Hope Playwriting Prize Study Liverpool Hope University,Study,Departments and Faculties,Faculty of Arts and Humanities,Department of Drama, Dance and Performance Studies

The Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize

in association with the Royal Court Liverpool and the Liverpool Echo

Overview


Liverpool Hope Playwriting LogoThe Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize in association with the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool and the Liverpool Echo

Please note: The competition is now closed to entries.

Liverpool Hope University has partnered with Royal Court Liverpool and the Liverpool Echo to launch a major new competition to find the UK's next great playwright.

This exciting new national competition is a chance for a playwright to win a cash prize of £10,000 and have their work considered for staging by one of the most prolific producing theatres in the North West.

Established and new writers are eligible to enter the competition providing they enter a script that has not been professionally performed. The winning plays will be considered for production by Royal Court Liverpool.

In addition to the main cash prize of £10,000, there are two Highly Commended prizes of £1,500 to be awarded at the judges discretion in the Over 21 category.

There will also be a 21 and Under category with a £2,500 prize for the best submission by a young writer and two Highly Commended prizes of £500 each, again awarded at the judge's discretion. Writers under 21 will be eligible for the main prize.

In addition to possible production by Royal Court Liverpool, one of the winning texts will have a rehearsed reading as part of the Cornerstone Arts Festival 2014 at Hopes Creative Campus.

The competition is open to any UK resident over the age of 18 and as such, we anticipate a high level of interest.*

There is a £20 entry fee (£15 for 21 and Under category) to cover reading and administrative costs.


Follow us on social media:

Twitter: @hopepwprize

Facebook: Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize

*In the event of a larger-than-anticipated number of entries the judging time-scale may be extended. Details will be made available on this website and via the Liverpool Echo.


News

The British Theatre Guide posted a page about the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize on their website.

We are always happy to receive publicity from prestigious theatre websites as it enables a wider range of people to enter and be part of a great opportunity. 

3rd February 2014.


Frank Cottrell Boyce is a judge

Award winning screenwriter and author, Frank Cottrell Boyce is to join our judging panel and will be reading the top ten script entries alongside John Godber, John Bennett, Catherine Jones and Kevin Fearon. Find more information on the Liverpool Echo website.

28th February 2014


Kathy Burke and Paul Allen join judging Panel

We are thrilled to announce that character actress and star of Gimme Gimme Gimme, Kathy Burke has agreed to be a member of our judging panel after directing her own show at the Royal Court earlier this year. Joining her is theatre critic, playwright and academic Paul Allen who's adaptation of Brassed off! is currently touring the UK. 

17th April 2014


One Week Left Until Deadline

Our closing date for script entries is fast approaching with only one week left. Any scripts entered after 30th May at 5pm will not be counted. You can submit your script at the Liverpool Hope University Online Store 

23rd May 2014


Deadline Up!

Our deadline is now closed so please do not try to enter the competition as your entry will not be counted. The winner will be announced in January 2015. 

30th May 2014


Rehearsed Reading Image

Cornerstone Festival

‌As part of this year’s annual Cornerstone Festival, members of the public turned up to watch rehearsed readings of the top ten play‌ entries at the University’s Capstone Theatre. 10 minute extracts were taken from the top ten plays were read by students and directed by professional actors Ron Meadows and Gary Bowman. 

24th November 2015

Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize Partner Logo Banner

Who is Involved?

The competition was initiated by Vice-Chancellor and Rector of Liverpool Hope University, Professor Gerald J. Pillay.

Professor Pillay comments, “Our University is both passionate and committed to Liverpool’s cultural offering. Through The Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize we will not only recognise and develop new talent, but further strengthen Liverpool’s place as one of the greatest cities for culture, regionally, nationally and internationally.” 

 

Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize in association with the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool and the Liverpool Echo

 

The Judging Panel

John Godber, Playwright and Director, Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Liverpool Hope University

John Godber head and shoulders shotJohn Godber was born the son of a miner in Upton, West Yorkshire. He trained as a teacher of drama at Bretton Hall College. Whilst he was Head of Drama at Minsthorpe High School, the school he attended as a student, he won every major award at the National Student Drama Festival between 1981and 1983. In 2005, John's 50th play Wrestling Mad marked his 21st anniversary with Hull Truck as Artistic Director.

Godber's plays are performed across the world and he has the distinction of being one of the most performed writers in the English language. He has won numerous awards for his plays including a Lawrence Olivier Award and seven Los Angeles Critics Circle Awards.

