Soho Theatre calls for emerging playwrights

Whilst The Royal Court has been flying the new writing flag in the West End with a number of lucrative transfers, and the Bush Theatre has been grabbing headlines as it moves from above a pub into a library, London’s other prominent playwrights’ theatre could have been temporarily put in the shade. But as Soho Theatre announces the return of the Verity Bargate Award there is no such fear, launching one of its most high profile and influential schemes.

Named after its founder, the Verity Bargate Award (VBA) sees Soho Theatre staging a national competition in search of the best new play by an emerging writer. This stunning opportunity sees the winner receiving £5000, as well as having their play produced at Soho Theatre and a residency in the space.

VBA is solely dedicated the promotion of work by emerging artists

Unlike some rather questionable ‘new comer’ nominations at the recent Evening Standard Awards (a Spice Girl seeming an odd choice as a newbie) the VBA is solely dedicated the promotion of work by emerging artists, with any playwright with three or more professional productions to their credit not eligible to apply.

If you feel as though you wouldn’t know where to start, throughout the competition Soho Theatre will be holding writing workshops in London and across the UK: offering creative and practical exercises and information on the award.

Previous winners have included In-Sook Chappell for This Isn’t Romance, Matt Charman for A Night at the Dogs and Shan Khan for Office.

Plays are to be no shorter than 70 minutes in length and the deadline for submission is 11 March 2011. For more information on the award and accompanying workshops call 020 7478 0113 or visit

– HB

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