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Dalia Taha awarded Royal Court's inaugural Elyse Dodgson Commission

The commission has been launched in honour of the theatre's late international director

Elyse Dodgson
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

The Royal Court has announced playwright Dalia Taha as the inaugural recipient of the Elyse Dodgson Commission for the Middle East.

The fund has been set up in memory of the theatre's late international director Elyse Dodgson, who died in 2018 after more than two decades with the venue.

According to the Royal Court, the commission is "to be given biennially to support an international playwright to write a new play. The recipient of the commission will always be based outside the UK, and each award will be given to a playwright from a different region around the world."

Palestinian playwright Dalia Taha had her first play Fireworks (Al'ab Nariya) produced at the Royal Court in 2015. She said: "I'm honoured and humbled to receive this commission. Elyse's support and commitment to international playwrights was unwavering and receiving this commission named after her I feel great pride in continuing to celebrate her legacy. Elyse loved theatre and believed in its power and this is something that I will always carry with me."

Artistic director Vicky Featherstone said: "The Royal Court is deeply committed to continuing Elyse's work and to celebrating her legacy. There was no region in the world more significant to Elyse than the Middle East, where she had been supporting writers and artists tirelessly for over 20 years. So it feels absolutely fitting to be able to award the first incarnation of this commission to an artist from that region, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of two of our supporters and their friends."