His plays include: Bouncers, Up ‘n' Under, April in Paris, Teechers, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Cramp, Happy Jack, September in the Rain, Salt of the Earth, Passion Killers, Happy Families, Up ‘n' Under ll, Gym & Tonic, Dracula, Lucky Sods, Hooray for Hollywood, Weekend Breaks, It Started With A Kiss, Unleashed, Thick As A Brick, Big Trouble in Little Bedroom, Season In The Sun, on A Night Like This, Our House, Departures, Men of the World, Reunion, Screaming Blue Murder, Black Ties & Tales, Perfect Pitch Going Dutch, Christmas Crackers and, most recently, Muddy Cows.

Within his extensive career in writing and directing in TV and Film, John also devised the BBC2 series Chalkface and his screenplay My Kingdom for a Horse starring Sean Bean was nominated for an alternative BAFTA award. John's first feature film Up ‘N' Under was released in January 1998. In 2005, he co-wrote Odd Squad for BBC 2, with his wife Jane, which was shot in Hull using local actors. Odd Squad won two British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards in the Schools' Drama category and in the BAFTA original writer section.

John has an MA from Leeds University, an Hon D.Litt from Hull University, an Hon D.Litt from Lincoln University, a D.Uni for the Open University and was a PhD research student for five years at Leeds University. He is a visiting Professor of Drama at Hull University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. 

 

Dr. John Bennett, Principal Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies at Liverpool Hope University‌

John BennettJohn Bennett graduated from Bretton Hall, University of Leeds in 1979 with an honours degree in Drama. He returned to Bretton to complete a PGCE in Drama and English in 1981-82. Appointed to Liverpool Hope in 1990, Bennett embarked on an M.A. and graduated in Creative Writing from the University of Lancaster in 1993. He has a PhD from the University of Reading; thesis entitled,' A Good Night Out?: The Popular Theatre of John Godber'. Bennett specialises in contemporary popular theatre. He has taught Playwriting and Devising and teaches research methods to Level I Drama students. Bennett is the award director for the MA Contemporary British Popular Theatres course and is on the register of practitioners of the Higher Education Academy. He has lectured in London, Krakow, New York, Bangalore and Angers and published articles and book chapters on the work of John Godber, the Hull Truck Theatre, Willy Russell, the Royal Court Liverpool and Alan Ayckbourn. His latest publication considers the emergence of the ‘football play’ as a regional theatre staple.

 

 

Kevin Fearon, Chief Executive Royal Court Liverpool 

Kevin Fearon A Liverpool Institute pupil, Kevin Fearon started in theatre as a 15 year old stage hand at The Empire Theatre. He went on to run The Shaw Theatre in London in the late 80s and early 90s with highlights including hosting Eddie Izzard’s Raging Bull Comedy Club and being the first venue to bring The Chippendales over from America. In 1993 he returned to Liverpool where he reopened The Everyman Theatre. In his time at The Everyman, he brought back the famous Rock n Roll Pantos as well as independently producing larger scale shows at the Royal Court and Summer Pops Tent. In 1998 he left The Everyman to run Rawhide Comedy Club (which he started in 1995), which soon became the biggest independent comedy club in the UK. 2005 saw the move to the Royal Court Liverpool where he has been Chief Executive and Executive Producer ever since. The Royal Court has forged a strong reputation as a producing theatre, particularly for new writing and comedy.

 

 

Catherine Jones, Arts Editor, Liverpool Echo

Catherine Jones

Catherine Jones has been a journalist and reviewer for more than 20 years. She was the capital of culture reporter during Liverpool's tenure in 2008, and is currently the arts editor of the Liverpool Echo, covering arts and culture in Liverpool and across Merseyside. In her role she attends an average of 80 plays, stand-up shows and concerts a year.

 

 

 

 

Frank Cottrell Boyce, award winning Screenwriter

Frank Cottrell BoyceFrank Cottrell Boyce, playwright, Screenwriter, Novelist and Visiting Professor of Reading and Communication at Liverpool Hope University.

Frank Cottrell Boyce was born in Rainhill, Liverpool graduated from Oxford in English and palaeontology, later with a PHD in English. His writing career began as a television critic for the magazine Living Marxism and then onto programmes such as Brookside and Coronation Street.

