and directed by Manchester-based Jude Christian, imagines the fall-out from a powerful act of protest (18 – 28 October 2017). Kendall Feaver makes her professional debut with THE ALMIGHTY SOMETIMES. Directed by Katy Rudd it paints an extraordinary portrait of Anna, a young woman battling against a childhood diagnosis of severe mental illness (9 – 24 February 2018).
The 2017 Bruntwood Prize judging panel:
Russell T. Davies, Screenwriter
Kirsty Lang, British broadcaster and journalist
Michael Oglesby CBE, Chairman of Bruntwood
Phil Porter, Playwright
Lucy Prebble, Playwright
Lyndsey Turner, Director
Don Warrington, Actor
Matthew Xia, Associate Artistic Director at the Royal Exchange
Phil Porter, Playwright and former winner says: ‘Winning the Judges’ Prize in 2005 was a career defining moment. When you enter a competition you never expect to be awarded with a prize that not only helps you get your play produced but continues to develop your talent and support you throughout your career. I am honoured to be able to share this incredible opportunity with other writers.’