Katherine Soper wins £16k Bruntwood Prize with debut play
First-time writer Katherine Soper has been named winner of this year’s Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting.
She was awarded the £16,000 prize for her debut play Wish List, which follows a young woman caring for her brother, who has obsessive compulsive disorder.
Soper, who works as a shop assistant in London, wrote the script as her dissertation play while studying at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
It will now be produced professionally at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, where the Bruntwood Prize ceremony took place.
Soper described the win as “the best boost of writerly confidence I could imagine”.
In addition to the main prize, four entrants were recognised with a judges’ award: James Fritz, Chloe Todd Fordham, Alan Harris and Kendall Feaver.
The winners were selected from more than 1,900 entrants by judges from across the theatre industry, including former National Theatre director Nicholas Hytner, actor and playwright Meera Syal and Royal Exchange artistic director Sarah Frankcom.
Hytner, who chaired the panel, said: “The Bruntwood shortlist has been a pleasure to read, and it includes strikingly accomplished plays covering a startling range of urgent subject matter. It is a privilege to be able to recognise them and to be part of this imaginative and important competition.”
The annual prize, now in its 10th year, invites writers of all levels of experience to submit new plays that are both unpublished and unproduced.