Blog: Don’t we just love it when the underdog triumphs?

I love it when the underdog wins. Late last night, when I heard that 28 year old playwright Katori Hall, took home Best New Play for The Mountaintop at this year’s Oliviers, I was thrilled.

It was almost a dead-cert for either Jerusalem or Enron, depending on the luck of the drawer. Both fantastically executed and gripping plays they were, we know they did very well at other major awards, so it was refreshing to see the judges give the nod to an unknown playwright for her second play.

The Mountaintop started in a south London pub theatre, and was subsequently picked up by Sonia Friedman. It then transferred to the Trafalgar Studios.

Hall says in her acceptance speech: “I thought because I was an American, it was an American story about an American hero, that nobody would want to hear it over here. But I was proven wrong. The audience that came in was incredible.

“The first night we did the show, there was a nine-year old Nigerian boy sitting next to his father, sitting next to an old white woman dripping in diamonds, sitting next to a man who was Asian.

“This was a story about a person who crossed lines of colour, class, countries and continents and I want to thank the London audience for teaching me that this was a story that needed to be heard around the world.”

As I missed The Mountaintop, I genuinely hope that we get the opportunity to see it again now that the young playwright has been recognised. I call on Sonia to bring it back, so that we can do the same!

-Matthew Bannerman

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