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Following the critically-acclaimed sold-out run of its 2020 winner, Amanda Wilkin’s Shedding a Skin, earlier this year, Soho Theatre is thrilled to announce the return of its Verity Bargate Award. Submissions now open until 21 January 2022. The 40th anniversary winner will be announced in July 2022 and will receive £7,500 in respect of an exclusive option for Soho Theatre to produce their play.
Since 1982, the Verity Bargate Award, Soho Theatre’s foremost 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 (HBO’s Run), Toby Whithouse (Doctor Who) and many, many more.
This year’s award will be judged by a panel of industry experts including past Soho playwrights Theresa Ikoko (Girls, 2015, Soho Theatre), James Graham (Tory Boyz, 2008, and Monster Raving Loony, 2016, Soho Theatre) and Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (Mum, 2021, Soho Theatre), as well as April De Angelis (Jumpy, Royal Court and West End). The award is sponsored by Character 7 and chaired by film and television producer, Character 7’s Stephen Garrett. The Award honours Verity Bargate, Soho’s co-founder who passionately championed new writing during her time at the small but hugely influential fringe theatre company, Soho Poly.
Soho Theatre’s Literary Manager Gillian Greer said: ‘The Verity Bargate Award has been a cornerstone of Soho’s commitment to new writing for decades, and I am delighted to welcome it back as our industry emerges from one of its greatest challenges to date. Now more than ever, we need talented new voices telling powerful stories; to uplift us, to challenge us, to provoke and inspire us. I cannot wait to see what these artists have to share.’
Character 7’s Executive Chairman and Verity Bargate Award Judging Panel Chair Stephen Garrett said: ‘As this collaboration between Character 7 and Soho Theatre embarks on its fourth Verity Bargate Award I have a sense that this will be its most thrilling yet. Emerging, as we are, from nearly 2 years in which young and diverse voices have been deprived of an outlet for their creativity and imagination, the flood gates are about to open in the most scintillating of ways. Bring it on!’
Tickets for a series of workshops in preparation for the Verity Bargate Award are now available to buy from sohotheatre.com. These in-person, three-hour workshops will provide writers with the tools and inspiration to begin writing their next play and provide some information about how they can submit to the Verity Bargate Award. Free tickets for online sessions are also available from sohotheatre.com for those unable to attend.
Verity Bargate Award Workshops
From £10, in-person at Soho Theatre, 3 hours
Sat 13 Nov, 10am
Sat 4 Dec, 11am
Sat 11 Dec, 11am
Sat 8 Jan, 11am
Led by Soho Literary Manager Gillian Greer and featuring some Soho guest artists, these three hour workshops will provide writers with the tools and inspiration to begin writing their next play and provide some information about how they can submit to our Verity Bargate Award.
Verity Bargate Award Online Info Sessions
Free, digitally streamed, 1 hour
Sat 13 Nov, 3pm
Sat 4 Dec, 3pm
Sat 11 Dec, 3pm
Sat 8 Jan, 3pm
Soho Theatre presents four one hour info sessions on our Verity Bargate Award.
The sessions are open to anyone resident in the UK and Ireland who is interested in submitting to the Verity Bargate Award. Sessions will provide some information about Soho’s artist development programmes, the history of the Award and how to submit for the 2021 competition.
NOTES TO EDITORS
ABOUT THE VERITY BARGATE AWARD 2022
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 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.
www.sohotheatre.com/writers/verity-bargate-award/ | www.characterseven.com/
ABOUT SOHO THEATRE
Soho Theatre is London’s most vibrant producer for new theatre, comedy and cabaret. We pursue creative excellence, harnessing an artistic spirit that is based in our new writing roots, the radical ethos of the fringe and the traditions of punk culture and queer performance. We champion voices that challenge from outside of the mainstream, and sometimes from within it too. We value entertainment, accessibility and enjoy a good show. We are a registered charity and social enterprise and our audiences are diverse in age, background and outlook.
We are mission driven and we measure our success in: • the NEW WORK that we produce, present and facilitate • the CREATIVE TALENT that we nurture with artists, in our participation work and with our own staff • the DIVERSE AUDIENCES that we play to and engage.
To create theatre we nurture new playwrights, we commission new work and we produce new plays. Writers including debbie tucker green, Chris Chibnall, Theresa Ikoko and Vicky Jones had early work produced at Soho. With comedy and cabaret, we identify, develop and produce exciting new talents and present some of the biggest international stars.
