On Friday 22 November, writers, theatre-makers, practitioners, directors, judges, press and guests, descended under the Royal Exchange Great Hall domes to find out who the winner of the 2013 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting would be!



After watching 10 films, 10 live performance extracts and speeches from members of the judging panel, the winner was announced as Anna Jordan, with play YEN.

Katherine Chandler with BIRDChris Urch with THE ROLLING STONE and Luke Norris with SO HERE WE ARE were announced as winners of the judges' award.

_JCF2997_1Our first prize winner with YEN is Anna Jordan, who was inspired by a story in a local paper about two boys who committed a hideous crime.Our prize winners are Chris Urch, Anna Jordan, Katherine Chandler and Luke Norris (pictured left-right) four very different writers who have created four completely unique worlds that captured the imaginations of our judging panel.

Sixteen year old Hench and his younger brother Bobbie live alone with their dog, Taliban, playing videogames and watching pornography. Their mother occasionally passes out on their front door.

Lost childhoods, lost innocence, love and violence, Bobbie and Hench’s world is turned upside down with tragic consequences when Jenny knocks on their door.

"It’s been an extraordinary shortlist this year and very difficult to decide on a winner. Yen is a play of great depth and relevance. In an incredibly dark world each of the characters are drawn with beautiful empathy, and a humanity which stood out to all the judges." Dame Jenni Murray.

See Anna's winning speech below!


Our three judges’ award winners, who each receive £8,000 awards and will also see their plays developed towards production by the Royal Exchange, are:

BIRD by Katherine Chandler

On the brink of leaving the place they’ve known forever, Ava and Tash have to work out what they’ll do next when the rest of the world comes rushing in. A story of two best friends trying to understand what freedom means for them, as sweet sixteen beckons and casts them out of their care home into a quiet storm of separation.


Dembe is discovering what it means to be a man. He’s falling in love for the first time. But it’s a love that threatens the future of the family and could crumble everything around him. A thought provoking exploration of prejudice, hypocrisy and the courage it takes to be yourself in Uganda.

SO HERE WE ARE By Luke Norris

Frankie’s dead. And no-one’s quite sure why. The lads are bereft, but the 5-a-side is still booked for Monday night. As we flash back through Frankie’s last day on earth, we discover that the people who still want him here might be the reason he’s not. So Here We Are is a play about what can happen when nothing happens.

The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting has been responsible for launching and furthering the careers of Britain’s most promising playwrights. Alistair McDowall – winner of Judges Award in 2011 for BRILLIANT ADVENTURES – has subsequently been nominated as Best New Play in the 2013 Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and has been commissioned by the Royal Court Theatre. A new play, PESTS, by Vivienne Franzmann, winner of Judges Award in 2008 will open at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Spring 2014 before transferring to the Royal Court Theatre and touring the UK. Duncan Macmillan, winner of Judges Award at 2005, has received critical acclaim for a new adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984, currently touring the UK, produced by Headlong Theatre Company.

Much more information and media can be found at www.writeaplay.co.uk