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Winner announced for ETPEP Award 2019

Abigail Andjel. Photo credit: Antti Janhunen.

Theatre news

THE Finborough Theatre has announced that Fence by Abigail Andjel is the winner of the ETPEP Award 2019.

Playwright Abigail Andjel was born in Yorkshire and trained as an actor at Manchester Metropolitan School of Theatre and has worked in theatres including The Old Vic, the Arcola Theatre and the Public Theater, New York City.

The winning play will receive a staged reading, directed by Liz Carruthers, as part of Vibrant 2019 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights at the Finborough Theatre on Sunday, June 30, 2019 at 7.30pm.

Following an aggressive incident at school, 15 year old Nico who has autism and his mother Maria now find themselves isolated in their small and worn out one-bed council flat.

With no date given for Nico’s return to school and little action from those who are assigned to help them, they are both deteriorating quickly. Will Maria’s social worker, Kate, ever give her a straight answer? Will the council ever fix their broken garden fence, so that Nico can play outside and gain just an ounce of freedom? Will they ever be able to leave their flat again?

Inspired by real events, Fence is about isolation, abandonment, strength, love and hope.

The ETPEP Award 2019 is a playwriting prize for new UK playwrights who work in the theatre industry, run by the Finborough Theatre in association with the Experienced Theatre Practitioners Early Playwriting Trust (ETPEP).

The Award’s purpose is to find and nurture a playwright who has worked in theatre for two years or more (but not in a literary department setting or as a paid script reader), who is looking to further their ambitions and skill in the art and craft of playwriting.

The winner will receive a prize of £8,000, a development relationship with the Finborough Theatre including one-to-one dramaturgy with Finborough Theatre Artistic Director and playwright Neil McPherson; a rehearsal workshop with actors and a director to develop the play; and a staged reading performance of the winning play as part of Vibrant 2019.

The judges for the 2019 Award were playwright Winsome Pinnock; Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre and playwright Neil McPherson; Literary Manager of the Finborough Theatre and playwright Sue Healy; Actor, playwright and activist Athena Stevens; and Clive Webster of the Experienced Theatre Practitioners Early Playwriting Trust, which founded the award. The competition was judged anonymously until the shortlist stage.

Image: Abigail Andjel. Photo credit: Antti Janhunen.