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Victoria Wood Prize Shortlist Announcement

We are incredibly excited today to share the shortlist of eight new plays in The Victoria Wood Playwriting Prize for Comedy. This first ever major playwriting prize dedicated to the art of Comedy was launched in September last year in partnership with The Victoria Wood Foundation and supported by BBC Comedy. We received over 500 entries, and following months of deliberation, the scripts have now been whittled down to eight amazing new plays.

The shortlisted plays are:

Bring me the Head of Miriam Margolyes by Andrew Pollard
Hello Charlie by Caoimhe Farren
Bum by Ed Amsden and Tom Coles
Goodbye Suzzie Jenkins by Ben Callon
Reach for the Stars by Jenny Knotts
Portugal by Eugene O’Hare
Sidekicked by Patrick Maguire
Fake Melania by Poppy Corbett

A tall white man is stood in front of a row of theatre stalls. He is smiling at the camera.

Sean Foley (Credit: Kris Askey)

Artistic Director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Sean Foley said:

To have a new major playwriting prize in our industry is a cause for celebration itself – never has the need for supporting new plays been greater – but to have this Prize dedicated to the art of Comedy, perhaps the most difficult genre of all, is ground-breaking. A fitting tribute to Victoria Wood’s trailblazing comic talent, this is the first major playwriting Prize for narrative stage comedy in the world. The Rep is proud that the home of the Prize is in the UK’s most diverse and youngest City. It is, of course, also the city where Victoria Wood herself went to university to study Drama.”

The final four plays will be announced on Mon 13 May. The eventual winner will be announced at a special ceremony, which will be held at The Rep on Wed 15 May and will receive £25,000 (£10,000 of which will be a play commission) and a special award designed and currently being made in our own workshops.

Meet The Judges

Joining Sean Foley on the judging panel is BAFTA winning actor, comedian and friend of Victoria Wood, Daniel Rigby, BAFTA winning actor and broadcaster Siobhán McSweeney, West End and Broadway producer Tegan Summer, renowned playwright Tanika Gupta MBE and FRSL, and television producer and representative of the Victoria Wood Foundation, Piers Wenger. The project is led by the multiple award-winning live comedy director, dramaturg and comedy teacher, Dec Munro.

The Rep has been a pioneering force in UK theatre for over 100 years, and with the creation of this Prize it is once again opening up new possibilities for aspiring writers.