Theatre Uncut Shortlist

Feb 25 2019 | By More

Save Leith Walk play up for award

A play inspired by the Save Leith Walk campaign and Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood is on the eight-strong shortlist for the inaugural Theatre Uncut Political Playwriting Award.

Moonlight on Leith by Laila Noble and Emilie Robson was presented by their Edinburgh-based amateur company Clarty Burd at the 2018 Fringe, winning the Scottish Art Club’s Bright Spark Award and getting a four star review from Æ.

The Clarty Burd company. Pic: Clarty Burd.

The Clarty Burd company. Pic: Clarty Burd.

Now the show has made it to the final eight of Theatre Uncut’s new award, which has the aim of finding the next generation of political playwrights who want to explore the big issues that affect our lives today.

Noble and Robson are joined by Scotland based playwright JD Stewart who’s script Compression is also on the shortlist.

The £9,500 award was open to UK-based playwrights of any age with no more than two professional productions under their belts. Entries had to be original political works that “ask provocative questions about the individual’s relationship with society”.

The shortlisted plays will now be judged by Theatre Uncut Artistic Directors Hannah Price and Emma Callander with representatives of their three partner theatres: Rachel O’Riordan (Former Artistic Director, Sherman Theatre), Nadia Latif (Associate Director at the Young Vic) and Gareth Nicholls (Interim Artistic Director Traverse Theatre).

brimful of outrage, ideas, and ingenuity

Hannah Price commented, on the announcement of the shortlist: “We were ecstatic to receive 444 submissions brimful of outrage, ideas, and ingenuity. This award has confirmed that we are in the midst of a golden age of political theatre in the UK.

“Theatre Uncut is delighted to be at the forefront of finding the new voices that will define the next generation of political playwrights. We are so grateful to the support of our partners in the creation of this award.”

Speaking to the John Byrne Award website in November, Emilie Robson said that prior to writing Moonlight on Leith, she and Laila Noble had attended a Save Leith Walk meeting to oppose a proposed demolition on Stead’s Place, in Leith.

She said: “We arrived early to find a relatively small turnout and sat near the front. Soon the compere was ushering hoards of people, standing at the back, to fill up the few remaining seats. The theatre was completely packed and on a ‪Friday night, no less.

“We were astounded by the number of people and the momentum of the movement. Community was alive and well within our city and we decided to pay homage to the individuals within it.”

The eight shortlisted plays are:

100 Ways the Fire Starts by Max Wilkinson.

Brennschluss by Naomi Westerman.

Compression by JD Stewart.

Moonlight on Leith by Laila Noble and Emilie Robson.

Nameless Estate – Nana-Kofi Kufuor.

Takeaway by Nathan Powell.

The Merthyr Stigmatist by Lisa Parry.

Two Palestinians Go Dogging by Sami Ibrahim.

The winner will be announced at the Young Vic on 22nd March.


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