Manchester is a UK leader in theatre, home both to longstanding vital institutions such as the Royal Exchange Theatre and new, dynamic venues such as HOME. Further cementing the city’s status as an important centre for new writing is the Bruntwood Prize, the largest playwriting competition in Europe.
Established in 2005, the biennial award is run by the Royal Exchange Theatre in partnership with the property company Bruntwood, and aims to promote and support playwrights across the country.
A rich legacy
The prize is open to playwrights of all backgrounds and levels of experience, who are asked to put forward a script of an unperformed play that they have written. Each script is marked anonymously by a team of professional readers before a top ten are shortlisted to be reviewed by a panel of judges.
A final four winners are selected at a ceremony in November, and each winner is given a share of a £40,000 prize fund; sometimes even gaining the opportunity to have their productions put on stage.
In the video at the top of this page, previous winners talk about the effect that the Bruntwood Prize has had on their lives and careers.
Ten years on
The last Bruntwood Prize took place in 2015, which saw the organisation mark its tenth anniversary. It proved to be a particularly close year, with prize chairman Michael Oglesby CBE calling for an additional winner to be added to the original four.
The overall winner was Katherine Soper with her play Wish List, which went on to be staged at the Royal Exchange Theatre and then at the Royal Court Upstairs in London.
The first two videos below contain a round-up of all of the excitement and emotion from the ceremony, along with testimonies from theatre professionals, previous winners and other creatives behind the Bruntwood Prize to mark the tenth anniversary.