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Royal Court announces Harold Pinter award and Coutts sponsorship

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A new writing award in honour of Harold Pinter has been launched today by London’s Royal Court Theatre.

The Harold Pinter Playwright’s Award is a new bursary for playwrights and has been granted by Pinter’s widow Antonia Fraser. It will fund a new commission at the Royal Court and can been given to any playwright, whether they are new or established.

The first recipient of the new award will be announced later this year. Royal Court artistic director Dominic Cooke said: “This long-term investment in new plays and playwrights is essential to our cultural landscape and we’re very proud to be able to continue Harold’s legacy at the Royal Court.”

The venue also announced that Coutts and Co will be the Royal Court’s principal sponsor for 2011.

Coutts chief executive Michael Morley commented: “Coutts has a long history of supporting the theatre which goes back 200 years and we are very proud to be carrying on this tradition and playing our part in enabling the Royal Court to continue to flourish with its diverse range of ground-breaking performances.”

Meanwhile, Cooke announced that he will direct a revival of Arnold Wesker’s Chicken Soup with Barley at the Royal Court this summer. Starring Samantha Spiro, the play will run from June 3 to July 9, with press night on June 7. Chicken Soup with Barley was first performed at the Royal Court in 1958.