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Tanika Gupta wins £10,000 James Tait Black drama prize 2018

Tanika Gupta, who's play Death of a Matriarch will feature in BBC Radio 3's Edinburgh coverage. Photo: Adam Bennett Playwright Tanika Gupta. Photo: Adam Bennett
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Playwright Tanika Gupta has been announced the winner of the 2018 James Tait Black Prize for Drama.

The £10,000 playwriting prize is presented annually by the University of Edinburgh for the best original play written in English, Scots or Gaelic and first performed by a professional company in the previous year.

Gupta won for her play Lions and Tigers, performed last year at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in London, which tells the true story of her great uncle and freedom fighter Dinesh Gupta.

Lions and Tigers review at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London – ‘illuminating’

The awards ceremony took place at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh on August 20, hosted by television and radio presenter Shereen Nanjiani.

Other nominees for the 2018 prize included Alice Birch, Gary McNair and Linda McLean.

Chair of the judging panel, Greg Walker, Regius professor of rhetoric and English literature at the University of Edinburgh, said: “The talent and creativity shown by this year’s shortlist was astounding.

“Tanika Gupta’s epic drama pushes the boundaries of verbatim theatre, telling an important story in a fresh and authentic way never seen on stage before.”

The James Tait Black Prize for Drama was launched in 2012, when Britain’s oldest literary awards – the James Tait Black Prizes – were extended to include a category to celebrate playwriting.

The prize is judged by a panel of emerging artists, students and established theatre experts and is open to any new work by a playwright at any stage of their career. It is run in association with the Traverse Theatre and Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland.

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