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George Devine Award

Long list announced for the Royal Court’s playwright award

The long list for the Royal Court Theatre’s playwright award – The George Devine Award – has been announced.

The list of eight playwrights for the 2021 award include: Travis Alabanza for Overflow; Caroline Bird for Red Ellen; Gareth Farr for Shandyland; Sami Ibrahim for Brick Shit House; Zodwa Nyoni for The Darkest Part of the Night; Lulu Rack for Close Your Eyes, And Think of England; Tom Stuart for Burn Baby Burn; and, Emily White for Atlantis.

Formed in 1966 in memory of the Royal Court’s founding Artistic Director George Devine, the Award is recognised as one of the most prestigious in new writing and aim to shine a light on a playwright of promise. Former winners include Diana Nneka Atuona, Richard Bean, Alice Birch, Lucy Prebble, Rory Mullarkey and Daniel Ward.

The judging panel for 2021 includes playwrights Luke Barnes, James Graham and Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, directors Justin Audibert and Lisa Blair and actress Kate O’Flynn. They will now decide upon the recipient of this year’s Award, who will be announced in early December.

‘In what has been another very challenging year for playwrights, I am delighted to be participating on the panel for this year’s Award. We all wish to see British Theatre thriving again and for that to happen it’s vital that we continue to champion and support its voices of promise, challenge and imagination.’ said 2021 Award judge Justin Audibert.

The winner will receive a prize of £15,000 in support of their future as a playwright.

Playwright profiles

Travis Alabanza
Travis Alabanza is a writer, performer and theatre maker from Bristol. Their writing, performance and public discourse centres on trans and Black identities.
Tom Stuart
Tom Stuart has written two other plays – ‘I Am Not Myself These Days’ (produced by Fuel) & ‘After Edward’ (Shakespeare’s Globe). His first film ‘Mainstream’ premiered at the Venice Film Festival, 2020.
Lulu Raczka
Lulu Raczka has written for theatre, screen and radio. She started writing with the company Barrel Organ, and has since written for The Gate, The Unicorn and New Diorama Theatre.
Sami Ibrahim
Sami Ibrahim is a writer from London. Work includes two Palestinians go dogging (Royal Court, 2022), Metamorphoses (Shakespeare’s Globe, 2021), Fledgling (Radio 4, 2020), Wonder Winterland (Oxford School of Drama, 2019).
Zodwa Nyoni
Zodwa Nyoni is a Zimbabwean-born writer and director. Her plays have toured across the UK, USA, France and South Africa.  She won the Channel 4 Playwright’s Scheme in 2014.
Garreth Farr
Garreth Farr‘s plays include Britannia Waves the Rules, winner of Bruntwood Prize 2011 and The Quiet House (Birmingham Rep/Park Theatre). He is currently taking part in the BBC Studios Writers’ Academy.
Emily White
Emily White trained as an actor at RADA, was part of the Channel 4 Screenwriting course, BBC Wales Writersroom and ETT’s Nationwide Voices. Her play Pavilion premiered at Theatr Clwyd in 2019.  She also has two television series in development.
Caroline Bird is a poet and playwright. She’s been shortlisted for the 2017 TS Eliot Prize, The Ted Hughes Award, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and The Most Promising New Playwright at the Off-West-End Awards. Her most recent poetry collection, The Air Year, won The Forward.


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