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Mid-way through presenting an autumn season packed with new plays, whilst also gearing up for the hunt for the next generation of writers through its Verity Bargate Award, Soho Theatre continues to confirm its commitment to new writing by reintroducing the Literary Manager role, previously held by Jack Bradley, Ruth Little, Paul Sirett and Nina Steiger. This month, with great excitement, Soho Theatre announces playwright and dramaturg Gillian Greer as its new Literary Manager.
David Luff, Soho Theatre’s Creative Director said: “We are delighted to announce Gillian as our new Literary Manager. Gillian has superb experience from her past work at the National, Clean Break and VAULT Festival. I look forward to working with her on restructuring and reinvigorating our literary department, finding and commissioning the writers of tomorrow.”
A playwright and dramaturg from Dublin, Gillian has been the Senior Reader at The National Theatre since 2017, and has worked with the artistic teams at Clean Break Theatre Company, Abbey Theatre, Theatre503, VAULT Festival, The Mercury Theatre and many more identifying and nurturing exciting new voices for the stage. As a writer, her debut play PETALS was nominated for Best New Play at the Irish Times Awards in 2015 and her play MEAT was shortlisted for the Theatre503 International Playwriting Prize 2018. Gillian will commence full time as Soho Theatre’s Literary Manager from October.
In the first instance Gillian will help lead on Verity Bargate Award 2020 as Soho Theatre and Character 7 begin their search for the next extraordinary play from an extraordinary new voice. Judges include Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Arinze Kene, Lolita Chakrabarti and Laura Wade with more to be announced.
On her appointment, Gillian said: ‘Since arriving in the UK I have been a huge fan of Soho Theatre, which has always stood out to me as a space teeming with some of the boldest, freshest work in London. There could not be a better time to join the Soho team, as there is a clear hunger to put playwrights and new writing right at the heart of what the organisation does. I hope I can bring passion, dedication and real dramaturgical rigour to my work here.’
Currently on stage at Soho Theatre is the London premiere of Cora Bissett’s epic piece of gig theatre What Girls Are Made Of and the Edinburgh transfer of Ryan Calais Cameron’s new play Typical starring Richard Blackwood. These will be followed by the playwriting stage debuts of David Baddiel with God’s Dice and Cassiopeia Berkeley-Agyepong and Simone Ibbett-Brown’s Shuck ‘n’ Jive.
VERITY BARGATE AWARD 2020
The search is on. Soho Theatre and Character 7, producer of The Night Manager, are looking for extraordinary plays from extraordinary new voices. The Verity Bargate Award is Soho Theatre’s flagship new-writing award with the winning play produced in a full production on our stages. For almost 50 years, Soho Theatre has championed new writing. Since 1982, the Verity Bargate Award, Soho Theatre’s playwriting award, has uncovered the best new and emerging writers. It has launched the careers of some of Britain’s most established playwrights and screenwriters including Matt Charman (Bridge of Spies), Vicky Jones (Run for HBO), Toby Whithouse (Doctor Who) and many, many more.
The Verity Bargate Award is open to any playwright who has had fewer than three professional productions and who lives in the UK or Ireland. There are no restrictions on subject matter. Musicals and other forms of theatre are welcome but will only be judged on the text that is submitted. The winner receives £7,500 in respect of an exclusive option for Soho Theatre to produce the play. Soho Theatre is presenting a series of workshops and information sessions at Soho Theatre and around the UK and Ireland for emerging writers interested in entering the competition.