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Alistair McDowall announced as 2018 Pinter Commission recipient

Lady Antonia Fraser's annual award is now in its seventh year

Lady Antonia Fraser, Alistair McDowall and Vicky Featherstone
© Royal Court Theatre

Alistair McDowall has been announced as the recipient of this year's Pinter Commission, an annual award given by Harold Pinter's widow, Lady Antonia Fraser.

The award supports a new commission at the Royal Court Theatre, and is now in its seventh year. Previous recipients include Cordelia Lynn (2017), Brad Birch (2016), Molly Davies (2015), Rory Mullarkey (2014), Nick Payne (2012) and Anders Lustgarten (2011).

McDowall's recent credits include X at the Royal Court and Pomona at the Orange Tree Theatre and later at the National.

On the commission, McDowall said: "I'm delighted and more than a little humbled to be awarded the Pinter Commission. I'm at a key point in my writing life, and this prize will serve as both encouragement to keep going, and a firm kick up the backside to prevent me getting comfortable.

"Mr Pinter's work never stopped questing for the new and the true, and the Royal Court deserves nothing less today."

Royal Court artistic director Vicky Featherstone added: "The Pinter Commission is the most perfect way of giving concrete form to Harold's enduring presence in our theatre and influence on succeeding generations of playwrights.

"Alistair McDowall is a writer of already considerable achievement but whose potential is dizzying. He has a completely distinctive theatrical voice and engages with the darkness in our world in a way that Harold would recognise at once."

Fraser commented: "I believe that the Pinter Commission is exactly what Harold would have wanted. Because he had experienced the devastating rejection of his early work, he knew the true value of encouragement."