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Sarah Hanly awarded the 2019 Pinter Commission

The yearly award is is given yearly to support a new commission at the Royal court Theatre

Sarah Hanly, Lady Antonia Fraser and Vicky Featherstone
© Royal Court Theatre

Sarah Hanley has been named as the winner of this year's Pinter Commission.

The award is given out annually by Lady Antonia Fraser, Harold Pinter's widow, with the aim of supporting a new commission at the Royal Court Theatre.

The Pinter Commission is now in its eighth year and supports a playwright to write a new play for the Royal Court Theatre. The playwright can be making their debut, or can be an established playwright.

Previous Pinter Commission writers include Alistair McDowall, Cordelia Lynn, Brad Birch, Molly Davies, Rory Mullarkey, Nick Payne and Anders Lustgarten.

Hanley is a playwright from Dublin and her first play Purple Snowflakes and Titty Wanks, which explores themes including mental health, was showcased at the Leicester Square Theatre and Southwark Playhouse.

Hanley said: "I feel very grateful and extremely humbled to be awarded the Pinter Commission. This is a career changing opportunity for me and I hope to write a play that is worthy of the Royal Court's renowned reputation and that honours such a prolific playwright as Harold Pinter. As an emerging playwright, it is a blessing to be building a relationship with the Royal Court."

Vicky Featherstone, artistic director of the Royal Court, said: "This year's recipient, Sarah Hanly, is a writer of extradionary potential. She has a completely distinctive theatrical voice and engages with the darkness in our world in a fiercesome way."

Fraser said: "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."