His most famous writing credits include Millions in 2004 with director Danny Boyle which won a British Independent Film Award for best Screenplay. He developed a partnership with director Michael Winterbottom, in which they have collaborated to make six films; 24 Hour Party People (2002) starring Steve Coogan,  Forget About Me (1990), Butterfly Kiss (1995), Welcome to Sarajevo (1997), The Claim (2000), Code 46 (2003) and A Cock and Bull Story (2005). Inspired by Thomas Hardy, his writing shows a gritty realism with an eclectic range of genres and culturally apt elements; regardless of the era they are set.  His most recent work is The Railway Man (2013) starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman.  Frank also found success in novels for children, leading to him winning a Carnegie medal in 2004 for his first book Millions, based on his film and more recently winning the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize in 2012.

Frank has developed relationship with Liverpool Hope in recent years and spoke as a guest lecturer along with friend and colleague Danny Boyle to discuss literary education and their participation in the Summer Olympic opening ceremony in London 2012. “The generous support from Liverpool Hope University is the perfect example of how the private sector continues to support the city's cultural offer and Liverpool city council welcomes its contribution.”   

Other film credits include Saint-ex, New York Crossing, Hilary and Jackie, Pandemonium, Revengers Tragedy, Grow Your Own, God on Trial and Framed. His works as a novelist include Framed, Cosmic, Desirable, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again, The Unforgotten Coat, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 2: The Race Against Time, Triple Word Score, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 3: Over the Moon.   

 

Kathy Burke 

Kathy Burke is a fantastically talented comic actress who began life with a difficult childhood with her early years in foster care and at the age of six going back to her alcoholic Irish father and two brothers.

Her interest and skills for acting were nurtured at school which led to her attendance at the famous Anna Scher Theatre School in Islington. Her first screen appearance was in 1982 in the film Scrubbers directed by Mai Zetterling which led to several other small parts in cult films and television programmes.

We know Burke for her hilarious roles in sketch shows in the late 80s and 90s with appearances in The Comic Strip and French and Saunders but she is best remembered for her association with Harry Enfield in the sketch shows Harry Enfield’s Television Programme and Harry Enfield and Chums. She portrayed an array of bold and funny characters such as Waynetta Slob and the horny teenage boy Perry whose character was developed and pushed to the limits of outrageous in the feature film Kevin and Perry Go Large (2000). Another of Burke’s comic bests is her role as the mouthy Linda in Gimme Gimme Gimme which ran for 3 series’.

Kathy’s creative talents cannot be constricted to comedy for she has had successful roles in serious dramas; both on screen and in theatre where she performed in a Mike Leigh play, It’s a Great Big Shame (1993). In Gary Oldman’s Nil by Mouth (1997) she won 3 prestigious awards for her acting including at Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for a Bafta.

Burke took an early interest in directing theatre with her first and original play she had written aged just 22; Mr Thomas starring Ray Winstone. Her later directing successes include a play performed at both the Tricycle Theatre in London and our very own Royal Court in Liverpool with an adaptation of Once a Catholic (1977) by Mary O’Malley. With a strong work ethic and an ever growing schedule we are blessed that Kathy has taken the time to be a judge for our competition. As our mission is to find the next great comedy play, Kathy is more than qualified to spot a comic diamond in the rough.

 

Paul Allen

Paul Allen was born in Kent who went on to become a critically acclaimed writer and broadcaster. He has a long career in arts journalism presenting Night Waves on BBC Radio 3 since 1998. In 1976 he was the first regional journalist to be named “Critic of the Year” in the British Press Awards, for television and radio reviewing. In the 1980s, he developed an association with BBC Radio 4 where he worked on a feature called The Leaf and the Fig in the arts magazine Kaleidoscope, for which he received a BP Arts Journalism Award for radio in 1993. His most recent journalistic works have been in the Guardian for a feature called Northern Lights which focuses on theatre news and events in the North of England. His talents stretch further as a playwright writing over 2 dozen radio and theatre plays produced across the country, particularly based in Sheffield and was also the head of press at the Belgrade theatre in Coventry. His most successful theatre venture was in 2005 when he adapted from screen to stage the 1996 Mark Herman film, Brassed Off which is currently touring today with rave reviews.

Allen has also succeeded as an academic writer, being Alan Ayckbourn’s biographer with Grinning at the Edge (2001) and A Pocket Guide to Alan Ayckbourn’s Plays (2004). His latest venture is a book about Shakespeare’s comic character, Falstaff. 

Additional Staff:

Ms Leah Wallace

Liverpool Hope University Graduate Intern

 

 

Please note: No one involved in the judging or administration of the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize is eligible for submission. 

