Published: Thu 29 Oct 20

Amanda Wilkin’s SHEDDING A SKIN Announced As Verity Bargate Award 2020 Winner

  • Following a record number of entries, Amanda Wilkin’s SHEDDING A SKIN announced as Verity Bargate Award 2020 winner
  • Judging panel chaired by Stephen Garrett included Laura Wade, Lolita Chakrabarti, Russell T Davies and Phoebe Waller-Bridge
  • SHEDDING A SKIN to be performed at Soho Theatre, Spring/Summer 2021
  • The play will also be filmed for live broadcast and for Soho Theatre On Demand
  • The Verity Bargate Award is sponsored by Character 7

From a record number of 1493 entries, a longlist of 20 inspiring and fabulously imagined emerging voices, and a shortlist of seven incredibly eclectic new plays, Soho Theatre is thrilled to announce the winner of the Verity Bargate Award 2020 as Amanda Wilkin with her captivating play Shedding A Skin. The production will have its world premiere at Soho Theatre in the Spring/Summer of 2021.

For 50 years Soho Theatre has championed new writing, from lunch time plays in the 70s to today’s commissions, attachments, writers labs and awards. Since 1982, Soho Theatre’s prestigious biennial playwriting competition, the Verity Bargate Award, has uncovered the best new play by an emerging UK and Irish writer and launched the careers of some of Britain’s most established writers.

In January this year, almost 1500 new plays by emerging writers were submitted to the Verity Bargate Award 2020. What followed was months of reading from a diverse team of arts industry professionals, that continued throughout COVID restrictions, to reach a longlist of 20 plays before a shortlist of seven plays was determined. Chaired by film and television producer, and Award Sponsor, Character 7’s Stephen Garrett (The Night Manager, The Undoing) – who described the shortlisted plays as ‘spine-tingly zeitgeisty’ – hours of Zoom deliberations ensued between a panel of industry experts including former Soho Theatre writers Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Laura Wade, screenwriter Russell T Davies, actress and playwright Lolita Chakrabarti, before determining Amanda Wilkin’s play Shedding A Skin as the Award winner.

Selected quotes from the judging panel:

Lolita Chakrabarti said:Amanda Wilkin’s play is beautifully written, contemporary, poetic and delicate. The world she creates in the play is familiar and surprising all at once.  She’s definitely a talent to watch.’ 

Phoebe Waller-Bridge said:I was not prepared to be kidnapped by a play and a voice so completely as I was by Amanda Wilkin’s Shedding A Skin. I’m excited to see this profound, funny, modern, stark and hopeful play performed at Soho Theatre. Then of course, after that, just everything Amanda puts her pen to!’

Russell T Davies said: ‘It was an absolute honour to read all seven plays, seven brilliant plays, seven marvellous writers, a real joy. And I noticed that as we talked, we kept coming back to one voice, one vision, one person, and that was Amanda Wilkin. It’s a beautiful play, it’s heartfelt, it’s mysterious, it says a lot about the world, it’s really really brilliant.’

Stephen Garrett said: ‘As sponsor of the Verity Bargate Award, I could not be more thrilled that Shedding A Skin has won this year’s prize. Amanda Wilkin has crafted a play that is funny as it is warm, as profound as it is of the moment. She’s captured a generation. It’s a work of incredible beauty and great wit, she will go far.’