Liverpudlian playwright Chloë Moss has been awarded the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for her play This Wide Night, which premiered at the Soho theatre in July 2008. In a private reception at London's Arts Club yesterday (25 February), actress Sigourney Weaver presented Moss with $20,000 and a signed print by Dutch artist Willem de Kooning.

This Wide Night
was commissioned and produced by Clean Break, a theatre company that works with women affected by the criminal justice system and uses theatre for personal and political change. The play which centres on two women trying to start again following their release from prison - Moss was inspired to write it after working with female inmates at Cookham Wood prison. It's due to return to the capital later in the year, though details are still to be confirmed.

The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize is given annually to a woman who deserves recognition for having written a work of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre. Previous British winners include Caryl Churchill, Moira Buffini, Marina Carr and Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti. This year British playwright Lucinda Coxon was also presented with a Special Commendation award of $5,000.

- by Theo Bosanquet