Brown Boys Swim

Edinburgh’s Popcorn Writing Award winner announced

The winner of the 2022 Popcorn Writing Award at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival has been announced at a ceremony today, 25 August 2022, at The Gilded Balloon Library Bar in Edinburgh.

Karim Khan has won the award for Brown Boys Swim at the Pleasance.

Announced by Popcorn Group, the awards are in partnership with BBC Writersroom, and offer a total prize fund of £6,000, with £3,000 awarded to the winner.

BBC Writersroom are reading all of the longlisted plays of this year’s awards, and members of the BBC Drama Commissioning team are offering one-to-one meetings with each of the playwrights.

The judges of this year’s awards included Bridgerton star Luke Thompson, Olivier Award-winning producer Francesca Moody MBE (Fleabag), celebrated portrait artist Jonathan Yeo, award-winning comedian Jack Rooke (Big Boys,), actress Lydia Leonard (Ten Percent!), composer Nainita Desai, director and artist Charlotte Colbert, producer Jessica Malik, Development Executive Natalie Denton, and members of the BBC Writersroom team led by Jessica Loveland.

The longlisted plays were:

  • Assisted by Greg Wilkinson, The Space UK
  • Blanket Ban by Davinia Hamilton & Marta Vella, Underbelly
  • Breathless by Laura Horton, Pleasance
  • BROWN BOYS SWIM by Karim Khan, Pleasance
  • CASTE–ING by Nicole Acquah, Summerhall
  • Cassie and the Lights by Alex Howarth, Underbelly
  • Daddy Issues by Anna Krauze, Pleasance
  • Godot is a Woman by Silent Faces, Pleasance
  • Happy Meal by Tabby Lamb, Traverse
  • How to Build a Wax Figure by Isabella Waldron, Assembly
  • Look at Me, Don’t Look at Me by Rash Dash, Pleasance
  • Manic Street Creature by Maimuna Memon, Summerhall
  • Poles: The Science of Magnetic Attraction by Amelia Pitcher, Pleasance
  • Ruckus by Jenna Fincken, Summerhall
  • Surfing the Holyland by Erin Hunter, Underbelly
  • Svengali by Eve Nicol, Pleasance
  • The Beatles Were a Boyband by Rachel O’Regan, Gilded Balloon
  • The Mistake by Michael Mears, The Space UK
  • Who Murdered My Cat by Roann Hassani McCloskey, Assembly
  • You’re Safe Til 2024: Deep History by David Finnigan, Pleasance

Judge on the panel, Francesca Moody, said: “Brown Boys Swim is a beautiful and tender piece of writing full of heart. Dynamic and original. A story I’ve never seen on stage and one that I was delighted to read and then watch on stage. I loved it.”

Three finalists were also named, with Jenna Fincken’s one-woman thriller Ruckus winning £1,500; Breathless by Laura Horton winning £1,000; and Traverse Theatre’s Happy Meal by Tabby Lamb winning £500.

Check out reviews from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Edinburgh Festival here.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

📷 Main photo: Brown Boys Swim - photo by Geraint Lewis

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