Best New Play Award

Best New Play Award 2017

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The New Writing South Best New Play Award is given to a playwright in recognition of an outstanding, original theatre script.

Over forty plays were put forward for the award. All the scripts were read, 15 of them were then seen in performance and from that a short list of 5 was formed.

The standard was very high this year and there were many plays that interested our panel of judges. The 5 shortlisted plays all exhibited skilful storytelling and ambitious ideas.

Paul Macauley's winning play Bug Camp impressed the judges by using playful humour within an emotional storyline to in turn surprise, amuse and move the audience.

The shortlisted plays were:

Richard Hearn - The Missing Special

Paul Macauley - Bug Camp

Helen Seymour - To Helen Back

Luke Ofield - The Writers’ Bloc

Jenna May Hobbs - ReProduction


Previous Winners

This year the judges chose to divide the £500 award between two writers: Tim Cook for Crushed and Richard Fredman for bloominauschwitz. The winners were praised for their fresh writing, accomplished skill and tight dialogue. 

Won by Gail Louw for her true life drama Duwayne. The team of six judges chose Gail’s play for its accomplished writing, for its original portrayal of fact as drama and for bravely hitting the zeitgeist. Tristan Ovington, a member of Brighton Theatre Royal Young Writers, was given a special 'Most Promising Playwright' award for his play Twenty to Something.

Won by Silva Semerciyan for Gather Ye Rosebuds at the Nightingale Theatre. Silva's play enjoyed a transfer to Theatre 503.

No overall winner. Instead, a development package is being offered to Jonathan Brown for The Last Lunch, and to Feral Theatre for Triptych. This is an unprecedented decision but also one the organisation is really excited about. New Writing South will be working closely with the writers over the next year.

Won by Kefi Chadwick for Mathematics of the Heart at the Marlborough Theatre. Following winning the award Kefi's play enjoyed a successful transfer to Theatre 503.
In addition the judges gave a separate award to Ben Keyworth for Cuckoo at The Open House.