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Pentabus Theatre to host Channel 4’s Playwrights’ Scheme winner

  • Date: 21 November 2013
  • Area: Midlands

It has been announced that Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisation, Pentabus Theatre in Ludlow, will become host to one of the five winners of Channel 4’s Playwrights’ Scheme.

Simon Longman will join Pentabus for a year-long placement where his principal task will be to pen at least one full-length play. He will also work alongside theatre practitioners attached to the venue to gain experience of a working theatre. 

Laura Boswell, Arts Council Relationship Manager for Touring, said: “Channel 4’s Playwrights’ scheme is an exciting programme which supports the development of emerging writers. Everyone should be able to take part and experience great art, so to have an exciting new voice in British theatre living and working in the area is great news. Following the success of Simon’s debut production, Milked, the placement is a great opportunity for Pentabus and a chance for more people to enjoy the new work Simon is set to produce.”

To support the winning writers during their year-long placement, each will receive a £7,000 bursary, and in the following year the writers will have the opportunity to submit their new play for the Catherine Johnson Best Play Award.

The winning playwrights were nominated for the scheme by artistic directors from the theatres they will now begin placements with, and were selected by a panel including director Richard Eyre and Channel 4 drama head Piers Wenger.

Piers Wenger said: “The calibre of writing we received was hugely impressive, showcasing a breadth and range of exciting new voices in British theatre. We look forward to seeing the work they produce under the bursary and beyond.”

This year’s winners also include Clara Brennan, who will work with the Soho Theatre, Zodwa Nyoni, who has been paired with the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Morna Pearson, who will work with the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, and Chris Thompson, who has been paired with the Finborough Theatre in London.

Longman’s debut production, Milked, which toured the Midlands in November, is a black comedy about friendship, unemployment – and a cow called Sandy, and was co-produced by Pentabus and the Courtyard.