In 2015 the Verity Bargate Award received over 900 submissions, with the winner receiving £6000 in respect of an exclusive option to produce the winning play at Soho Theatre.
Roller Diner by Stephen Jackson
Myfanwy and The Underworld by Daniel Alicandro
Yous Two by Georgia Christou
Fury by Phoebe Eclair-Powell
Girls by Theresa Ikoko
Big Mama by Rosie Raven.
This year’s judges were Diane Morgan (Artistic Director of Soho Theatre associate company NitroBEAT), Tanya Ronder (playwright, F*ck the Polar Bears), David Aukin (film producer and former Head of Film at Channel 4), Jenny Sealey (Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre Company), Fiach Mac Conghail (Artistic Director of Soho Theatre’s co-producing partner the Abbey Theatre, Dublin), Phil Porter (former Soho Six member, Blink writer and currently under commission). They were under the chairmanship of Stephen Garrett, co-founder and chairman of television production company Kudos.
The Verity Bargate Award (VBA) was established in 1982 to honour Soho Theatre’s co-founder and is presented biennially to an artist resident in the UK or Ireland with fewer than three professional productions. The winner receives £6000 in respect of an exclusive option to produce the winning play at Soho Theatre, directed by Artistic Director, Steve Marmion. Past winners include: Vicky Jones, Thomas Eccleshare, Insook Chappell, Matt Charman, Shan Khan, Bonnie Greer, Toby Whithouse and Diane Samuels.
Earlier this year Soho Theatre hit the road, delivering sessions and workshops for writers and writers in the making across London, the UK and Ireland and in our home town of London. See below for feedback.
The Verity Bargate Award 2015 is supported by The Peggy Ramsay Foundation and Stephen Garrett.
The VBA is a unique opportunity for writers. At a crucial moment when many pathways to production are closing and theatres can feel like closed shops, this process opens the door to the earliest career playwrights and lives up to a promise that has been central to this company since its founding, namely that it is through production that a writer learns about their play and their process. This early commitment can make all the difference to the long-term career of the writer.
Nina Steiger, Soho Theatre Associate Director
‘Within a few months I’d finished my first play, inspired by life at the garage, and sent it in to the Soho Theatre in time for their Verity Bargate Award for new writers… The life-changing moment came when the Soho called to say I’d won.’
Interview with past winner Matt Charman, The Sunday Times on 21 Jun.