Cardiff pub theatre the Other Room has revealed the winner of its inaugural Violet Burns Playwright award, which aims to discover female writers from Wales.
The first winner is Mari Izzard, an actor who was inspired to write after the death of actor and comedian Victoria Wood. Izzard’s first play, in Welsh, will be premiered at the Other Room.
She said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be the winner of the Violet Burns award. Having struggled with the written word (particularly the English language) in school due to dyslexia I never thought I would ever be able to call myself a writer. It is the opportunity and the support that comes with awards such as this that enables people like me to chase their dreams.”
Funded by Hayley Burns, the award was created in memory of her mother, the writer and poet Violet Burns.
The Other Room artistic director Dan Jones said ensuring its output “represents the community we serve is absolutely paramount”.
He added: “I know I’m not alone when I claim there is a worrying lack of female playwrights’ work being commissioned and produced here in Wales. The remedy for this needed to come fast and fiercely, which is why it gives me great pleasure to announce Mari Izzard as the winner of the Violet Burns Playwright award.
“Mari sports a distinctly anarchic quality to her Welsh language writing that offers a flavour of dialogue that will no doubt set her apart from others. Already an emerging actor, she is brimming with passion, has the biggest heart and an exquisite candour.”