Competition Rules

 You can download a copy of the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize Competition Rules

Eligibility The competition is open to anyone resident in the United Kingdom and over the age of 18 on the date of submission of their entry.
Theme:  The play can have any theme and be set anywhere in the world (or beyond!) but it must have comedy at its heart.
Cast:  No more than eight actors.
Entries: Entries must be uploaded to the Liverpool Hope University On-line Store at store.hope.ac.uk. Please go to ‘Submission Details’ for full guidance on how to submit. 
Fee:  There is a non-refundable entry fee of £20 (£15 for under 21) to cover reading costs.
Feedback: As this is the first year of the competition the level of response is unknown. As such, we regret that we will only be able to give feedback to those entries making the ‘longlist’ of twenty. No other correspondence will be entered into.
Judges' decision: The decision of the judging panel is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
Co-authored work: The Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize is happy to accept co-authored work but this should be submitted under one name following the rules of anonymous submission as stipulated. If a co-authored work wins a prize, Liverpool Hope University will pay the prize money to the person who made the submission. It is assumed that co-authors will share any prize equitably.
The Script: This should be full-length, i.e. over eighty minutes running time. The text should clearly indicate the intention to have an interval. Plays submitted must be the work of the person submitting, and be original and unperformed.
Copyright: By submitting a script to this competition, the playwright warrants that he/she has exclusive copyright over the work submitted and that it is available for immediate production.
Correspondence: Submission indicates that these rules have been read, understood and agreed to. No further correspondence will be entered into. Feedback given to the final ‘long list’ twenty is given in good faith and does not constitute correspondence.
No lobbying: Any lobbying of the reading team or the judging panel will lead to automatic disqualification from the competition.
Advice and Guidance:  There are many books and websites dedicated to playwriting. Recommended instructional texts would include Steve Gooch’s Writing a Play and David Edgar’s How Plays Work. 

Submission Details

The Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize opens at 9:00AM GMT on 20th January 2014 and closes at 5:00PM BST on 30th May 2014. No submissions will be considered after this time.

 

Anonymous Submission

Scripts (in PDF or Microsoft Word format) should be uploaded to the Liverpool Hope University On-line Store at store.hope.ac.uk.

Scripts will be printed and bound by the University Secretary’s Office, assigned a code number and forwarded to the reading team. The code number will be the only identification available to the readers and judging panel. The code number will indicate that the author is 21 or under, should that be the case.

N.B. It is vital that play scripts do not contain any means of personal identification; there should be nothing in the header or footer sections apart from page numbers and the first page should contain the title and nothing else. For the avoidance of doubt, the title page must not include the name of the playwright. If the script is deemed to reveal the identity of the playwright, that play submission will be withdrawn from the competition.

However, a cover sheet must be included as page 1 of the file and contain the following:

  • name of person submitting
  • names of co-authors, if applicable
  • contact telephone number
  • full postal address
  • email address
  • proof of age if 21 or under (scanned passport or driving licence)

The cover sheet will be removed by the University Secretary's Office before the script is forwarded to the reading team.

 

Submission Fees

CategoryFee
21 and Under £15
Over 21 £20

This payment must be made by debit or credit card via the Liverpool Hope University On-line Store. A receipt will be issued. 

The University Secretary’s Office will also send an email confirming the script has been passed to the reading team.

Judging Process

First Round

The reading team will read the first act or the first 40 pages (whichever is shorter) of all submissions. They will then recommend one of three actions:

  • Move to second round and full read
  • Seek second reader opinion to confirm progress or no further action
  • No further action.

 

Second Round

The reading team will read all scripts in full. They will then recommend one of three actions:

  • Consider for ‘long list’ and write initial feedback
  • Seek second reader opinion to confirm progress or no further action
  • No further action.

 

Third Round

The reading team will then consider the ‘long list’ and reduce this to 20.

 

Final 20

All 20 scripts will be read by two members of the reading team who will confer. They will then recommend one of two actions:

  • Consider for a shortlist of ten
  • No further action and finalise feedback.

 

Shortlist

The titles of the final ten plays will be announced in the Liverpool Echo and on this website. Identities of the playwrights will remain unknown at this point. The judging panel will read all ten short-listed scripts. They will then recommend one of the following actions:

  • Winner of the £10,000 Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize
  • Winner of the £1,500 Highly Commended Prizes (two prizes)
  • Winner of the £2,500 Young Playwright’s Prize*
  • Winner of the £500 Highly Commended Young Playwright Prizes (two prizes)

Once the prize-winning titles have been announced the identifying codes will be translated into playwright names and the successful authors will be contacted by the University Secretary’s office.

All six winning scripts will be considered to be under option by the management of the Royal Court Liverpool. 

