Luke Owen's UNSCORCHED to Play Finborough Theatre, Oct 29-Nov 23
The winner of the fifth Papatango New Writing Prize, in its third year in partnership with the Finborough Theatre, is Unscorched by first time playwright Luke Owen. It will be directed by Justin Audibert, former Resident Director at The National Theatre Studio, and will receive a four week run at the Finborough Theatre, opening on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 (Press Night: Thursday 31 October 2013 at 7.30pm).
Tom spends all his days surfing the net... Because Tom works in child protection. Faced with watching recordings of the most unforgivable crimes on a daily basis, in a job that barely anyone else can endure, Tom struggles to retain his humanity. Meeting Emily might just mean his life has changed for the better, but when your entire working life is spent watching the most terrible of crimes, can you ever go home and say "I love you"?
The Internet Watch Foundation estimates there are 50,000 - 60,000 regular viewers of child pornography in the UK alone. With reports of footage of abuse rising by 42% in the last six months, Unscorched examines the impact on those analysts confronting such footage every day.
Tackling an important and taboo subject with sensitivity, humour and courage, and chosen from more than 500 entries to win this year's Papatango New Writing Prize, Luke Owen's first play reveals a dramatist of exceptional promise.
Unscorched was selected unanimously from more than 500 entries to win the fifth Papatango New Writing Prize by a panel including the four members of Papatango -Matt Roberts, Sam Donovan, George Turvey and Chris Foxon - together with Neil McPherson, Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre, and Francis Grin, Literary Manager of the Finborough Theatre. All scripts were judged anonymously.
As winner of the Papatango New Writing Prize, Unscorched also received a week's development and public reading at the Bristol Old Vic and the script is published by Nick Hern Books.
Previous winners of the Papatango New Writing Prize include Dawn King's Foxfinder which was one of The Independent's Top Five Plays of the Year, won playwright Dawn King the OffWestEnd Award for Most Promising Playwright and a prestigious Pearson Award bursary through the Finborough Theatre, won the Critics' Circle Most Promising Newcomer Award for director Blanche McIntyre, and was nominated for OffWestEnd Awards for Best New Play and Best Male Performance; and Pack by Louise Monaghan, of which Michael Billington of The Guardian said "[it] knocks spots off much of the new writing I have seen". The first winner of the Prize, Dominic Mitchell, received huge acclaim for his BBC series In The Flesh, having been discovered and championed by Papatango who produced Potentials, his debut show.
Playwright Luke Owen, 30, grew up in Woking and now lives in Norwich, where he works as an actor and copywriter. He is a graduate of the University of East Anglia, where he took a BA in English and Drama before graduating from the acclaimed MA course in Creative Writing. He was a member of The Royal Court Theatre Young Writers' Programme.
Director Justin Audibert was the recipient of the 2012 Leverhulme Award for Emerging Directors and was Resident Director at the Finborough Theatre and The National Theatre Studio. He is Artistic Associate of HighTide Festival Theatre, Associate Director for Red Ladder and Associate of Told By An Idiot. Recent directing includes A Season in the Congo: Parallel Project (Clare, Young Vic),Wrong 'Un (Red Ladder), Gruesome Playground Injuries (Gate Theatre), The Tempest (Royal Shakespeare Company - Shakespeare in a Suitcase), Future Regrets (Royal Shakespeare Company at the Live Theatre, Newcastle), Mojo (Royal Shakespeare Company at the Hampstead Downstairs), Front (RADA Festival) and Company Along The Mile (West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Lowry, Manchester, and Arcola Theatre). As an Assistant Director he has worked with Greg Doran, Paul Hunter, Lucy Bailey, David Farr, Rachel Kavanaugh and Sarah Esdaile. In 2012, he was the Acting Coach for the finalists of BBC 2's Shakespeare Off By Heart. Justin trained on the Birkbeck MFA in Theatre Directing.