The Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize 2019
Every two years, Liverpool’s Royal Court works in partnership with Liverpool Hope University to present the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize. This is an chance for budding playwrights to submit their script and be in with a chance of winning £10,000 and the opportunity to stage their play right here at the Royal Court.
The Hope Playwriting Prize competition closed on the 22 July 2018. Over two hundred writers submitted their scripts to be in with a chance of winning £10,000. Scripts were judged anonymously by industry experts with the decision on who to award the prize to made by our esteemed panel. This year, the panel was made up of the following arts industry leaders: John Bennett (senior lecturer in contemporary theatre), Maurice Bessman (playwright), Frank Cottrell Boyce (author and screenwriter), Les Dennis (actor and comedian), Kevin Fearon (producer), John Godber OBE (playwright), Catherine Jones (journalist and reviewer), Barbara Phillips (producer). Check out the shortlist below:
CUTTINGS by Oliver Clark, Berkshire
YouTuber turned model turned actor, Arthur Moses, accepts the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Play, and moments later goes on to drunkenly deliver the most offensive, profanity laden and outrageous speech in the ceremony’s history. His three personal publicists must defend the indefensible and write a statement on his behalf, apologising and hoping for forgiveness from the public and his fans. Maybe. He’s still drunk.
Cuttings is a satirical look at public perceptions, fandom & fame and what it means to be ‘sorry’ in the twenty first century.
ON THE EDGE OF PARADISE by Mark Lee, Whiston
Five people wake up in a windowless house in an unknown location. A witty but cynical everyman, a woman in a loveless long-term relationship, a selfish fool, an elderly lady with no regrets and the personification of toxic masculinity find themselves trapped together, unable to recall what brought them there.
Quickly, they are subjected to a series of tests, questions they must answer, which force the characters to psychoanalyse themselves. If they do not answer the questions which are pushed beneath the door by their unknown host, dangerous things happen.
FUN RUN by Joe Graham, Oxfordshire
Sometimes charity not only has to be done… it has to be seen to be done. Libby has a new pet charity, set up in honour of husband Ed. She believes that, through her planned charity fun run, she could be finally launched into ‘Lenny Henry’ territory. Keen to show the world her supreme talent for charitable caring, she needs a campaign concept.
Relax, loosen your trainers and prepare to see the fun side of running for charity. If you like to run, like to watch others run, or if you were simply ‘born to run’…this is the one for you.
DOING WELL by Emily Jupp, London
Things start to go wrong when celebrity lifestyle blogger and YouTube star Lucy realises she’d rather stay in bed than write another blog post about 9 new ways with kale – and her sweet and simple boyfriend, Chad, suggests they should consolidate the power of their social media channels by getting married IRL (that’s internet-speak for ‘in real life’).
Worst of all, Lucy becomes suddenly and inexplicably allergic to avocados and starts to question whether there’s more to life than talking to her fans about the benefits of flax seeds and having the arse of an angel.
HEADLESS by Colin Dowland, London
It is the most difficult day in the life of a school. An Ofsted inspection is about to begin. In the headteacher’s office, there is one tiny glitch.
The head is missing. Found drunk, unconscious and locked in the toilet, the school is effectively ‘headless.’ With their reputations at stake and compromising revelations of a dominatrix, an illicit affair and a wayward gap student, the staff decide that the inspection must go ahead without him.
KONIGSBERG (a love story) by Anthony Green, Liverpool
Following the death of his beloved wife a grief-stricken, suicidal psychiatrist finds the will to live through the efforts of one of his patients, an Indian man, who’s under the delusion he’s Woody Allen.
As he helps his therapist cope with his existential crisis he also becomes romantically entangled with a woman who works at the psychiatric clinic. Surely there’s no way this unusual romance can blossom?
Kevin Fearon, Executive Producer at Liverpool’s Royal Court said: “We have been delighted to be involved with the Playwriting Prize for the last five years. We have seen a huge number of entries for both of the previous competitions from all around the country and this year was no different. The Playwriting Prize has been a great way of finding new writing talent.”
The winner of this year’s Hope Playwriting Prize will be announced at the prize giving ceremony on the 13 May at the Royal Court. We will announce the winner during the ceremony. Find out more information about the competition here.