Anna Jordan
Anna Jordan

Anna Jordan has won the 2013 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting for her play Yen.

Jordan, 34, who collects a prize of £16,000, will have her play staged at the Royal Exchange in Manchester.

Yen is the fourth play from the south London playwright, whose work has been performed at the Bush Theatre, Soho Theatre and Riverside Studios in London.

It tells the story of two teenage brothers who live alone with their dog, playing video games and watching porn. According to press material, "It is a play that explores lost childhood, lost innocence, love and violence with tragic consequences."

Jordan, who trained at LAMDA, was apparently inspired to write it by a story in a local paper about two boys who committed a "hideous crime".

Dame Jenni Murray, who chaired the judging panel, said: "It's been an extraordinary shortlist this year and very difficult to decide on a winner. Yen is a play of great depth and relevance. In an incredibly dark world each of the characters are drawn with beautiful empathy, and a humanity which stood out to all the judges."

Three 'Judges Award' winners were also announced today - Bird by Katherine Chandler, Rolling Stone by Chris Urch and So Here We Are by Luke Norris - each of whom will receive £8,000 and have their work developed by the Royal Exchange.

Michael Oglesby, chairman of Bruntwood, added: "Having sat on the judging panel since the inception of the prize in 2005, I'm thrilled to see the ambition and theatricality of the scripts on this year's shortlist.

"We have seen two distinct themes emerge: many tackled alienated, damaged and contemporary youth; others examined major world issues. The writers have been brave and adventurous, showing surprising confidence given the gravity of the subjects."

With prize money totalling £40,000, The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, a joint venture between property company Bruntwood and the Royal Exchange Theatre, is the UK's biggest playwriting competition.

Since its inception in 2005, over 7000 scripts have been entered, £160,000 has been awarded to 15 prize winning writers. Eight winning productions have been staged, including Three Birds by Janice Okoh and Vivienne Franzmann's Mogadishu.

Nick Hern Books will publish all winning plays that receive a production at the Royal Exchange.

See Also: Benedict Nightingale on judging the Bruntwood Prize