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Outside Edge Theatre Company Announces Finalists For The Inaugural 2020 Phil Fox Playwriting Award

The winning script will be announced on 4 November.

Outside Edge Theatre Company (OETC), the UK's only theatre company and participatory arts charity focused on addiction, is delighted to announce the finalists for the inaugural Phil Fox Award for Playwriting. Selected from 350 entries, the finalists are Sarah Connors, Silas Parry, Kristian Phillips, Jack Robson and Jack Stanley.

In its inaugural year, the prize has been created to recognise original scripts by playwrights from all backgrounds and experience levels, tackling issues around addiction. The winning script will be announced on 4 November and the chosen playwright will receive a £6,000 commission and mentorship from chair of the judging panel, Tony Award-winning playwright Enda Walsh.

Also on the 2020 judging panel are leading industry figures Matt Applewhite (Nick Hern Books Managing Director and Commissioning Editor), Barbara Broccoli OBE (Film Producer), Sonya Hale (OETC Associate Theatre Facilitator and Heretic Voices award-winning playwright), Indhu Rubasingham (Artistic Director of the Kiln Theatre), Matt Steinberg (OETC Artistic Director) and Simon Stephens (Tony and Olivier Award-winning playwright of The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time).

Chair of the judging panel, Enda Walsh today said "I'd like to congratulate and commend those writers who've made the final shortlist for the inaugural Phil Fox Award. Each one has exhibited exceptional skill and sensitivity around this subject - and have built their own extraordinary singular worlds. It's tremendously exciting and also a daunting proposition to now try and choose a winner."

Pushing On Open Doors

By Sarah Connors

For years, Maud has kept her grandson Art well away from the busybodies and bullies in the town. He's different, and they don't understand. When the enigmatic Pauly and ethereal Fee rescue Art from difficulty, they seem a blessing and are welcomed as guests. Slowly at first, and then frighteningly swiftly, things spiral out of Maud's control. As the dark truth about the newcomers emerges, a fight for the home and family begins. A tender yet unsparing new play about where we find refuge.

Sarah Connors is from Cornwall. Pushing On Open Doors is her playwriting debut, and the work was also shortlisted for the Papatango Playwriting Prize in 2020.

Lessons For Diving

By Silas Parry

Danny has been taking care of his little brother Jo since their Mum died of an overdose.

Jo hardly leaves the small flat they share, and their loss fuels his obsession with giant 'man-eating' squid. Plus Danny's safety, because he works for a local drug dealer to make ends meet.

And as Danny struggles to hide the increasing dangers of his job, Jo is caught in his own battle with the biggest squid of all.

In a world of rising waters and magical predators, only a Mexican fisherman called Rafael can teach Jo how to dive deep enough to defeat the monster and save his brother.

This is Silas Parry's playwriting debut. He has previously been selected for the BBC Writersroom and received a BAFTA Los Angeles scholarship to support an MFA in dramatic writing at the Rita & Burton Goldberg Department, TISCH / NYU. He is also a visual artist and has most recently exhibited at Contemporary Art Space Osaka.


By Kristian Phillips

Roger's on the 'best night out ever'... Again!

In this small Welsh town, Friday nights are half big but Saturdays are massive.

Mind you, this isn't a normal Saturday night.

Tonight, Roger's whole reality is about to drift away.

DRIFT is a darkly comic, solo show, about grief, addiction and masculinity.

Kristian Phillips is a writer and actor from Port Talbot. As a playwright Drift is his debut play, and it was developed and researched under the Tyfu/Grow scheme at Theatr Clwyd. He is currently part of the Hampstead Theatre's 'Inspire Group' and Theatr Clwyd's 'Writer In Residence Scheme'. His theatre credits as an actor include Pavilion, Season's Greetings, Bruised (Theatr Clwyd), As You Like It (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre), Richard III (Almeida Theatre), Of Mice and Men (Birmingham Repertory Theatre/UK tour), The Alchemist (Liverpool Playhouse) and Crazy Gary's Mobile Disco (Tron/Traverse Theatre).

What's Lost In The Gaps

By Jack Robson

As a primary school teacher, Una has a lot to deal with: demanding parents, inattentive children, an egotistical headmistress. She used to turn to alcohol to make it all easier -- only now it seems to do the opposite. When her father dies before she has a chance to reconcile with him, Una finds herself starting to crumble. Confronted with her mother's ailing health, the stress of her father's funeral, and her worsening addiction, Una spirals out of control, finally making a decision that she will never remember, but will affect the course of her life.

Jack Robson's debut play i woke up feeling electric premiered at Hope Theatre in February 2020.


By Jack Stanley

Simone and Tobias are siblings. They get on. Sure, Tobias is a bit of a layabout when he visits her. Okay, a total couch potato but Simone's used to that.

And so what if he's been a bit directionless recently? Things are still good between them. But as the visits continue, it all starts to change. It becomes clear that Tobias' life is spiralling into substance addiction. They are both caught in a cycle of Tobias' behaviour that Simone is desperate to break. Until the moment she finally realises she can't.

Jack Stanley is from South London. His theatre credits include Catastrophists (White Bear Theatre), Waste (Southwark Playhouse) and Laying Tracks (The Gregson Institute, Liverpool).

The 2020 Phil Fox Award for Playwriting is generously supported by An Anonymous Friend Of OETC, The Carne Trust and Unity Theatre Trust.

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