Six new theatre writers awarded £10,000 bursary plus 12 month theatre placement

The Peggy Ramsay Foundation with Film4 and the Maria Bjornson Memorial Fund are delighted to announce the six winners of the Peggy Ramsay/Film4 Awards which celebrate and support emerging British writing talent.  

The initiative awards sixbursaries a year to new theatre writers. Four bursaries are supported by The Peggy Ramsay Foundation (one is dedicated to the memory of literary agent Tom Erhardt) and two by Film4.  Each bursary is worth £10,000. 

The recipients of the bursaries for 2022 are –

Karis Kelly for Consumed

Lyric Theatre Belfast

Amy Trigg for Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me

Kiln Theatre

Natasha Brown for I Am (Not) Kanye West

Boundless Theatre

Hannah Lavery for Lament for Shiku Bayo

Traverse Theatre

Yolanda Mercy for Quarter Life Crisis

High Tide Theatre

Nina Segal for O, Island!  (The Tom Erhardt Bursary)

Royal Shakespeare Company

In 2022 the successful writers will embark upon one-year attachments with the theatres outlined above, giving them the opportunity to meet a variety of theatre practitioners and to have first- hand experience of a working theatre. Their principal task during the 12 months of the bursary is to write at least one new full-length play.   

This year’s Panel, chaired by Sir Richard Eyre CH CBE, included:Jack Bradley (Sonia Friedman Productions);  Ben Coren (Film 4);  Dinah Wood (Faber & Faber);   Will Mortimer (Bridge Theatre);  Georgia Gatti (Jonathan Church Productions);  Indhu Rubasingham (Kiln Theatre); Nicholas Wright (Playwright).  The scheme is administered by Sue Higginson OBE.

The writers will also have the opportunity to submit their play for The Sonia Friedman Productions Award in the year following their bursary.  This Award is also judged by the same selection panel chaired by Sir Richard Eyre.  

Sir Richard Eyre (Chairman of the Panel) said:  We had a very good year for entries – very inventive and very diverse. It was so satisfying to see that people are so hopeful about the future of theatre after the misery of lockdown.”

Neil Adleman (Chairman of The Peggy Ramsay Foundation) said:  “We are delighted that our support has enabled the continuation of the Playwrights’ Scheme, which is unique in its wide-ranging support of emerging British playwrights.  It forms part of our wider mission of providing direct support to writers for theatre.”

Ben Coren (Head of Development for Film4) said: “It was a real pleasure to be introduced to so many exciting new writers, especially after not being able to attend shows in person for so much of the pandemic. So many of our best writers come from theatre and Film4 are proud to continue to support the scheme.”

About The Peggy Ramsay Foundation

Peggy Ramsay was one of the best-known play agents in the United Kingdom during the second half of the Twentieth Century.  When she died in 1991 her estate was left for charitable purposes to help writers and writing for the stage.  The Peggy Ramsay Foundation was established in pursuance of this objective.  The Foundation seeks to perpetuate Peggy Ramsay’s ideals, by directly helping dramatists at very different stages of experience in ways which we are determined to keep as quick and unbureaucratic as possible.  These include a grant programme for playwrights, support for the Alfred Fagon Award and the Peggy Ramsay Foundation/Film4 Awards.

About Film4

Film4 is Channel 4 Television’s feature film division. Film4 develops and co-finances films and is known for working with the most distinctive and innovative talent in UK and international filmmaking, both new and established.

Film4 has developed and co-financed many of the most successful UK films of recent years, Academy Award®-winners such as Florian Zeller’s The Father, Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite, Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Lenny Abrahamson’s Room, Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, Asif Kapadia’s box office record breaking documentary Amy, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire and Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady, in addition to critically-acclaimed award-winners such as Sarah Gavron’s Rocks, Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War, Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here, Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not a Witch, Chris Morris’s Four Lions, Shane Meadows’ This is England, Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin and Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years.

Film4’s recent releases include Jonathan Butterell’s Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Prano Bailey-Bond’s Censor, Ben Sharrock’s Limbo, Cathy Brady’s Wildfire, Euros Lyn’s Dream Horse, Rose Glass’s Saint Maud and Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield. Forthcoming releases include Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, Rebecca Hall’s Passing, Eva Husson’s Mothering Sunday, Will Sharpe’s The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s Earwig, Michael Pearce’s Encounter and Julia Ducournau’s Titane. Films in production or post include Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest, Steve McQueen’s Occupied City, Aml Ameen’s Boxing Day, Mark Jenkin’s Enys Men, Jim Archer’s Brian & Charles, Oliver Hermanus’ Living and The Real Charlie Chaplin from Peter Middleton and James Spinney.