Matt Grinter named as winner of Papatango New Writing Prize
Matt Grinter has become the eighth winner of the annual Papatango New Writing Prize, winning a full production at the Southwark Playhouse.
As well as a professional staging of his play, Orca, Grinter will – for the first time in the prize’s history – receive a £6,000 commission to write a second play.
The playwright told The Stage he did not think he would win the prize as he “literally only used the competition as a deadline so I’d finish something”.
He added: “I had no thoughts that it would go any further than that, so the call for the shortlist and then finding out I’d won was mind blowing.”
Grinter also welcomed the commission for a second play, claiming it would ease the financial burden of writing.
“The money means I don’t have to work every job under the sun and still write when I get home,” he explained.
Orca was picked over four other shortlisted plays: Tarn by Chris Salt, Alkaline by Gareth Jandrell, Gnaw by Dean Poulter and Full Tilt by Sarah Pitard.
More than 1,000 writers entered scripts for the award this year, and they have all been promised individual feedback by Papatango’s reading team.
Orca is Grinter’s first collaboration with Papatango, which produced his short play Angel in 2008 at London’s Lost Theatre.
Artistic director George Turvey said: “Because we had encouraged his writing in our own early days in 2008, in a way, it feels like we are completing a journey started eight years ago, and it’s wonderful to be able to have another chance to support his talent.”
Orca will run at the Southwark Playhouse from November 2 to 26, with a press night on November 4.