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CONSUMED By Karis Kelly Announced As This Year's Winner Of The Women's Prize For Playwriting

The competition opened on 7 April 2021 and received over 850 entries.

Consumed by Karis Kelly is today announced as the winning script for The Women's Prize for Playwriting 2021. The Prize, now in its second year, is produced by Ellie Keel and Paines Plough, with Principal Partner 45North and in association with Sonia Friedman Productions.

The competition opened on 7 April 2021 and received over 850 entries which were judged by Arifa Akbar, Mel Kenyon (Chair), Lucy Kirkwood, Jasmine Lee-Jones, Winsome Pinnock, Indhu Rubasingham, Jenny Sealey, Nina Steiger, Nicola Walker, and Jodie Whittaker. From 8 finalists, Karis Kelly was awarded the prize of £12,000 at a ceremony held today at The London Library, with whom The Women's Prize for Playwriting is entering a new partnership.

The winning playwright, Karis Kelly, is currently on attachment with the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, and Consumed is set to be programmed in 2023.

On winning the award, Kelly said today "I'm absolutely blown away to be the Winner of the 2021 Women's Prize for Playwriting. In today's theatre ecology, we really do need programmes that highlight female and female identifying voices. I'm so proud to be a part of its legacy. Like many others in the arts, during the pandemic, I had a complete crisis of faith, and was considering a complete career change! So, to go from that point, to receiving recognition from such an amazing prize and panel of judges is genuinely a dream come true."

Also announced today Artistic Director of Kiln Theatre, Indhu Rubasingham, will take on the role of Chair of Judges for the third annual Women's Prize for Playwriting, with submissions opening in the summer.

Ellie Keel, Founder Director of The Women's Prize for Playwriting, today said, "To say that I'm delighted with this outcome would be an understatement - I'm so thrilled that this warm, funny, deft, sharply observed play has won the Prize in our second year. We've got a long way still to go in terms of parity between male and female writers on major stages and I hope that the exceptional plays brought together under the banner of this Prize demonstrates that there's no shortage of talent: only, in some places, a reluctance to recognise it or give it a chance. It is time for the theatre industry to make sure it's putting as much faith in female writers as they have to put in themselves to get plays written. It's an exciting time - we can't wait to produce Consumed in 2023, along with all the other producing activity that's planned for the prize this year and next."

Katie Posner and Charlotte Bennett, joint Artistic Directors of Paines Plough, added, "We distinctly remember calling each other after we first read Consumed to share that we had both been howling with laughter, moved and shocked all within the first 10 pages - we love the unpredictability of this script, the metaphor that sits at the heart of the story and the way it centralises women's stories across four generations. Karis is a bold and thrilling theatrical voice who we are privileged to now be working with at Paines Plough."

Jessica Rose McVay, Emily Carewe and Charlie Lees-Massey from 45North said, "The incredible scope of the finalist plays this year once again show the depth and breadth of the work women are writing. Each of these plays are rich in their storytelling; personal and touching in their characters; and bold in their theatricality. Consumed speaks to generational trauma and love, and at its heart is theatrically thrilling - we cannot wait to see it on stage!"

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