 

 

* In the event that the winner of the £10,000 Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize is 21 or under the Young Playwright’s Prize will remain open to work submitted by other young playwrights or the judges may decide not to make a Young Playwright’s award.

Overview


Liverpool Hope Playwriting LogoThe Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize in association with the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool and the Liverpool Echo

Please note: The competition is now closed to entries.

Liverpool Hope University has partnered with Royal Court Liverpool and the Liverpool Echo to launch a major new competition to find the UK's next great playwright.

This exciting new national competition is a chance for a playwright to win a cash prize of £10,000 and have their work considered for staging by one of the most prolific producing theatres in the North West.

Established and new writers are eligible to enter the competition providing they enter a script that has not been professionally performed. The winning plays will be considered for production by Royal Court Liverpool.

In addition to the main cash prize of £10,000, there are two Highly Commended prizes of £1,500 to be awarded at the judges discretion in the Over 21 category.

There will also be a 21 and Under category with a £2,500 prize for the best submission by a young writer and two Highly Commended prizes of £500 each, again awarded at the judge's discretion. Writers under 21 will be eligible for the main prize.

In addition to possible production by Royal Court Liverpool, one of the winning texts will have a rehearsed reading as part of the Cornerstone Arts Festival 2014 at Hopes Creative Campus.

The competition is open to any UK resident over the age of 18 and as such, we anticipate a high level of interest.*

There is a £20 entry fee (£15 for 21 and Under category) to cover reading and administrative costs.


Follow us on social media:

Twitter: @hopepwprize

Facebook: Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize

*In the event of a larger-than-anticipated number of entries the judging time-scale may be extended. Details will be made available on this website and via the Liverpool Echo.


News

The British Theatre Guide posted a page about the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize on their website.

We are always happy to receive publicity from prestigious theatre websites as it enables a wider range of people to enter and be part of a great opportunity. 

3rd February 2014.


Frank Cottrell Boyce is a judge

Award winning screenwriter and author, Frank Cottrell Boyce is to join our judging panel and will be reading the top ten script entries alongside John Godber, John Bennett, Catherine Jones and Kevin Fearon. Find more information on the Liverpool Echo website.

28th February 2014


Kathy Burke and Paul Allen join judging Panel

We are thrilled to announce that character actress and star of Gimme Gimme Gimme, Kathy Burke has agreed to be a member of our judging panel after directing her own show at the Royal Court earlier this year. Joining her is theatre critic, playwright and academic Paul Allen who's adaptation of Brassed off! is currently touring the UK. 

17th April 2014


One Week Left Until Deadline

Our closing date for script entries is fast approaching with only one week left. Any scripts entered after 30th May at 5pm will not be counted. You can submit your script at the Liverpool Hope University Online Store 

23rd May 2014


Deadline Up!

Our deadline is now closed so please do not try to enter the competition as your entry will not be counted. The winner will be announced in January 2015. 

30th May 2014


Rehearsed Reading Image

Cornerstone Festival

‌As part of this year’s annual Cornerstone Festival, members of the public turned up to watch rehearsed readings of the top ten play‌ entries at the University’s Capstone Theatre. 10 minute extracts were taken from the top ten plays were read by students and directed by professional actors Ron Meadows and Gary Bowman. 

24th November 2015

Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize Partner Logo Banner

Who is Involved?

The competition was initiated by Vice-Chancellor and Rector of Liverpool Hope University, Professor Gerald J. Pillay.

Professor Pillay comments, “Our University is both passionate and committed to Liverpool’s cultural offering. Through The Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize we will not only recognise and develop new talent, but further strengthen Liverpool’s place as one of the greatest cities for culture, regionally, nationally and internationally.” 

 

Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize in association with the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool and the Liverpool Echo

 

The Judging Panel

John Godber, Playwright and Director, Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Liverpool Hope University

John Godber head and shoulders shotJohn Godber was born the son of a miner in Upton, West Yorkshire. He trained as a teacher of drama at Bretton Hall College. Whilst he was Head of Drama at Minsthorpe High School, the school he attended as a student, he won every major award at the National Student Drama Festival between 1981and 1983. In 2005, John's 50th play Wrestling Mad marked his 21st anniversary with Hull Truck as Artistic Director.

Godber's plays are performed across the world and he has the distinction of being one of the most performed writers in the English language. He has won numerous awards for his plays including a Lawrence Olivier Award and seven Los Angeles Critics Circle Awards.

