New Writing South Best New Play 2019: Winner Announced

 In Best New Play Award, News & Features

New Writing South, in partnership with Brighton Fringe, is delighted to announce the winner of the New Writing South Best New Play Award 2019. This award is presented to a playwright in recognition of an outstanding, original theatre script produced at Brighton Fringe.

We received 68 entries this year and 11 plays were shortlisted. Each show was reviewed and three finalists were selected. The judges’ feedback on the quality of the submissions has been extremely positive this year.

The finalists:

Wolf Tamer by Rachel Mae Brady

Clean by Sam Chittenden

Lights! Planets! People! By Molly Naylor

The award, as well as a cheque for £250 and entrance to next year’s Fringe, was presented to Sam Chittenden for ‘Clean’ at the award ceremony on 2 June.

“I was delighted to win Best New Play.  ‘Clean’ was written as a love letter to the Roundhill area of Brighton where I lived for seven years, and to its rich social history – from the laundries that covered the hill and the 1950 smallpox outbreak, to Dr Helen Boyle’s trailblazing hospital for poor women with mental illness.  I also wanted to reflect the lives of ordinary women living on the hill.  The play is written as a tapestry of overlapping monologues from 1880 to 2020.  As I wrote them, different themes started to emerge and repeat, providing links across the years that I hope reflect on how much has changed for women (and how much hasn’t!) over the years.  

I am deeply grateful to Jan and Rusty Curry whose garden provided the laundry field backdrop to our Brighton shows, and to my amazing cast and crew.  We are taking Clean to Smallhythe Place in Kent on 29 June.  And Simon Scardanelli and I are writing more songs for ‘Clean’, so who knows what might come next?  Meanwhile, the prize of free entry to next year’s Fringe means I am starting to think of new stories!”  Sam Chittenden.