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Hope Playwriting Prize winner gets Arts Council England Funding boost

Kate Mulgrew winner Friday 3 March 2017

Plans to stage Omnibus, the winner of the inaugural Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize, are moving ahead following the announcement that the project has received a grant from Arts Council England’s Grants For The Arts Programme.

The award of up to £14,850 has been granted to help to develop the play in conjunction with Liverpool’s Royal Court and Unity theatres.

Written by Katie Mulgrew, Omnibus is a fast moving farce that starts with three housemates lounging in front of the television on a Sunday afternoon. Their plans for a lazy day are put on hold when a surprise guest bursts in with a gun and a bag full of money.

The Arts Council’s Grants For The Arts Programme is a our Lottery-funded, open access funding programme for individuals, arts organisations and other people who use the arts in their work. Grants are available for activities carried out over a set period and which engage people in England in arts activities and help artists and arts organisations in England carry out their work.

Omnibus has already been developed in a series of workshops with Director Robert Farquar and now this funding will support a full run of the play, planned to take place at Unity Theatre in June 2017. Performance dates have been confirmed and tickets go on sale next month.

Professor Gerald Pillay, Vice Chancellor & Rector of Liverpool Hope University said: “We are delighted that the first winning play from the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize is to be performed. The whole objective of the competition is to invest in the artists of the future, bring new and interesting voices to the stage and encourage new writing for the theatre. The fact that Omnibus has secured Arts Council England funding highlights those aims, the quality of work from Katie Mulgrew, the winning writer, and the Liverpool Royal Court team. I am looking forward to curtain up on opening night.”

Katie Mulgrew said: “'I'm so thrilled that my play, 'Omnibus' is going to be performed at the Unity theatre. Since winning the Hope playwriting prize, I've worked with a fantastic team to develop the play and I'm made up that it will be the first co-production between the Liverpool Royal Court and the Unity.”

Kevin Fearon, Executive Producer at Liverpool’s Royal Court said: “This is very welcome news as it gives us the chance to develop a new piece of work in a new space for us. Katie’s play is not just a great show but it has given us the opportunity to create partnerships with both Hope University and Unity Theatre”

Find out who is on the shortlist for the 2017 Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize

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