His plays include: Bouncers, Up ‘n' Under, April in Paris, Teechers, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Cramp, Happy Jack, September in the Rain, Salt of the Earth, Passion Killers, Happy Families, Up ‘n' Under ll, Gym & Tonic, Dracula, Lucky Sods, Hooray for Hollywood, Weekend Breaks, It Started With A Kiss, Unleashed, Thick As A Brick, Big Trouble in Little Bedroom, Season In The Sun, on A Night Like This, Our House, Departures, Men of the World, Reunion, Screaming Blue Murder, Black Ties & Tales, Perfect Pitch Going Dutch, Christmas Crackers and, most recently, Muddy Cows.

Within his extensive career in writing and directing in TV and Film, John also devised the BBC2 series Chalkface and his screenplay My Kingdom for a Horse starring Sean Bean was nominated for an alternative BAFTA award. John's first feature film Up ‘N' Under was released in January 1998. In 2005, he co-wrote Odd Squad for BBC 2, with his wife Jane, which was shot in Hull using local actors. Odd Squad won two British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards in the Schools' Drama category and in the BAFTA original writer section.

John has an MA from Leeds University, an Hon D.Litt from Hull University, an Hon D.Litt from Lincoln University, a D.Uni for the Open University and was a PhD research student for five years at Leeds University. He is a visiting Professor of Drama at Hull University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. 

 

Dr. John Bennett, Principal Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies at Liverpool Hope University‌

John BennettJohn Bennett graduated from Bretton Hall, University of Leeds in 1979 with an honours degree in Drama. He returned to Bretton to complete a PGCE in Drama and English in 1981-82. Appointed to Liverpool Hope in 1990, Bennett embarked on an M.A. and graduated in Creative Writing from the University of Lancaster in 1993. He has a PhD from the University of Reading; thesis entitled,' A Good Night Out?: The Popular Theatre of John Godber'. Bennett specialises in contemporary popular theatre. He has taught Playwriting and Devising and teaches research methods to Level I Drama students. Bennett is the award director for the MA Contemporary British Popular Theatres course and is on the register of practitioners of the Higher Education Academy. He has lectured in London, Krakow, New York, Bangalore and Angers and published articles and book chapters on the work of John Godber, the Hull Truck Theatre, Willy Russell, the Royal Court Liverpool and Alan Ayckbourn. His latest publication considers the emergence of the ‘football play’ as a regional theatre staple.

 

 

Kevin Fearon, Chief Executive Royal Court Liverpool 

Kevin Fearon A Liverpool Institute pupil, Kevin Fearon started in theatre as a 15 year old stage hand at The Empire Theatre. He went on to run The Shaw Theatre in London in the late 80s and early 90s with highlights including hosting Eddie Izzard’s Raging Bull Comedy Club and being the first venue to bring The Chippendales over from America. In 1993 he returned to Liverpool where he reopened The Everyman Theatre. In his time at The Everyman, he brought back the famous Rock n Roll Pantos as well as independently producing larger scale shows at the Royal Court and Summer Pops Tent. In 1998 he left The Everyman to run Rawhide Comedy Club (which he started in 1995), which soon became the biggest independent comedy club in the UK. 2005 saw the move to the Royal Court Liverpool where he has been Chief Executive and Executive Producer ever since. The Royal Court has forged a strong reputation as a producing theatre, particularly for new writing and comedy.

 

 

Catherine Jones, Arts Editor, Liverpool Echo

Catherine Jones

Catherine Jones has been a journalist and reviewer for more than 20 years. She was the capital of culture reporter during Liverpool's tenure in 2008, and is currently the arts editor of the Liverpool Echo, covering arts and culture in Liverpool and across Merseyside. In her role she attends an average of 80 plays, stand-up shows and concerts a year.

 

 

 

 

Frank Cottrell Boyce, award winning Screenwriter

Frank Cottrell BoyceFrank Cottrell Boyce, playwright, Screenwriter, Novelist and Visiting Professor of Reading and Communication at Liverpool Hope University.

Frank Cottrell Boyce was born in Rainhill, Liverpool graduated from Oxford in English and palaeontology, later with a PHD in English. His writing career began as a television critic for the magazine Living Marxism and then onto programmes such as Brookside and Coronation Street.

His most famous writing credits include Millions in 2004 with director Danny Boyle which won a British Independent Film Award for best Screenplay. He developed a partnership with director Michael Winterbottom, in which they have collaborated to make six films; 24 Hour Party People (2002) starring Steve Coogan,  Forget About Me (1990), Butterfly Kiss (1995), Welcome to Sarajevo (1997), The Claim (2000), Code 46 (2003) and A Cock and Bull Story (2005). Inspired by Thomas Hardy, his writing shows a gritty realism with an eclectic range of genres and culturally apt elements; regardless of the era they are set.  His most recent work is The Railway Man (2013) starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman.  Frank also found success in novels for children, leading to him winning a Carnegie medal in 2004 for his first book Millions, based on his film and more recently winning the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize in 2012.

