The winner of the 2020 Papatango new writing prize has been revealed.
Igor Memic, whose play Old Bridge was chosen out of a record 1504 anonymously submitted pieces, will now have his play performed at the Bush Theatre as part of the west London's reopening season after the pandemic.
Old Bridge is based on the true story of what happened in the town of Mostar during the Yugoslavian civil war. It is based on Memic's own heritage.
The playwright said: 'When the phone call came, I was in disbelief. I never thought a play like this could make the shortlist, let alone win. Writing Old Bridge has been one of the most painful and important experiences of my life. This was my excavation. My attempt at healing old wounds. I never realised how much it said about our world today until that world stopped spinning."
Artistic Director of Papatango, George Turvey, commented, "We're thrilled to present such a fantastic, varied shortlist of brilliant writers, from a record number of plays. The talent of these writers is a real fillip at this challenging time. In particular, Igor's Old Bridge was the stand-out choice for our entire reading team. We can't wait to share it with audiences at the Bush Theatre, the new home of the Papatango Prize."
The Bush's artistic director Lynette Linton said: "Like us, the team at Papatango is
passionate about developing and producing new playwrights so it is a joy to be partnering with them. We have already met a number of wonderful new writers through this partnership and look forward to reopening our doors and presenting Igor's powerful new play as soon as we are able."
The other shortlisted writers were Jon Bradfield for Animal – from a story by Jon Bradfield and Josh Hepple; Julia Grogan for Playfight; Sarah Connors for Pushing on Open Doors, and Beru Tessema for Exile in North Weezy.