Channel 4 has announced the six winners of the Channel 4 Playwrights’ Scheme which celebrates and supports emerging British writing talent.

The initiative awards six bursaries a year to new theatre writers and has been supported by Channel 4 since 2013.   Four bursaries are supported by Channel 4 and two by The Peggy Ramsay Foundation.  Each bursary is worth £10,000.

The Sonia Friedman Productions Award is given to the writer of the best play written by one of the previous year’s bursary recipients.

Sonali Bhattacharyya has been awarded The Sonia Friedman Productions Award 2019 for her play ‘Chasing Hares’

The recipients of the Channel 4 Playwrights’ Scheme bursaries for 2020 are:  
‘Wolfie’ by ROSS WILLIS
Orange Tree Theatre
‘A Girl in School Uniform (Walks into a Bar)’ by LULU RACZKA
Young Vic Theatre
’The Sun, The Moon & The Stars’ by DIPO BARUWA-ETTI
Almeida Theatre
(Supported by The Peggy Ramsay Foundation)
Royal Court Theatre
’Summer Rolls’ by TUYEN DO
Bristol Old Vic Theatre
‘Either’ by RUBY THOMAS
(Supported by The Peggy Ramsay Foundation)
Hampstead Theatre

The successful writers will now embark upon one-year attachments with the theatres outlined above, giving them the opportunity to meet a variety of theatre practitioners and to have first-hand experience of a working theatre. Their principal task in the next 12 months is to write at least one full-length play. 

The writers will also have the opportunity to submit their play for The Sonia Friedman Productions Award in the year following their bursary.

Playwrights were nominated by UK theatre practitioners with the six winners selected by the Scheme’s Panel chaired by Sir Richard Eyre, this year’s panel also included: Rosie Alison (Heyday Films), Jack Bradley (Sonia Friedman Productions), Will Mortimer (The Bridge Theatre & The Peggy Ramsay Foundation), Julia Oh (Senior Commissioning Executive, Film4), Dinah Wood (Faber & Faber), Nicholas Wright (Playwright).

Sir Richard Eyre (Chairman of the Panel) said:  “I was delighted that this year there were 6 such strikingly original plays and that their writers will have a chance to work with 6 different theatres. I’m very grateful to Channel 4 and the Peggy Ramsay Foundation for making this possible, and to the judging panel for their patient and conscientious work. In addition, thanks to the generosity of Sonia Friedman Productions we were pleased to give Sonali Bhattacharyya an award for her play Chasing Hares. “

Julia Oh (Senior Commissioning Executive, Film4) said: “This is an annual highlight for Film4 and we’re thankful for the opportunity to meet such cool, distinctive new writers. We applaud their creativity and wish them all the best of luck next year.”

Staff Reporter

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