Ray Grewal was today announced as the winner of this year's Meyer-Whitworth Award for new writing for the theatre. During a lunchtime ceremony at the Royal National Theatre, the playwright was presented with a cheque for £8,000 for his first stage play, My Dad's Corner Shop.

Grewel joins the roll call of past winners which includes Philip Ridley, Terry Johnson, Billy Roche, Conor McPherson, Moira Buffini and David Harrower.

After graduating from the University of Northumbria in 1995, Grewal obtained a place on the Theatre Attachment Scheme for Writers with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 1996/7. My Dad's Corner Shop is Grewal's first stage play and was premiered at the Birmingham Repertory Studio in April 2000. In addition to various film and television screenwriting projects, Grewal is currently working on commissions for the Royal National Theatre Studio and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

The Meyer-Whitworth Award was established in 1991 to commemorate members of the Shakespeare Memorial National Theatre Committee, which had been set up in 1908 to campaign for a National Theatre. The money for the award has been made available by The Royal National Theatre Foundation.

The award, which is administered by the Arts Council of England, is given annually to a writer whose play shows a developing new talent. The winner embodies Geoffrey Whitworth's dictum that "drama is important in so far as it reveals the truth about the relationships of human beings with each other and the world at large".

The 2001 Award judges were actor, writer and director Tyrone Huggins, Tom McGrath, associate literary director with Edinburgh's Royal Lyceum Theatre and Clare Venables, director of education with the Royal Shakespeare Company.