Brian Way Award 2013: Shortlist announced

3 October 2013


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Awards page | Press release

Theatre Centre is pleased to announce the shortlist announced for its £6,000 Brian Way Award...

The shortlist for the Brian Way Award for Best New Play 2013, which celebrates a professionally produced play for children and young people, is announced today. The prize is administrated by Theatre Centre, a professional theatre company currently celebrating 60 years touring new plays for young audiences.

The playwrights shortlisted for the £6,000 prize are:

  • Danny Braverman for Wot? No fish!! (produced by bread&circuses)
  • Naomi Cortes for The Littlest Quirky (produced by Theatre Centre)
  • Kevin Dyer for Angel (produced by Theatre Hullabaloo)
  • Philip Ridley for Feathers in the Snow (produced by Southwark Playhouse)
  • Nicky Singer for Island (produced by the National Theatre)
  • Rebecca Prichard for Parallax (produced by the Almeida Theatre)

The award seeks to promote the achievements of playwrights who write for young audiences. The prize money is intended to give the winner the time and space to develop a new play without the pressure of deadlines or a commissioning brief. The 2013 award is for a new play professionally produced between 1 October 2011 and 31 January 2013.

“Writing can be a lonely venture at times, you need someone to reach and encourage and support you to keep going. That's what the Brian Way Award was for me; it was the hand that reached out and inspired me to write more, that celebrated and recognised the work, and in the big busy world of theatre said that work for young audiences matters. I'm excited to be part of this year's judging process – hopefully passing on to another writer the same positive experience and encouragement I've received from Theatre Centre.” Evan Placey, Brian Way Award winner 2012

This year’s judging panel is formed of some of the most prominent theatre writers working in the UK today: Bryony Lavery (whose plays include Her Aching Heart and Frozen), Sabrina Mahfouz (currently the Cape Farewell poet in residence), Janice Okoh (winner of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2011), Evan Placey (winner of last year’s Brian Way Award) and Roy Williams OBE (whose plays include Sucker Punch and Sing Your Heart Out for the Lads).

“It takes an incredible amount of skill and imagination to write for young audiences, and I am really glad the Brian Way Award exists to honour playwrights who dare to take that risk.” Janice Okoh, playwright and Brian Way Award judge 2013

The winner will be announced at an event at Rich Mix in Shoreditch on Thursday 14 November 2013. The event will also celebrate the winners of Theatre Centre’s Adrienne Benham Award and Dorothy L. Sayers Award, and Theatre Centre’s 60th Birthday.


For more information or to arrange interviews please contact Alan Ward, Marketing Manager: 020 7729 3066 / alan@theatre-centre.co.uk

Notes to Editors

Theatre Centre is a professional theatre company celebrating 60 years of commissioning new writing and touring to schools and venues across the UK. Collaborating with artists and teachers, Theatre Centre produces high-quality theatre experiences for young audiences and young theatre-makers alike. It received its first Arts Council England grant in 1966 and became a National Portfolio Organisation in 2012 (supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England). Theatre Centre has worked with award winning writers such as Lisa Evans, Noël Grieg, Mike Kenny, Bryony Lavery, Roy Williams and Benjamin Zephaniah. Theatre Centre administrates the Brian Way Award for Best New Play, the Adrienne Benham Award and the Dorothy L. Sayers Award. Visit the website at www.theatre-centre.co.uk

The shortlist

Danny Braverman has been a writer, director, teacher and performer in education and community settings for thirty years. He has worked companies including Theatre Royal Stratford East, Theatre Centre, London Bubble, the National Theatre and Graeae. Until 2011, Danny was Director of The Orpheus Centre. His book Playing a Part: Drama and Citizenship (Trentham Books, 2002) is widely used by teachers and other arts practitioners and he is part-time Lecturer in Applied Theatre at Goldsmiths. Danny recently re-formed bread&circuses, a company originally created in 1983, with fellow originator Director Nick Philippou.

Naomi Cortes is an actor and drama practitioner who enjoys creating innovative and vibrant theatre. She has performed in productions ranging from The Snow Queen to As You Like It, and worked with West End theatres to create exciting work performed by young people. Naomi turned to writing recently when she realised that, using her own words, through the magic of theatre, she could tell the stories of children whose voices are not being heard. The Littlest Quirky is her first professionally commissioned play.

Kevin Dyer is the Associate Writer at Action Transport Theatre, the Artistic Associate at Farnham Maltings and an Associate Artist at The Dukes, Lancaster. His new adaptation of Minotaur (commissioned by the Kennedy Center, Washington DC) goes into rehearsals for two separate, simultaneous productions with both Polka Theatre and Young People’s Theatre, Toronto, on 3rd March 2014. His plays The Iranian Feast and 12 Miles From Nowhere are currently on national tour.

Philip Ridley was born in the East End of London. He has written many plays for young people including Karamazoo, Fairytaleheart, Moonfleece, Sparkleshark and Brokenville (collectively known as The Storyteller Sequence), and Feathers in the Snow. He has also written books for children, including Krindlekrax (winner of both the Smarties Prize and WH Smith’s Mind-Boggling Books Award). In 2012, What’s On Stage named him as one of the Jubilee Playwrights (sixty of the most influential British writers to have emerged in the past six decades).

Nicky Singer has published novels for adults, non-fiction and six works for young people. Her children’s novel Feather Boy won the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award, was adapted for TV (winning a BAFTA for Best Children’s Drama) and commissioned by the National Theatre’s Shell Connections series as a musical. In 2010 Nicky adapted her novel Knight Crew into an opera for Glyndebourne. 2012 saw the premiere of her first play Island at the National’s Cottesloe Theatre and the publication of The Flask. She is currently at work on a novel version of Island and an adaptation of Feather Boy the Musical.

Rebecca Prichard's credits include Yard Gal (Critics' Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright, co-produced by Clean Break and performed at the Royal Court and in women's prisons), Essex Girls (Royal Court Young Writers' Festival), Fair Game, a free adaptation of Edna Mazya's Games in the Backyard (Royal Court Downstairs at the Duke of York Theatre), Delir'ium (performed at the Tricycle, Royal Court and Chichester Festival Theatre) and Futures (Theatre 503 and The Schauspiel House, Zurich). Rebecca is currently under commission to the National Theatre and works in the Theatre Studies department at The University of Essex.