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EKP & Paines Plough announce shortlisted scripts for The Women’s Prize For Playwriting 2020

Hira Desai

By Hira Desai First Published 11 August 2020, Last Updated 11 August 2020

Ellie Keel Productions and Paines Plough, with 45North and in association with Sonia Friedman Productions, today announced the 35 shortlisted scripts for the inaugural The Women’s Prize for Playwriting 2020, selected from 1,169 entries.

The prize has been created to celebrate and support exceptional UK and Ireland-based playwrights who identify as female. The winner will receive £12,000 in respect of an exclusive option for the lead producers of the Prize to co-produce the winning play. The prize is sponsored by Samuel French Ltd, a Concord Theatricals company, who are the official publishing partner of the prize.

Ellie Keel today said, “The 35 plays on our shortlist are irrefutable proof of the exceptional quality of women’s writing for the stage. The authors range from first-time, unproduced playwrights to experienced writers with prestigious credits. The plays themselves are brilliantly diverse in subject matter, size and style. We will be compiling a catalogue of these plays on The Women’s Prize for Playwriting website to act as a resource for directors, producers, programmers and other creatives, as each of these plays deserves to have a future life.”

Katie Posner and Charlotte Bennett, joint Artistic Directors of Paines Plough, also commented, “We have been astounded by the boldness, quality and sheer range of plays we have read for the inaugural Women’s Prize for Playwriting. As a founding partner alongside Ellie Keel Productions we are thrilled to have had the privilege to read so many incredible women’s stories and to now be announcing our shortlist. This whole process has only highlighted that there has never been any excuse to claim there is a shortage of exceptional plays by women and that now is the time for us to be committing to championing and producing them.”

The judging panel for The Women’s Prize for Playwriting 2020 is chaired by senior literary agent Mel Kenyon, and includes actress and writer Monica Dolan; Sarah Frankcom, Director of LAMDA; playwright and screenwriter Tanika Gupta; playwright Ella Hickson; theatre producer and former Executive Director of the Donmar Warehouse, Kate Pakenham; actress and playwright Maxine Peake; and Artistic Director of Kiln Theatre, Indhu Rubasingham.

The shortlist in full is:

  • A Rat, A Rat by Chloe Yates
  • …blackbird hour by Babirye Bukilw
  • Colostrum by Olivia Hennessy
  • Contact Centre by Victoria Barclay
  • Core by Jennifer Lunn
  • Deepa the Saint by Sonali Bhattacharyya
  • Everything Must Go by Caitlin McEwan
  • EZRA by Stella Green
  • Fly Home Butterfly by Tife Kusoro
  • Full English by Silva Semerciyan
  • Giddyup’s Way by Ciara Cassoni
  • happy sad virginia! by Deborah Acheampong
  • How the Dodo Died and Other Stories by Jenny Knotts
  • Leaving Eden by Sophia Chetin-Leuner
  • Kelp by Gaia Sorcha Fenn
  • My Brother’s Keeper by Kim Taylor
  • PARADISE STREET by Chino Odimba
  • Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me by Amy Trigg
  • Red Sky at Night by Eve Leigh
  • Savage by Jane Bodie
  • Smethwick by Yolanda Mercy
  • Static by Saskia Livingstone
  • SUPER BLOOD WOLF MAN by Alice Allemano
  • The Credibility Assessment by Amanda Wilkin
  • THE ESTATE by Shaan Sahota
  • The Good People by Camilla Whitehill
  • The Sub-Let Next to Heaven by Madeleine Accalia
  • The Swell by Isley Lynn
  • The Virgins by Miriam Battye
  • This Might Not Be It by Sophia Leuner
  • We’ll Be Who We Are by Naomi Obeng
  • When the Sea Swallows Us Whole by Natasha Collie
  • White Tuesday by Eve Leigh
  • YOU BURY ME by Ahlam

The finalists and winners for the Women’s Prize for Playwriting will be announced in the autumn. Click here to find out more!


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