Frank has developed relationship with Liverpool Hope in recent years and spoke as a guest lecturer along with friend and colleague Danny Boyle to discuss literary education and their participation in the Summer Olympic opening ceremony in London 2012. “The generous support from Liverpool Hope University is the perfect example of how the private sector continues to support the city's cultural offer and Liverpool city council welcomes its contribution.”   

Other film credits include Saint-ex, New York Crossing, Hilary and Jackie, Pandemonium, Revengers Tragedy, Grow Your Own, God on Trial and Framed. His works as a novelist include Framed, Cosmic, Desirable, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again, The Unforgotten Coat, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 2: The Race Against Time, Triple Word Score, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 3: Over the Moon.   

 

Kathy Burke 

Kathy Burke is a fantastically talented comic actress who began life with a difficult childhood with her early years in foster care and at the age of six going back to her alcoholic Irish father and two brothers.

Her interest and skills for acting were nurtured at school which led to her attendance at the famous Anna Scher Theatre School in Islington. Her first screen appearance was in 1982 in the film Scrubbers directed by Mai Zetterling which led to several other small parts in cult films and television programmes.

We know Burke for her hilarious roles in sketch shows in the late 80s and 90s with appearances in The Comic Strip and French and Saunders but she is best remembered for her association with Harry Enfield in the sketch shows Harry Enfield’s Television Programme and Harry Enfield and Chums. She portrayed an array of bold and funny characters such as Waynetta Slob and the horny teenage boy Perry whose character was developed and pushed to the limits of outrageous in the feature film Kevin and Perry Go Large (2000). Another of Burke’s comic bests is her role as the mouthy Linda in Gimme Gimme Gimme which ran for 3 series’.

Kathy’s creative talents cannot be constricted to comedy for she has had successful roles in serious dramas; both on screen and in theatre where she performed in a Mike Leigh play, It’s a Great Big Shame (1993). In Gary Oldman’s Nil by Mouth (1997) she won 3 prestigious awards for her acting including at Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for a Bafta.

Burke took an early interest in directing theatre with her first and original play she had written aged just 22; Mr Thomas starring Ray Winstone. Her later directing successes include a play performed at both the Tricycle Theatre in London and our very own Royal Court in Liverpool with an adaptation of Once a Catholic (1977) by Mary O’Malley. With a strong work ethic and an ever growing schedule we are blessed that Kathy has taken the time to be a judge for our competition. As our mission is to find the next great comedy play, Kathy is more than qualified to spot a comic diamond in the rough.

 

Paul Allen

Paul Allen was born in Kent who went on to become a critically acclaimed writer and broadcaster. He has a long career in arts journalism presenting Night Waves on BBC Radio 3 since 1998. In 1976 he was the first regional journalist to be named “Critic of the Year” in the British Press Awards, for television and radio reviewing. In the 1980s, he developed an association with BBC Radio 4 where he worked on a feature called The Leaf and the Fig in the arts magazine Kaleidoscope, for which he received a BP Arts Journalism Award for radio in 1993. His most recent journalistic works have been in the Guardian for a feature called Northern Lights which focuses on theatre news and events in the North of England. His talents stretch further as a playwright writing over 2 dozen radio and theatre plays produced across the country, particularly based in Sheffield and was also the head of press at the Belgrade theatre in Coventry. His most successful theatre venture was in 2005 when he adapted from screen to stage the 1996 Mark Herman film, Brassed Off which is currently touring today with rave reviews.

Allen has also succeeded as an academic writer, being Alan Ayckbourn’s biographer with Grinning at the Edge (2001) and A Pocket Guide to Alan Ayckbourn’s Plays (2004). His latest venture is a book about Shakespeare’s comic character, Falstaff. 

Additional Staff:

Ms Leah Wallace

Liverpool Hope University Graduate Intern

 

 

Please note: No one involved in the judging or administration of the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize is eligible for submission. 

