Playwright Dawn King, whose new play Ciphers is set to open at the Bush theatre in the new year, has been awarded the Royal National Theatre Foundation Playwright Award for her 2011 rural drama Foxfinder.
The award, which has succeeded the Meyer-Whitworth Award, is designed to help up-and-coming UK playwrights by awarding them the sum of £10,000 to further their careers in the industry.
Foxfinder, which tells the story of 19-year-old William Bloor who is intent on proving that the cunning animals of the play’s title are enemies of mankind, was described by The Guardian’s Michael Billington as “An arresting and individual work that haunts the mind long after you’ve seen it” when it premiered at the
Finborough theatre in a production directed by UK Theatre Award winner Blanche McIntyre.
Talking about the award-winning play, acclaimed author Kate Mosse, who was one of the writers on the RNTF Playwright Award panel, said: “Foxfinder is clever, beautifully crafted and a skilful blend of symbol and realism. Atmospheric and brimful with heightened emotion, it is both a strong ensemble piece and has four strong and individual roles. The writing is muscular and accomplished, and the words sing on the page.”
Commenting on her triumph, which follows the play’s success in the Papatango New Writing Prize, King said: “I wrote Foxfinder with little support and on little money, simply hoping that it would find a production somewhere and receive favourable reviews. To be given the Royal National Theatre Foundation Playwright Award for it is as lovely as it is unexpected. I’m very honoured.”
In addition to the main award, sums of £1,000 are also granted to other exceptional candidates, which this year included Naylah Ahmed for her compelling thriller Mustafa and Douglas Rintoul for his devised monologue Elegy.
While King’s new play Ciphers will play at the Bush theatre from 14 January to 8 February following a national tour, writer and director Rintoul is currently directing the Unicorn theatre’s festive offering runner-up ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, which will play at the London Bridge venue until 5 January.