Theatre Centre announces the winners of £9k in prizes
15 November 2013
Playwright Danny Braverman wins Theatre Centre’s £6,000 Brian Way Award 2013
Playwright Danny Braverman is the winner of the £6,000 Brian Way Award 2013 for Wot? No fish!! The award promotes 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.
Wot? No fish!! is a play for ages 12+ produced by bread&circuses. It tells the funny and moving story of how the playwright discovered the lost art of his great-uncle Ab, and is billed as “an extraordinary story about love, art, history… and catering.”
On the evening of Thursday 14 November 2013, playwright and Brian Way Award 2013 judge Evan Placey announced the winner to a crowd of over 150 writers and theatre professionals at an exclusive event at Rich Mix in Shoreditch. The event also celebrated Theatre Centre’s 60th birthday – the professional theatre company has been touring new plays for young audiences since 1953.
“Wot? No fish!! impressed us with the way it tackled big themes and questions through a unique and personal story. The moving, funny, and heartfelt tale delighted and surprised. The writing and the storytelling were magic, and all too real.” Evan Placey, Brian Way Award judge 2013
“This play changes the expectations of what Theatre for Young Audiences can be and the stories it can tell. It’s beautiful, poignant and funny, and I’m proud that we are able to recognise it with this award in the name of Theatre Centre’s founder, Brian Way.” Natalie Wilson, Artistic Director, Theatre Centre
Some of the most prominent theatre writers working in the UK today joined Evan Placey on the judging panel: 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) and Roy Williams OBE (whose plays include Sucker Punch and Sing Your Heart Out for the Lads).
Danny Braveman was selected from a shortlist of six playwrights. The list also included Naomi Cortes, Kevin Dyer, Philip Ridley, Nicky Singer and Rebecca Prichard.
The winners of Theatre Centre’s Adrienne Benham Award and Dorothy L. Sayers Award were also announced at the event. Emerging playwright Lou Ramsden won the £2,000 Adrienne Benham Award, which will support her exploration of the Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) sector. Actors Matt Bradley-Robinson and Adrian Richards picked up the Dorothy L. Sayers Award, which recognises the achievements of actors whose first professional job has been with Theatre Centre. They each received £500.
The event also provided a significant focal point in Theatre Centre’s 60th birthday year. Guests joined Artistic Director Natalie Wilson and Theatre Centre actors, staff and creatives from across the decades at a celebration immediately following the announcement.
As part of Theatre Centre’s 60th birthday celebrations, the company is touring Advice for the Young at Heart, a new play by Roy Williams. In addition, it has run special initiatives and events to enhance the profile of Theatre for Young Audiences. Its Write Lines conference in June brought together over 100 writers and theatre professionals to discuss the importance of new plays for young people. By the end of the year, showcase performances in five regions will have given local policymakers, arts organisations, educators and press the opportunity to experience an outstanding professional production for young people and discuss the role of drama in secondary schools. A 60th birthday microsite, accessible from Theatre Centre’s main website, continues to collect stories from actors, creatives and staff who have worked with the company at any point over the last six decades.
For more information about Theatre Centre’s awards visit:
Find out more about the company’s 60 years at: www.theatre-centre.co.uk/60/
For more information or to arrange interviews please contact Alan Ward, Marketing Manager: 020 7729 3066 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
Theatre Centre is a professional theatre company celebrating 60 years of touring new plays for children and young people. A registered charity, Theatre Centre has been commissioning new writing and touring to schools and venues across the UK since 1953. 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, Brendan Murray, Philip Osment, Bryony Lavery, Manjinder Virk, 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
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.
Lou Ramsden’s plays have received productions and staged readings at the Soho Theatre, Young Vic, Birmingham Rep, Edinburgh Fringe, and Latitude festival. Last year she was on attachment to the Royal Court, and part of their invitation-only Supergroup. In 2011 her play Hundreds and Thousands was produced at Soho Theatre, and her play Breed was shortlisted for both the Meyer Whitworth and Critics’ Circle Awards. In 2010 she completed an attachment at the National Theatre, and was a member of the first 503Five group at Theatre503. Her plays are published by Nick Hern Books.
Matt Bradley-Robinson graduated from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in 2013 with a BA (Hons) in Acting. Theatre credits include Hugo in A Butcher of Distinction (Cockpit Theatre) and Clem, Andy & Johnno in Theatre Centre’s Skylines Showcase. Whilst training his credits include Huggins/Goodman in There Is A War (Jacksons Lane), Eva in Kimalia, Alexander Goffe in Cressida, Trebonius in Julius Caesar, Dino in The Rink, Halvard Solness in The Master Builder; Rev. Shannon in The Night of the Iguana, Martin in Through a Glass Darkly, Parolles in All’s Well That Ends Well and Maz in The Knowledge. Matt is currently on tour with Theatre Centre’s Advice for the Young at Heart by Roy Williams.
Adrian Richards trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Whilst at Central he appeared as Link in Moonfleece, Sam Mitchum in Absolute Hell, Edmund in King Lear, Young Bellair in Man of Mode, Agamemnon in The Oresteia, Oliver/Corin in As You Like It, Fick in Balm In Gilead and Semyon in Vassa Zheleznova. Credits before training include: Punch in Relish (National Youth Theatre) and Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing (M.D.C.C.). Adrian is currently on tour with Theatre Centre’s Advice for the Young at Heart by Roy Williams.