The winner of the Royal Court’s 53rd George Devine Award for new playwrights has been announced.
Tyrell Williams has won the award for his debut play Red Pitch, taking home the £15,000 prize.
Red Pitch is a fast-paced coming-of-age play that explores the impact of relentless regeneration on London’s communities. It opened at The Bush Theatre in February 2022.
Tyrell was on the BAFTA Elevate scheme in 2018 and was previously a Broadcast Hotshot. He co-created, co-wrote and directed the viral web series #HoodDocumentary which had over 3million views on Youtube. Following its online acclaim, #HoodDocumentary eventually went on to be commissioned as a web series for BBC Three which Tyrell directed and co-wrote. He has shadowed television and film directors, including on series “Drifters” and “White Gold” and has assisted Ola Ince and Ellen McDougall respectively. Tyrell has original television scripts in development and has written and directed various short plays. He won the Young Harts Writing Festival ‘Audience Favourite’ award.
The judging panel for 2022 included playwrights April De Angelis, Mike Bartlett and Juliet Gilkes Romero, directors Jennifer Tang and Erica Whyman and actor Leah Harvey.
Erica Whyman said in a press statement: “It was such a privilege to read and discuss the shortlisted plays with the distinguished panel this year – although incredibly hard to choose a winner. They represent an extraordinary range of scintillating writing, full of formal invention, poetry, skill and ingenuity. It was particularly notable how many of the shortlisted writers are breaking ground in their writing, experimenting with theatrical vocabulary and inviting audiences into worlds and experiences that historically have not been centred on our stages. Tyrell Williams’ remarkable play Red Pitch, was especially accomplished, setting a scene of unforgettable atmosphere and character, using language with immense verve and flexibility, and telling a story that delivers a profound and particular emotional punch. It is an exhilaratingly deft piece of writing and I am delighted to announce Tyrell Williams as the winner of the George Devine Award 2022.”
Tyrell Williams said: “I am so incredibly honoured and grateful to have won this award. It is truly a privilege to join the list of esteemed George Devine Award winners. I have to thank all my brilliant collaborators, The Bush Theatre and the wonderful, generous audiences who joined us each night. I also have to thank the other writers who were shortlisted – they all continue to inspire me and are creating phenomenal work.”
The Awards are named after the Royal Court’s founding Artistic Director George Devine, and were founded in 1966. Former recipients include Alice Birch, Lucy Prebble, Rory Mullarkey, Daniel Ward and Diana Nneka Atuona, whose 2019-winning play Trouble in Butetown will premiere at The Donmar Warehouse next year. 2021 winner was Emily White for Atlantis.
Book tickets to Red Pitch at the Bush Theatre
2022 George Devine Award Nominations
Mojisola Adebayo for STARS
Nathaniel Brimmer-Beller for BLOOD RED APPLES AND DEEP GOLD HONEY
Babirye Bukilwa for the master’s house
Karim Khan for BROWN BOYS SWIM
Iman Qureshi for THE MINISTRY OF LESBIAN AFFAIRS
Francesca Martinez for ALL OF US
Joel Tan for NO PARTICULAR ORDER
Ruby Thomas for LINCK & MULHÄHN
Tyrell Williams for RED PITCH
Bush Theatre, London