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Jez Butterworth, Lucy Kirkwood and Inua Ellams nominated for 2018 Writers’ Guild awards

The current West End cast of The Ferryman. Photo: Johan Persson The current West End cast of The Ferryman. Photo: Johan Persson
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The Ferryman, The Children and Barber Shop Chronicles will go up against each other for best play at the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain’s annual awards.

Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman, which premiered at the Royal Court and is now running in the West End, has been nominated in the best play category alongside Lucy Kirkwood’s The Children, which also ran at the Royal Court, and Barber Shop Chronicles by Inua Ellams, at the National Theatre.

The Ferryman was recently named best play at the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards.

The Royal Court received two nominations in the best play category at last year’s Writers’ Guild awards, when the prize was won by Caryl Churchill’s Escaped Alone.

The best play category is one of 14 that will be presented at the awards in January, as well as a special award, the recipient of which is yet to be announced.

The Host by Nessah Muthy, which was produced by the National Youth Theatre at the Yard in east London is nominated for best play for young audiences. It is shortlisted alongside How to Be a Kid by Sarah McDonald-Hughes and Mike Kenny’s The Messenger. They were produced by Paines Plough and Irish theatre company Barnstorm respectively.

Other nominees include Jed Mercurio, who is shortlisted for best long-form TV drama for series four of Line of Duty, shown on the BBC. It is nominates alongside Taboo – by Chips Hardy, Steven Knight, Ben Hervey and Emily Ballou – and Roger Williams’ Bang.

BBC comedy This Country, written by and starring Daisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper, has been nominated for best TV situation comedy with Back by Simon Blackwell, which starred Robert Webb and David Mitchell, and Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith’s Inside No. 9.

Other categories include best writing in a video game, best radio drama, best radio comedy and best screenplay.

The Writers’ Guild awards take place on January 15, 2018 in London.