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Shortlist announced for £10,000 Liverpool Hope National Playwriting Prize

2 years ago

Shortlist announced for £10,000 Liverpool Hope National Playwriting Prize

£10,000 prize money to be awarded to the 2022 winner of the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize

Nine writers have been shortlisted for the fourth Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize. Writers submitted their comedy last year and one of the final nine will win £10,000 and a potential opportunity to bring their play to life on stage.

The Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize is the second largest national playwriting competition and provides a great platform for new comedy plays and writers across the UK. To qualify for the prize, scripts must be original, unperformed and funny! The prize is awarded every two years and this year the ceremony will take place at Liverpool’s Royal Court on the evening of Monday 9 May.

The competition is a collaboration between Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre and Liverpool Hope University. A sizeable prize of £10,000 will be offered to the playwright of the winning script and Liverpool’s Royal Court will be considered for production by the theatre.

Since 2015, The Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize success stories include winners and highly commended writers who go on to have their plays commissioned at theatres and auditoriums across the UK.

Highly commended finalist Gerry Linford’s comedy play from 2017, The Miracle of Great Homer Street ran in 2018 at the Royal Court starring one of the Playwriting Prize 2017 judges, comedian and actor Les Dennis. Gerry has since written four more plays with the latest, Macca & Beth, running at the Royal Court from 29 April to 28 May. This year’s presentation will take place on the Macca & Beth stage set.

Comedian and writer Katie Mulgrew, the winner of the first Playwriting Prize in 2015, had her play ‘Omnibus’ commissioned in 2017 at The Unity Theatre, while plays by the runners-up for that same year ran at the Park Theatre in London and the Capstone Theatre in Liverpool.

Other past winners were Simon Bradbury (2017) and Colin Dowland (2019).

The judging panel for 2022 was made up of highly respected writers, agents, producers and academics. The full panel was: John Bennett (senior lecturer in contemporary theatre), Maurice Bessman (playwright), Laurence Clark (comedian and writer), Les Dennis (actor and comedian), Kevin Fearon (producer and writer), Kate Haldane (comedy agent), Barbara Phillips (producer).

Almost 200 scripts from across the UK were submitted for the prize and they were reviewed anonymously by a panel of industry insiders before the shortlisted scripts were sent to the judges.

Royal Court Executive Producer, Kevin Fearon, commented:

“We have been delighted to be involved with the Playwriting Prize since it began in 2015. We have seen a huge number of entries for both of the previous competitions from all around the country and this year was no different. A part of our plan is to continue to create talent development routes for writers and this prize is a big part of that.”

Liverpool Hope University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Gerald Pillay said:

“The city of Liverpool has long been a hotbed of the creative and performing arts, and the Hope Playwriting Prize really taps into those collective talents.

“The University is proud to collaborate with Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre on this award, and it’s extremely exciting to see the competition now reach its final stages.

“I wish all of the shortlisted playwrights the best of luck, and I know the judging panel really has its work cut out to select just one winner.

“I’m also confident that the Hope Playwriting Prize will inspire our own students to pursue their creative ambitions, as we help to usher-in the next generation of theatrical artists.”

Find out more HERE.


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