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Alistair McDowall wins 2018 Pinter commission to write new play for the Royal Court

Pinter Commission winner Alistair McDowall, centre, with Antonia Fraser, Harold Pinter’s widow, and Royal Court artistic director Vicky Featherstone. Photo: Robert Smael Pinter Commission winner Alistair McDowall, centre, with Antonia Fraser, Harold Pinter’s widow, and Royal Court artistic director Vicky Featherstone. Photo: Robert Smael
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Playwright Alistair McDowall is the winner of the 2018 Pinter Commission and will write a new play for the Royal Court in London.

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

In 2016 the Royal Court produced McDowall’s play X, which ran in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs.

X review at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Royal Court, London – ‘hauntingly human’

He said: “I’m delighted and more than a little humbled to be awarded the Pinter commission. I’m at a key point in my writing life, and this prize will serve as both encouragement to keep going, and a firm kick up the backside to prevent me getting comfortable.”

Royal Court artistic director Vicky Featherstone described the award as “the most perfect way of giving concrete form to Harold’s enduring presence in our theatre”.

She added: “Alistair McDowall is a writer of already considerable achievement but whose potential is dizzying. He has a completely distinctive theatrical voice and engages with the darkness in our world in a way that Harold would recognise at once. I can’t wait to see what this year’s commission leads to.”

Fraser said new writing was always “intensely important” to Pinter and described McDowall as “a welcome recipient of the 2018 award”.

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