Bruntwood Prize Shortlist

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A look at our fantastic Bruntwood Prize Shortlist for 2011.

Transcript of Bruntwood Prize Shortlist

  • Royal ExchangeTheatre

    Media Partner

  • A message fromMichael Oglesby,Chairman ofBruntwood andmember of the judging panel

    It is with considerable excitement, and some apprehension, that I open the new shortlisted plays for each years Prize. This is mythird time on the judging panel and I have learned over the years,as someone not regularly reading new plays, to read slowly and,at the very least, twice.

    Both we at Bruntwood and the Royal Exchange, are delightedwith the way in which the competition has grown from relativelymodest roots to now being established as the premier prize fornew playwriting in the country. This is not only evidenced by thenumber of plays that we have received this year, well over 2000,but also by the quality of the scripts. We can also now look backat previous years and see just how successful we have been inestablishing the winners as important new modern playwrights.

    This year we are also delighted to be welcoming our new mediapartner The Times. This relationship has proved to be a very realpartnership with real benefits for everyone.

    The most exciting part of the Bruntwood, as with anyworthwhile creative exercise, is the total uncertainty involvedwhich adds hugely to the tension and the enjoyment and we lookforward to sharing this with you.

    Michael Oglesby CBE DLChairman, Bruntwood

    After an unprecedented year ofproductions and our largest evernumber of entries, we are delightedto introduce the ten writersshortlisted for this yearsBruntwood Prize for Playwriting.The Bruntwood is Britains biggest playwriting competition, witha prize fund of 40,000 from which four awards will be made towriters on this shortlist: a first prize of 16,000 and three judgesawards of 8,000 each.

    These four plays will then be developed towards production bythe Royal Exchange, with leading theatre publisher Nick HernBooks offering publication should they be produced.

    30,000 audience members have seen Bruntwood winning workthis year, with the Exchange producing Vivienne FranzmannsMOGADISHU and Andrew Sheridans WINTERLONG inManchester and in London. We cant wait to develop this newcrop of plays and see more work from the competition on our stages.

    The Prize is a result of a longstanding partnership betweenManchester property company Bruntwood and the RoyalExchange and has this year welcomed a media partner in The Times newspaper, who we are delighted to have involved in the competition as it grows.

    The Artistic DirectorsRoyal Exchange Theatre

  • A message from theChair ofthe JudgesThe gesture ofdelivering a play tobe read by otherpeople never stops

    terrifying me. But writers need terror. It gets usout of bed in the morning. More than 2000 peoplehave undergone the terror of entering their playinto this competition this year. 1990 of them willhave been bruised by the disappointment of notmaking the short list. There is only one thing theymust do: write another play. And then another. Andthen another. And not stop until theyve proven usall wrong.

    The energy and urgency of the response to thisyears competition is indicative of the intellectualand imaginative vitality coursing through thecountry. At a time of such economic nervousnessand political dislocation the confidence of thatvitality is astonishing. The shortlist crystallises that vitality.

    Janice Galloway observed that writing is likewaving. We write in the hope that somebody willwave back. The financial support and access to sucha driven working theatre that the award gives thewriters is exceptional. But more important thanthat is the consoling gesture of a wave beingreturned that each of these writers has been given.

    Simon Stephens, Playwright

    Winning the Prize hasmade me a writer. Vivienne Franzmann, author of MOGADISHU

    Being one of the winnershas meant that I trustmyself as a writer a

    playwright. Naylah Ahmed, author of

    BUTCHER BOYS, a winner in 2008

    sim 2008MOGADISHU by Vivienne Franzmann, a winner in 2008

    Harry McEntire and Gabrielle Reidy inWINTERLONG by Andrew Sheridan, a winner in 2008

    Tunji Kasim and Matti Houghton in THE CRACKS IN MY SKIN by Phil Porter, a winner in 2006

  • They split us up. Sent us all over. Twenty-three in mygroupWe lived in a room together, dying, and nowIm the only one left. Then I met her. And I like her. And Im staying.

    When Piret wakes one morning with a Russian strangerin her bed, her flat and family are thrown into confusion.Its 1989 and Soviet Estonia is crumbling around her andher son Ton. With a husband whose disappearance theauthorities wont explain, Piret embarks on a campaignto find out the truth, whilst Ton makes friends with thestranger whos come to stay.

