Theatre News

Writers' Guild Award winners include Everybody's Talking About Jamie, Tim Crouch and Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Tom MacRae is recognised for his work on the hit show

The current cast of Everybody's Talking About Jamie
The current cast of Everybody's Talking About Jamie
© Matt Crockett

The Writers' Guild Awards were announced last night, with winners including Everybody's Talking About Jamie, Tim Crouch, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Frances Poet.

Tom MacRae, who penned the book for Everybody's Talking About Jamie, won the inaugural award for Best Musical Theatre Bookwriting at the event. The hit musical is currently running in the West End after premiering at Sheffield Crucible in 2017.

The Writers' Guild theatre co-chair Jenifer Toksvig said: "The creation of a book that can be woven together with a score is a unique and complex craft, and one that is often overlooked in favour of the somewhat shinier songs. We are delighted to be acknowledging and celebrating great bookwriting."

The Best Play Award went to Frances Poet for Gut, which premiered at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh and was shortlisted for the 2015 Bruntwood Prize. The piece is about a mother fearing that her child has been abused.

The Best Play for Young Audiences Award went to Tim Crouch for Beginners, which had its premiere at the Unicorn Theatre in 2018. Describing the show in his review, critic Matt Trueman said: "instead of fumbled silliness and make-do outfits, we see a full-bodied drama: a tale of absent adults and child heroes pitted against death".

Others recognised included Phoebe Waller-Bridge who won the award for Best Long Form TV Drama for Killing Eve starring Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer, and Russell T Davies whose three-part drama A Very English Scandal won the Best Short Form TV Drama Award. Jonathan Harvey won the award for Best Long Running TV Series for his work on Coronation Street, while Mackenzie Crook was recognised for work on comedy Detectorists.

Best Screenplay was awarded to American Animals by Bart Layton, and Daniel Kokotajlo was awarded Best First Screenplay for Apostasy. Other winners included Mary Lynn Bracht, who picked up the Best First Novel award for her debut White Chrysanthemum, Best Writing in a Video Game was won by Leigh Alexander for Reigns: Her Majesty, while Hannah George and Tasha Dhanraj won the Best Online Comedy award for Where Are You From? The Game.

The Outstanding Contribution to Writing Award went to Heidi Thomas, for her work on shows like Call the Midwife, Little Women and Cranford as well as plays such as Indigo and Shamrocks and Crocodiles.

The Writers' Guild of Great Britain celebrated its 60th anniversary this year, and continues to reward achievements in writing for film, television, radio, theatre, comedy, books and video games.