We work beyond Soho taking work to and from the world’s major festivals like the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Our touring work plays across the UK and internationally with strong connections to India, Australia and the US. Our filmed comedy can be downloaded on our digital platform, seen on TV and viewed on international airlines. We’re ambitious, entrepreneurial and collaborative and take pride in our strong relationships with commercial partners – but the profits we make go back into supporting our work. sohotheatre.com | sohotheatreondemand.com | @sohotheatre
ABOUT CHARACTER 7
Character 7 is a production company founded by Stephen Garrett for high-end television and film projects. It is based in Los Angeles and London. As an accomplished producer Stephen Garrett most recently served as Executive Producer on the David E Kelley penned HBO mini-series THE UNDOING, starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant and Donald Sutherland, directed by Academy Award winner Susanne Bier, which has just launched in the UK on Sky Atlantic to stellar reviews. He was also Executive Producer on the multiple Golden Globe winning “The Night Manager.” A collaboration with The Ink Factory, the series –which also won an Emmy for director Susanne Bier- marked the first project under the Character 7 banner. Among the company’s upcoming projects in development are “Russians Among Us”, an adaptation of BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera’s compelling account of the spies ghosted into stolen identities in North America and “The Spy Who Came In From The Cold”, which is being produced in association with The Ink Factory, Paramount Television and BBC. Character 7 is currently in production on CULPRITS, an 8 part thriller for Disney+/Star, written and directed by J Blakeson (I CARE A LOT).
Prior to Character 7, Garrett was Founder and Executive Chairman of Kudos, the UK’s leading independent producer of TV drama. With his business partner Jane Featherstone, Kudos’ TV drama arm galvanized British television with the popular, acclaimed shows BAFTA- winning “Spooks” (based on Garrett’s original idea), “Hustle,” “Life on Mars,” “The Hour” and ITV’s hit “Broadchurch.” Garrett and Featherstone sold Kudos to Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine Group in 2006, and continued to be involved with the company until 2014. characterseven.com | @characterseven
ABOUT THE VERITY BARGATE AWARD 2022 JUDGES
APRIL DE ANGELIS
April De Angelis is an acclaimed playwright who has worked in stage, radio and television. Such work includes: My Brilliant Friend, a two part dramatization of Elena Ferrantes’ epic family saga (Rose Theatre Kingston and National Theatre, London 2019/20); The Village (Theatre Royal Stratford East, 2018); Frankenstein (Royal Exchange Manchester 2018, Jumpy ( starring Tamsin Greig, Royal Court 2011 & Duke of York’s Theatre, West End 2012, Melbourne and Sydney 2015); an adaptation of Wuthering Heights (Birmingham Rep, 2008); WILD EAST (Royal Court 2006); A Laughing Matter (Out of Joint at National Theatre, 2001); A Warwickshire Testimony (RSC, 1999); The Positive Hour (Out of Joint at Hampstead Theatre, 1997); Playhouse Creatures (Sphinx Theatre Company at the Haymarket Theatre 1993 and revived at the Old Vic Theatre, 1997 and again at Chichester Festival Theatre in 2013); The Life And Times Of Fanny Hill (The Old Fire Station Oxford, 1991; revived at the Bristol Old Vic, 2015).
Other work includes the opera libretti: Flight (Glyndebourne Opera, 1997) and the Silent Twins (Almeida, 2007). Television includes Aristophanes (Channel 4/1995) and she has written extensively for radio including an acclaimed adaptation of Peyton Place (BBC Radio, 2002).
James is a playwright and screenwriter whose recent work includes Quiz, on stage at Chichester and the West End before being adapted for ITV1 last spring; Brexit: The Uncivil War for Channel 4 (2019); The Culture as part of Hull’s City of Culture; Ink at the Almeida Theatre, West End and on Broadway (2017), nominated for Best New Play at the Oliviers and the Tony Awards. Labour of Love (West End, 2017) won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy; The Vote at the Donmar Warehouse, live streamed onto More4 on election night 2015, and This House which premiered at the National Theatre in 2012, before a sell-out run in the Olivier in 2013, a transfer to the West End in 2016 and a nationwide wide tour in 2018. He remains a Playwright in Residence at the Finborough Theatre were his first professional play was staged in 2005.
Theresa Ikoko has had a variety of jobs in prison education, secure settings and social inclusion/community engagement projects. She is passionate about participation, young people and community efficacy.
Theresa’s debut feature film Rocks premiered at TIFF to wonderful reviews and picked up nominations and wins at the 2021 BIFAs and BAFTAs. She is the winner of the George Devine Award and Alfred Fagon Award for her debut play Girls (Soho Theatre / Talawa / Hightide) – which was also a Verity Bargate Award Finalist. Theresa is currently developing Grime Kids to air on BBC 3 in 2022, and Wahala for BBC1; as well as various film, tv and theatre projects.
MORGAN LLOYD MALCOLM
Morgan was commissioned by The Globe to write Emilia which became a sell out in summer 2018 and transferred to the West End at the Vaudeville theatre in 2019. It won three Olivier Awards in 2021 including Best Comedy or Entertainment. It has been optioned as a film and she is in development on this currently.
Previous theatre includes Belongings and The Wasp.
Mum for Francesca Moody Productions and Typical Girls for Clean Break will be produced in 2021 after being cancelled during the pandemic.
Current theatre commissions with Headlong, Lyric Hammersmith, and Clean Break. For Television she is working with Merman, Gaumont and Moonage. She is also adapting her play The Wasp into a screenplay for Paradise City Films. She is represented by David Higham Associates and WME.