Named after the company’s founding Artistic Director, the playwriting award for the outsider has always sought extraordinary voices and unique styles which stand out from the crowd and tell inspiring unheard stories. In search for the best first time and emerging UK playwright, the Award is open to writers with fewer than three professional productions. Dedicated to championing distinctive writing and nurturing new talent, we advocate early commitment to making a vital difference to the long-term career of a writer, particularly when pathways to production and theatres can feel like closed shops. Click here to see how to apply.
The award is £7000 in respect of an exclusive option for Soho Theatre to produce the winning play.
In a first for the competition, in conjunction with the Verity Bargate Award, Award sponsor Character 7 will be offering one writer the opportunity to develop their storytelling skills for TV drama. The writer will be drawn from the Verity Bargate longlist but chosen separately to the main award. Working closely with Character 7 founder and executive chairman Stephen Garrett and head of development Michele Wolkoff the selected writer will be awarded a grant and tasked to develop a small number of ideas with a view to optioning one of them to take to script. Character 7, behind award-winning hit The Night Manager, works with distinguished names and new creative voices to tell stories that cut across boundaries and raise the bar for television and film.
Judges for this year’s Award include: Stephen Garrett (Executive Chairman, Character 7), Meera Syal (actress and writer), Graeme Farrow (Artistic Director, Wales Millennium Centre), Emma Rice (Artistic Director, Globe), Matt Trueman (Theatre Critic and Journalist), Jackie Wylie (Artistic Director, National Theatre Scotland), Neil Murray (Artistic Director, Abbey, Dublin) and Ikenna Obiekwe (Literary Agent, Independent Talent).
The winner will be announced at an event which celebrates the shortlisted plays.
‘We have brought together a group of incredible judges from across the UK and Ireland, and a variety of roles across the storytelling industries. These leading writers, directors, artistic directors, producers, actors and agents all have strong links to Soho Theatre’s eclectic and thrilling stages, and will help us find an amazing unique show to produce, and a whole host of unheard new artists to work with in the future.’
Steve Marmion, Artistic Director, Soho Theatre