Theatre News

Winners of the Peggy Ramsay/Film4 playwriting bursary awards announced

Six winners were unveiled today

Ewan Miller and Jemma Redgrave in Octopolis credit The Other Richard.jpg 2
Ewan Miller and Jemma Redgrave in Octopolis, © The Other Richard

The six winning writers of the Peggy Ramsay/Film4 Awards have been announced. 

Providing six writing bursaries of £10,000 for new theatre writers, the initiative has been created by Film4 and the Peggy Ramsay Foundation alongside the Maria Bjornson Memorial Fund. 

Four of the six bursaries are supported through the Peggy Ramsay Foundation (with one dedicated to literary agent Tom Erhardt), while two are supported by Film4. 

The bursary recipients will now be attached to a specific venue or organisation for a year in order to develop at least one full-length play, while also working alongside industry professionals. 

Former National Theatre artistic director Richard Eyre, who chaired the panel deciding the six winners, said today: “I’ve always thought that giving bursaries to writers for them to be attached for a year to theatres is an inventive act of philanthropy. I’ve been chairing this award since 2009 and I have been repeatedly impressed by the quality of the plays. This year has been no exception. I feel sure that these writers will continue to confirm our faith in their talent.” 

The six winners are:

  • Babirye Bukilwa, the writer of cake, who will be attached to the Soho Theatre and Clean Break, 
  • Shahid Iqbal Khan, writer of 10 Nights, who will be attached to Paines Plough, 
  • Martha Loader, writer of Bindweed, who will be attached to the New Wolsey Theatre, 
  • Marek Horn, writer of Octopolis, who will be attached to the Hampstead Theatre, 
  • Florence Espeut-Nickless, writer of Destiny, who will be attached to Bristol Old Vic, and
  • Morna Young, writer of Aye, Elvis, who will be attached to the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh.

Ben Coren, head of development at Film4, added: “Discovering and nurturing new talent is one of our core values at Film4, so we’re very happy to help another round of emerging UK playwrights develop their careers.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the winners create in 2024 and beyond.”

Alongside Eyre and Coren on the panel are Jack Bradley (Sonia Friedman Productions), Will Mortimer (Bridge Theatre and the Peggy Ramsay Foundation), Dinah Wood (Faber and Faber), Nicholas Wright (playwright) and Georgia Gatti (Neal Street Productions). The scheme is administered by Sue Higginson.