Samuel Bailey Wins Eleventh Annual Papatango New Writing Prize
At an event today at Shoreditch Town Hall, Papatango announced that Samuel Bailey has won the 11th annual Papatango New Writing Prize for his debut full-length play, Shook, from a record 1,406 entries. Also announced today were the shortlisted writers - Emma Anderson for The Lesson; Steven Bloomer for Bricolage; Tabitha Mortiboy for Daffy Grod and the Shaking Lights, and Joel Tan for Love in the Time of the Ancients. Each of these writers received a showcase reading alongside Shook at today's event for industry attendees.
The Papatango New Writing Prize was the UK's first - and remains the only annual - opportunity guaranteeing a new writer a full production, publication, a royalty of 10% of the gross box office, and a £6000 commission with full developmental support for a follow-up play. For the first time, this year the production will receive a national tour directly following performances in London, in a major expansion for the prize.
In addition, every entrant receives feedback on their script - a commitment made by no other company, especially significant as the Prize averages more submissions on a yearly basis than any other playwriting award.
Samuel Bailey said today, "I'm proper chuffed. Winning the Papatango Prize was a huge shock - I entered hoping to get some feedback for my play, so when I got the call from Chris to say I was shortlisted I was surprised to say the least. It doesn't quite feel real. Seeing the brilliant productions Papatango have put on over the past few years makes me incredibly excited to see what we can make together."
Artistic Director of Papatango, George Turvey, commented, "This year saw a record number of entries to the Prize, meaning it continues to receive more annual submissions than any other platform - yet despite this volume, and a truly remarkable shortlist, Shook was the overwhelming choice of our entire reading team. Samuel has a distinctive, authentic and original voice, and this is a story that demands to be told. We are delighted to be able to share it with audiences across the country in the Prize's biggest ever incarnation."
Shook will now be developed with Papatango, ahead of a production at Southwark Playhouse from 30 October to 23 November 2019. This marks the fifth year the prize-winning play will be showcased at this venue following the world premières of the 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 Papatango New Writing Prize winners: The Funeral Director by Iman Qureshi, Trestle by Stewart Pringle, Orca by Matt Grinter and Tomcat by James Rushbrooke. These productions have received 9 nominations for Off West End Awards including Best New Play and Most Promising Playwright.
Following the run at Southwark Playhouse, the production tours to Hope Street Theatre, Liverpool (26 November), Theatr Clwyd (27 - 28 November), Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough (30 November) and Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury (4 - 7 December).
Samuel Bailey was born in London and raised in the West Midlands. He began writing plays in Bristol and developed work with Bristol Old Vic, Tobacco Factory Theatres and Theatre West before moving back to London. He is an alumnus of the Old Vic 12 and Orange Tree Writers' Collective. Shook was originally supported by the MGCfutures bursary programme, and will be his debut full production.
Other writers produced under the Prize include Dawn King, Dominic Mitchell, Tom Morton-Smith, Fiona Doyle, Luke Owen and Louise Monaghan. Collectively, writers launched through the Prize have won BAFTAs, OffWestEnd, and RNT Foundation Awards, been nominated for the James Tait Black Drama Prize and twice nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, premièred in over twenty countries worldwide, and gone on to work with the National Theatre, RSC, Hampstead Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Theatre Royal Bath, Royal and Derngate, Bush Theatre, Headlong, English Touring Theatre and The Old Vic, as well as in the West End and for the BBC and HBO.
Photo Credit: Zora Kuettner