    Tim Luscombe trained as a director at the Bristol Old VicTheatre School. Directing credits include: The Merchant of Venice & Volpone (Lyric Hammersmith/World Tour); Artist Descending AStaircase (Helen Hayes New York/Duke of Yorks London); When SheDanced (Kings Head London/ Playwrights Horizons New York);Easy Virtue (Garrick); Snow Orchid and Salvation (both at the GateLondon); The Browning Version & Harlequinade (Royalty), IntimateExchanges (Scarborough/59E59, New York). Tim started writing fulltime six years ago. Productions of his plays include: EuroVision (DrillHall/Vaudeville); The One You Love (Royal Court/Barracke Berlin); The Death of Gogol and the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest (DrillHall); The Schuman Plan (Hampstead), Hungry Ghosts (Orange Tree),and adaptations of Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.

    A Map of the RegionTim Luscombe

  • A working time machine?Definitely.What have you done with it?NNothing.Nothing?It justsits there.

    Nineteen year old science genius Luke is holed up in adingy flat on a near-abandoned Middlesbrough housingestate. He finally has some peace to work on theextraordinary box in his living room. But when hesintroduced to a wealthy out-of-towner by hisunbalanced brother Rob, tensions build and a battle is set in motion that threatens to tear the brothersapart and unleash the power inside his invention.

    Alistair McDowall is a writer from the North East of England.Previous plays include Plain Jane, Some Stories, 5:30 and eighteenstupid reasons why i love you lots and lots. He has been a writer-on-attachment at the Royal Court Theatre and is currently onattachment with Paines Plough.

    Brilliant AdventuresAlistair McDowall

  • Britannia Waves the RulesGareth Farr

    I joined the army because I couldnt get a job on civvystreet, couldnt get one, didnt want one. I didnt want toget stuck in a down, brown, empty old town, I didntwant to be working for the weekend and wasting theweek. I wanted more.

    Dirty old Blackpool is the dead end that Carl needs to escape. Its the home of his broken father, old pubsand the boys who sell drugs from the British Legion.The army and Afghanistan offer him the chance to beanything he wants, but its a bargain that brings himback to Blackpool a different man.

    Gareth Farr has been working as a professional actor for the past eleven years, with the RSC, the Royal Court, Young Vic and in the West End. He has been part of the Royal Court WritersProgramme and Super Group and had worked developed andperformed at The Green Room Studio Theatre in Manchester.Gareth has also written for the Tristan Bates Ignition scheme andhas since been invited to develop his work for them into a fullproduction. Britannia Waves the Rules is his first full length play.

  • Climbing SnakesCurtis Cole

    Things will change in Moss Side when they move MaineRoad. You two want to get yourself a trade. Plumber,electrician, build web things for computers. Make somereal money.

    Its 1999 and the summer of the United Treble, Darylscome out of prison and hes got plans for the gangwhove been waiting for him. As Moss Side heats upand United keep winning, Daryls ambition hits thestreet corner and pulls him and everyone around himtowards a danger he cant control.

    Curtis Cole is an actor based in Manchester. He has numeroustheatre credits performing up and down the country at the WestYorkshire Playhouse, Royal Court London, Birmingham Rep, IpswichWolsey as well as going abroad to the Sydney Opera House. He hasalso been a regular feature at his local theatre Contact. It was at theContact where his writing career began, he was young writer inresidence in 2005 completing a one hour play Face Front. Since then he has been a regular winner at Contact's monthly scriptcompetition Verbally Challenged and was co-writer of ActionTransports play Night Train which had two successful schools tours.Climbing Snakes is his first full length play.

  • I And The VillageSilva Semerciyan

    So maybe I just want to opt out, you know? Maybe Idont want to be part of the master plan. The bigassembly line in the skyYou know what? The bottomof the lake is the only place Im entitled to be.

    Van Vechten is a small American town in SouthwestMichigan. Its Aimees home, but something has set heragainst the community, at odds with her mother, thechurch and sometimes with the world. As outsidersinvestigate what happened on the day she brought agun to church, we follow Aimee around the town thatshe wants to escape.

    Silva Semerciyan is a native of Michigan; she moved to the UK in1998. While at university, she wrote Another Mans Son which wonthe 2010 William Saroyan Prize for Playwriting. Her other stageworks include Full English and Reality, a satirical musical for which shewrote the book and lyrics. In spring 2012, her short play, Stalemate,will be presented at the ReOrient Festival in San Francisco. Sheholds a BA in English from the University of Michigan and an MPhilin Playwriting from the University of Birmingham. She currentlylectures in Drama a