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Winners of inaugural Theatre 503 playwriting award announced

Theatre 503 in south London.
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Bea Roberts and Paul Murphy have won the inaugural Theatre 503 playwriting award for their plays And Then Come the Nightjars and Valhalla.

The award, financially supported by the Richard Carne Trust and an anonymous donor, will see both playwrights win £6,000 and a production of their work at Theatre 503.

The winners were chosen by a judging panel, which included figures including playwright Dennis Kelly, director Erica Whyman and critic Henry Hitchings.

Roberts and Murphy beat Victor Lesniewski’s Khardal, Chloe Todd Fordham’s Land’s End, The Acedian Pirates by Jay Taylor and Courttia Newlands’ Trim Palace to win the award, which received more than 1,600 applicants from 41 countries.

Murphy said: “I’ve had a lot of short pieces on at 503, and I’ve been to see a lot of stuff there so this is incredibly satisfying in that sense.”

Kelly, who presented the award, said it was “a really great time for new writers”, and praised the award for including a guaranteed production in the prize.

“Money is great, but it only goes so far. What’s really amazing is that they’ve attached a production to it because it’s so so important to get that work on,” he said.

The ceremony also saw the announcement of the third 503 Five scheme, which offers five emerging playwrights 18-month long training programmes.

This year Chloe Todd Fordham, Brian Mullin, Vinay Patel, Ella Greenhill and Nessah Muthy will take part in the scheme.

The Stage Awards 2015

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