Published: Wed 20 Oct 21

Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Verity Bargate Award

  • Submissions open 21 October 2021 to 21 January 2022
  • Judging panel will include April De Angelis, James Graham, Theresa Ikoko, and Morgan Lloyd Malcolm
  • The Verity Bargate Award is sponsored by Character 7, chaired by Stephen Garrett
  • A series of in-person and online workshops are now on sale

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 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 for those unable to attend.