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Dateline: 17th December, 2006

Whipping It Up production photo
Production photo from Whipping It Up, Best Play winner.

Pearson Playwright Winners

The Pearson Playwrights’ Scheme awards five bursaries a year to writers of outstanding promise. Each award allows the playwright a twelve-month attachment to a theatre and commissions the writers for a new play. The Pearson Playwrights’ Scheme is one of the most prestigious awards for new writing in British theatre and was formerly known as the Thames Television Playwrights’ Scheme.

Judges of the Pearson Award include Sir John Mortimer CBE QC, Dame Beryl Bainbridge, Catherine Johnson (previous bursary winner and writer of Mamma Mia), Sue Summers, Thelma Holt CBE, Michael Billington, John Tydeman OBE and Jack Andrews MBE.

Previous recipients of the Pearson bursary over the last thirty years include Richard Bean, Alan Bleasdale, Gregory Burke, David Edgar, David Eldridge, Lee Hall, Jacqueline Holborough, Catherine Johnson, Charlotte Jones, Fin Kennedy, Hanif Kureshi, Nick Leather, Martin McDonagh, Gary Mitchell, Chloe Moss, Gary Owen, Joe Penhall, Winsome Pinnock, Billy Roche, Simon Stephens, Sue Townsend and Timberlake Wertenbaker.

Winners of the Pearson Bursaries for 2007

Alexis Zegerman ( Hampstead Theatre)
Al Smith (Finborough Theatre)
Oladipo Agboluaje (Soho Theatre)
Matt Pearson (National Theatre)
Mike Bartlett (Royal Court Theatre) who will be sponsored by the Peggy Ramsay Foundation

The Pearson Award also makes an award for the Best Play written by the five bursary winners from the previous year. The winner of the Best Play for 2006 was Steve Thompson for his play Whipping it Up written during his attachment to the Bush Theatre.

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©Peter Lathan 2006