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Molly Davies becomes first female winner of Pinter Commission

Antonia Fraser with Pinter Commission winner Molly Davies. Photo: Helen Murray Antonia Fraser with Pinter Commission winner Molly Davies. Photo: Helen Murray
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Playwright Molly Davies has been named as the recipient of this year’s Pinter Commission, becoming the first female playwright to accept the prize.

The award, now in its fourth year, is given by Harold Pinter’s widow Antonia Fraser to a playwright in support of a new commission at the Royal Court.

The theatre previously commissioned Davies to write God Bless the Child, which was produced last year. She will now write a new work for the Sloane Square venue.

Davies said receiving the Pinter Commission was “very humbling, as Harold Pinter has been a great inspiration”. She also thanked Fraser and the Royal Court for “the opportunity and encouragement”.

Royal Court artistic director Vicky Featherstone added: “Molly’s writing is quiet but fiercely political, taut and ambitious, and I am delighted that this enables us to commission her again.”

She continued: “Pinter was not only recognised as an extraordinary playwright and thinker, but was also a vigorous and passionate supporter of new talent, understanding deeply the highs and lows of building a career in theatre. Lady Antonia’s generosity and vision in creating this award ensures his legacy influences long into our future.”

Previous recipients of the Pinter Commission include Rory Mullarkey, Nick Payne and Anders Lustgarten.

Fraser, who created the award in 2011, said the Pinter Commission was “exactly what Harold would have wanted”.

She explained: “Because he had experienced the devastating rejection of his early work, he knew the true value of encouragement. New writing was always immensely important to Harold, and Molly Davies is a welcome recipient of the 2015 award.”