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Playwriting Prize for Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley

LocalTALE is a playwrighting competition, set up by the Leigh Ambassadors as a way to engage local writers and give them the opportunity to have a play produced by the Royal Exchange as part of the Den Festival at Spinners Mill.

It was open to anyone who lives or has a connection to Leigh, Atherton or Tyldesley. The brief was to write an original 10 – 30-minute play and be in with the chance to have your work produced and performed in the Royal Exchange Theatre’s Den at Spinners Mill. All winning writers received support from Dramaturg Suzanne Bell to develop their plays for performance.

The first round of the competition ran in 2020 and the second ran during 2021. The four winners of the first round were 'Dreams For Our Daughters' by Pegeen Murphy, 'Battery Low' by Alison Ormrod, 'The Tree From You Or Me' by Charlotte Kirton and 'Green Leaves' by Mary Berry.

Winner Alison Ormrod said
"I found the theatre’s online resources really useful and the writing workshop with Suzanne Bell left me feeling empowered and encouraged. I was surprised but delighted to learn that my play had been chosen as one of the four winners. I really appreciate that judging still took place during these strange and difficult times. My play, BATTERY LOW was intended to raise questions about loneliness and the increasing normality on our reliance on virtual company. This seems so much more poignant now as so many of us are experiencing both during lockdown.”

Winner Charlotte Kirton said... 
“When I first found out that I won, I have to admit I did cry a little. When a lifelong dream actually comes true you have to take a step back a bit. I’m so thankful for this amazing opportunity and the recognition that one of my crazy ideas is getting!”

Winners of the 2021 competition were '25 & Over' by Sarah Teale, 'On The Streets Of Covid' by Tom Stocks, 'Hope Is A Flower' by Amy Drake and 'Childminding' by Lumen Hirata-Smith.

Winner Sarah Teal said... 
“I honestly can't thank the Royal Exchange enough for this opportunity! It means so much to be part of a theatre festival celebrating the town where I grew up, and I can't wait to see the rest of the plays!"

Winner Tom Stocks said... 
“I am absolutely over the moon about winning. I never thought that after just scraping a C at GCSE level I would ever be the winner of a writing competition by The Royal Exchange. I grew up attending the Exchange so to now be part of their programme is just a dream come true.”

Suzanne Bell, The Royal Exchange’s award-winning dramaturg and LocalTALE judge said…
"We were bowled over by the submissions to this year's competition and excited to read such a broad range of responses to everything that happened in 2020. Writing a play from scratch and sending it out into the world for other people to experience is a brave act and I would like to thank everyone who submitted for the dedication, ambition and imagination they brought to their work. We are delighted to announce the four winners whose plays opened up new worlds, made us see the world in new ways and showed the power of human connection. As things begin to reopen and we hope to soon welcome audiences back into theatres, the power of imagination and human relationships is more important than ever and we look forward to sharing these stories with you."


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For those inspired to write their own play, download the research pack here.


You can also find writing resources on the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting website WRITEAPLAY.CO.UK.


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