Competition Rules

 You can download a copy of the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize Competition Rules

Eligibility The competition is open to anyone resident in the United Kingdom and over the age of 18 on the date of submission of their entry.
Theme:  The play can have any theme and be set anywhere in the world (or beyond!) but it must have comedy at its heart.
Cast:  No more than eight actors.
Entries: Entries must be uploaded to the Liverpool Hope University On-line Store at store.hope.ac.uk. Please go to ‘Submission Details’ for full guidance on how to submit. 
Fee:  There is a non-refundable entry fee of £20 (£15 for under 21) to cover reading costs.
Feedback: As this is the first year of the competition the level of response is unknown. As such, we regret that we will only be able to give feedback to those entries making the ‘longlist’ of twenty. No other correspondence will be entered into.
Judges' decision: The decision of the judging panel is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
Co-authored work: The Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize is happy to accept co-authored work but this should be submitted under one name following the rules of anonymous submission as stipulated. If a co-authored work wins a prize, Liverpool Hope University will pay the prize money to the person who made the submission. It is assumed that co-authors will share any prize equitably.
The Script: This should be full-length, i.e. over eighty minutes running time. The text should clearly indicate the intention to have an interval. Plays submitted must be the work of the person submitting, and be original and unperformed.
Copyright: By submitting a script to this competition, the playwright warrants that he/she has exclusive copyright over the work submitted and that it is available for immediate production.
Correspondence: Submission indicates that these rules have been read, understood and agreed to. No further correspondence will be entered into. Feedback given to the final ‘long list’ twenty is given in good faith and does not constitute correspondence.
No lobbying: Any lobbying of the reading team or the judging panel will lead to automatic disqualification from the competition.
Advice and Guidance:  There are many books and websites dedicated to playwriting. Recommended instructional texts would include Steve Gooch’s Writing a Play and David Edgar’s How Plays Work. 

Submission Details

The Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize opens at 9:00AM GMT on 20th January 2014 and closes at 5:00PM BST on 30th May 2014. No submissions will be considered after this time.

 

Anonymous Submission

Scripts (in PDF or Microsoft Word format) should be uploaded to the Liverpool Hope University On-line Store at store.hope.ac.uk.

Scripts will be printed and bound by the University Secretary’s Office, assigned a code number and forwarded to the reading team. The code number will be the only identification available to the readers and judging panel. The code number will indicate that the author is 21 or under, should that be the case.

N.B. It is vital that play scripts do not contain any means of personal identification; there should be nothing in the header or footer sections apart from page numbers and the first page should contain the title and nothing else. For the avoidance of doubt, the title page must not include the name of the playwright. If the script is deemed to reveal the identity of the playwright, that play submission will be withdrawn from the competition.

However, a cover sheet must be included as page 1 of the file and contain the following:

  • name of person submitting
  • names of co-authors, if applicable
  • contact telephone number
  • full postal address
  • email address
  • proof of age if 21 or under (scanned passport or driving licence)

The cover sheet will be removed by the University Secretary's Office before the script is forwarded to the reading team.

 

Submission Fees

CategoryFee
21 and Under £15
Over 21 £20

This payment must be made by debit or credit card via the Liverpool Hope University On-line Store. A receipt will be issued. 

The University Secretary’s Office will also send an email confirming the script has been passed to the reading team.

Judging Process

First Round

The reading team will read the first act or the first 40 pages (whichever is shorter) of all submissions. They will then recommend one of three actions:

  • Move to second round and full read
  • Seek second reader opinion to confirm progress or no further action
  • No further action.

 

Second Round

The reading team will read all scripts in full. They will then recommend one of three actions:

  • Consider for ‘long list’ and write initial feedback
  • Seek second reader opinion to confirm progress or no further action
  • No further action.

 

Third Round

The reading team will then consider the ‘long list’ and reduce this to 20.

 

Final 20

All 20 scripts will be read by two members of the reading team who will confer. They will then recommend one of two actions:

  • Consider for a shortlist of ten
  • No further action and finalise feedback.

 

Shortlist

The titles of the final ten plays will be announced in the Liverpool Echo and on this website. Identities of the playwrights will remain unknown at this point. The judging panel will read all ten short-listed scripts. They will then recommend one of the following actions:

  • Winner of the £10,000 Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize
  • Winner of the £1,500 Highly Commended Prizes (two prizes)
  • Winner of the £2,500 Young Playwright’s Prize*
  • Winner of the £500 Highly Commended Young Playwright Prizes (two prizes)

Once the prize-winning titles have been announced the identifying codes will be translated into playwright names and the successful authors will be contacted by the University Secretary’s office.

All six winning scripts will be considered to be under option by the management of the Royal Court Liverpool. 

 

 

* In the event that the winner of the £10,000 Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize is 21 or under the Young Playwright’s Prize will remain open to work submitted by other young playwrights or the judges may decide not to make a Young Playwright’s award.