- LOUIS EMMITT-STERN’S SLIPPERY ANNOUNCED AS SOHO THEATRE’S TONY CRAZE AWARD 2021 WINNER
- NICK HERN BOOKS TO BECOME PUBLISHING PARTNER TO THE VERITY BARGATE AWARD 2022
Soho Theatre today announces the shortlisted plays and Award winner for the Tony Craze Award 2021, its new writing prize open to Soho Theatre’s Writers’ Lab participants, as well as a Publishing Partner, Nick Hern Books, for its Verity Bargate Award 2022. Stories exploring grief, loss, imaginary worlds, harsh realities, gender, displacement, generational trauma, sisterly bonds, blackness, and queerness feature in the eclectic mix of plays shortlisted:
Tony Craze Award 2021 shortlist
new kingdom of Kitara – babirye bukilwa – HIGHLY COMMENDED
Secrets of Da Syrian Sisters – Sherine Chalhie
Slippery – Louis Emmitt-Stern – WINNER
String – Louise Dalton
White Island – Tanya Bridgeman
Soho Theatre’s Creative Learning Producer Jules Haworth said: ‘It’s an honour to celebrate these talented early-career writers, whose vibrant plays leapt off the page and stirred our panel’s curiosity. The award, in honour of Soho Theatre’s former Artistic Director and playwright, Tony Craze, champions courageous new writers emerging from the Writers’ Lab programme. We hope these five artists take the industry by storm, keep an eye on them.’
Award winner Louis Emmitt-Stern’s Slippery, a comedy-drama about grief, sex, spaghetti carbonara and confronting ghosts, will receive a workshop at Soho Theatre early next year. babirye bukilwa’s new kingdom of Kitara, which examines grief, gender, displacement and the aftermath of abrahmaic religions and its effect on Black queer bodies, came highly commended.
Formerly the Soho Young Writers’ Award, the Tony Craze Award was renamed in 2017 in honour of Soho Theatre’s former Artistic Director and first ever Verity Bargate Award winner who passed away in 2016. Open each year to the 48 writers on Soho Theatre’s Writers’ Lab, previous winners include Fran Bushe with A Gig for Ghosts, Farah Najib with Dirty Dogs, Adam Narat for Birthright (now called New Pacific), Phoebe Eclair-Powell with Fury, Charlie Josephine with Bitch Boxer, and Patrick Russell with Antlers.
It is also announced today that the UK’s leading independent theatre publisher, Nick Hern Books, will be Publishing Partner for the Verity Bargate Award from 2022. The publisher will have the first option to publish the winning play. The Verity Bargate Award is sponsored by Character 7.
Matt Applewhite, Managing Director and Commissioning Editor of Nick Hern Books, said: ‘The Verity Bargate Award has long been one of UK theatre’s most important, surprising and exciting new-writing prizes – and is aligned completely with our aims at Nick Hern Books of discovering, sharing and shining a spotlight on brilliant plays from the very best new voices.
‘Having published many winning and shortlisted writers from previous years – including Vicky Jones, Dylan Coburn Gray, Phoebe Eclair-Powell, Janice Okoh and Diane Samuels – we are thrilled to make it official as Publishing Partner, to strengthen our close relationship with the wonderful team at Soho Theatre, and can’t wait to publish many fantastic new plays in the future.’