On 19 May 2023 – what would have been Comedy legend Victoria Wood’s 70th Birthday, Sean Foley, our double Olivier Award-winning Artistic Director, announced the creation of the first ever major playwrighting prize dedicated to the art of Comedy.
The Victoria Wood Playwrighting Prize for Comedy in partnership with The Victoria Wood Foundation is the brainchild of Foley, who is renowned for writing and directing comedies.
Sean Foley said:
It’s a personal thrill that The Rep is now able to announce THE VICTORIA WOOD PLAYWRITING PRIZE FOR COMEDY in partnership with the Victoria Wood Foundation. To have a new major playwriting prize in our industry is cause for celebration itself – never has the need for supporting new plays been greater – but to have this Prize dedicated to the art of Comedy, perhaps the most difficult genre of all, is ground breaking.
A fitting tribute to Victoria Wood’s trailblazing comic talent, this will be the first major playwriting Prize for narrative stage comedy in the world, and will be open to all. The Rep is proud that the home of the Prize is in the UK’s most diverse and youngest City, the city of one of Victoria’s major collaborators, Dame Julie Walters, and the city of so many contemporary comedians and writers such as Sir Lenny Henry, Joe Lycett, and Meera Syal, CBE, FRSL. It is of course also the city where Victoria Wood herself went to university to study Drama.
Of the twin masks of drama – Comedy and Tragedy – often the focus from our industry, across acting, directing and writing, is on the latter. The Rep has been a pioneering force in UK theatre for over 100 years, and with the creation of this Prize is once again opening up new possibilities… As a major theatre that celebrates the difficult art of making people laugh, we hope to become a national home for theatrical comedy – where writing, developing, and creating that art is taken seriously.”
The prize has been made possible thanks to the generous support of The Victoria Wood Foundation, a charity set up after the death of Victoria Wood by in 2016 by her friends to support the arts.
The winner will receive £25,000 (£10,000 of which will be the play commission.)
Submissions will be accepted from September 2023, and the winner announced in Spring 2024.
Please direct any enquiries to the email below…VictoriaWoodPrize@birmingham-rep.co.uk
Deadline: not yet specified, we will update the post when we know more!
Source: Birmingham Rep