Published: Thu 27 Aug 20

Verity Bargate Award 2020 longlist announced

  • 20 plays longlisted for the Verity Bargate Award 
  • The shortlist revealed end of September, with the winner announced in October

Following a record number of 1,493 submissions to its Verity Bargate Award 2020, Soho Theatre today reveals the 20 plays that have been longlisted for the award. The shortlist will be announced at the end of September and the winner of the award announced in October.

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 former Soho writers Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Arinzé Kene and Laura Wade, screenwriter Russell T Davies, actress and playwright Lolita Chakrabarti. 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, Soho Poly.

On the Verity Bargate Award 2020 longlist, Stephen Garrett said: “If anyone needs reminding why we absolutely have to have theatres back in our lives, they should look no further than this inspiring, inspired, richly diverse, fabulously imagined and utterly necessary body of work from 20 emerging voices.”


Verity Bargate Award 2020 longlist

44 Sex Acts in One Week       David Finnigan

Black Beth                              Cheryl Ndione

Even In Arcadia                      Sophie Swithinbank

Everything Must Go                Caitlin McEwan

Fly Home Butterfly                  Tife Kusoro

A Gig for Ghosts                     Fran Bushe

Honey                                    Lucy Foster

Human Suit                            Sarah Kosar

KRILL                                     Sorcha McCaffrey

The Levellers                         Nathan Lucky Wood

Marry or Burn                         Tolula Dada

RAD                                      FXXX BXXXXX

Retrograde                             Ryan Calais Cameron

scum                                     Ava Wong Davies

Shedding a Skin                     Amanda Wilkin

Super High Resolution             Nathan Ellis

This Game Right Here             Aaron Gordon

This Might Not Be It                Sophia Chetin-Leuner

Vile Acts of Love                     Naomi Sheldon

When We Begin                     Leo J Skilbeck


Soho Theatre’s Literary Manager Gillian Greer said: ‘This is the Verity Bargate Award’s biggest ever year, and we have never needed it more. In a time of great uncertainty, I am delighted that Soho Theatre can celebrate these twenty vital, distinct, urgent and uncompromising theatrical voices. The talent, variety, and ambition on display within this list is truly astonishing, and offers a beacon of hope for the future of playwriting.’