Matthew Aubrey and Harry Ferrier in The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning
Matthew Aubrey and Harry Ferrier in The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning
© Farrows Creative/National Theatre Wales

A play about Bradley Manning, the American soldier and whistleblower convicted of leaking military secrets to Wikileaks, has won a major award at the Edinburgh Fringe.

The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning by Tim Price is the first winner of the James Tait Black prize for drama, a category added to Britain's oldest literary awards last year.

The play was first performed in schools across Wales in April 2012 and is now performing at the Fringe, where it was announced it had won the £10,000 award at an award ceremony in the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh.

More than 180 plays were submitted for consideration for the prize, organised by the University of Edinburgh in partnership with the National Theatre of Scotland.

"We are delighted to honour Tim Price's work with this award," Neil Murray, executive producer at the National Theatre of Scotland said. "His play is emotionally resonant on many levels, challenges thinking and teaches us things we did not know with a truly unique voice – exactly what this prize sets out to recognise."

The play documents Manning's life from his teenage years in Wales to his current imprisonment in the US.

Manning was convicted last week of 20 counts of espionage and related offences at a military court in Forte Meade and will face life in prison, with a maximum sentence of 136 years in prison.

The play was one of five shortlisted for the award. The others were: The Hundred Flowers Project by Christopher Chen, Foxfinder by Dawn King, In Water I'm Weightless by Kaite O'Reilly and The Effect by Lucy Prebble.

To be eligible for the prize plays must be written in English, Scots or Gaelic, first produced in 2011 or 2012 and performed by a professional company.

The prize was judged by students and academics from the University of Edinburgh and representatives from the National Theatre of Scotland.

The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning is playing at the Pleasance at St Thomas of Aquin's High School from 6 to 25 August, performed by the National Theatre Wales.

- Louise Miles