Entertainment & Arts

Bruntwood Prize: Playwrights at work

Their work is performed very publicly, but the world of the playwright is usually a private one. A new photographic exhibition will give a rare glimpse of British playwrights in the places where they work and find inspiration.

Image copyright Simon Annand
Image caption Meera Syal

The portraits include Sir Tom Stoppard, Sir David Hare, Johnny Vegas, Simon Stephens and Meera Syal (seen above).

Image copyright Simon Annand
Image caption Sir Tom Stoppard

The pictures, by Simon Annand, were commissioned to mark the 10th anniversary of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting.

Image copyright Simon annand
Image caption Bola Agbaje

The 2015 competition opens for entries on 30 January. Writers of all levels of experience are invited to enter plays, which must be original, unperformed and unproduced.

Image copyright Simon annand
Image caption Bryony Lavery

The winner will receive a prize of £16,000 and a full production of their play at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.

Image copyright Simon annad
Image caption Sir David Hare

The 2013 Bruntwood Prize was won by Anna Jordan's play Yen, which will receive its world premiere at the Royal Exchange from 18 February 2015.

Image copyright Simon annand
Image caption Jackie Kay

Also premiering at the Royal Exchange later this year will be The Rolling Stone by Chris Urch, which was a winner of a judges' award in 2013.

Image copyright Simon annand
Image caption Johnny Vegas

Sarah Frankcom, Bruntwood Prize judge, and artistic director of the Royal Exchange, said: "I really want to discover a play or a writer that is such a game changer it will redefine what a play can be and how it can connect with audiences.

"We're excited about producing two Bruntwood winners at the Royal Exchange this year. I can't wait to see what we find this year."

Image copyright Simon annand
Image caption Mat Fraser (left) and Anna Jordan

The judging panel for this year's prize will be chaired by Sir Nicholas Hytner, the outgoing artistic director of the National Theatre.

Image copyright Simon annand
Image caption Sarah Solemani
Image copyright Simon annand
Image caption Simon Stephens
Image copyright Simon annand
Image caption Duncan Macmillan (left) and Tanika Gupta

The exhibition runs at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, from 25 April.

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