Nick Payne has been announced as the second recipient of the Harold Pinter Playwright’s Award, introduced last year to support a new commission at London’s Royal Court Theatre.
The inaugural award was presented to Anders Lustgarten in 2011 and it is now given out annually by Harold Pinter’s widow, Lady Antonia Fraser, to support a new commission at the Royal Court. It can be given to any playwright, from a first-time, unpublished writer to one who is already established.
Fraser said: “I believe that the Harold Pinter Playwright Award’s brief to commission a new play is exactly what Harold would have wanted. Because he had experienced the devastating rejection of his early work, he knew the true value of encouragement. New writing was always intensely important to Harold, and Nick Payne, already the author of a wonderful play, is the ideal recipient of the 2012 award.”
Payne was a member of the Young Writers Programme at the Royal Court and made his debut there in September 2010 with Wanderlust. His second play, Constellations, opened at the venue in January 2012 and will transfer to the Duke of York’s Theatre later this year, as part of the Royal Court’s West End season.
Payne said: “To be the recipient of this year’s award is both thrilling and humbling. I am deeply grateful to [Royal Court artistic director] Dominic Cooke and Lady Antonia Fraser for their support; it means a great deal to me.”