This year’s winner of the Adrian Pagan Award has gone to Kate Lock, with her play Russian Dolls, London’s King’s Head Theatre has announced.
Russian Dolls juxtaposes the life of Carmelia, a young carer, with Hilda, her blind patient, and in doing so offers a insight into the changing roles of women, the trappings of age and the worries of youth.
The play will be given a full professional production at the Islington theatre as part of the new #Festival45 season, which will see a variety of young companies, new plays and festival favourites of 2015 performed throughout November. It will be directed by critically acclaimed theatre director Hamish MacDougall.
The award, now in its second year, is given to a playwright whose work has not been professionally produced more than once, with the aim of nurturing new writing talent.
This year’s judges were King’s Head artistic director Adam Spreadbury-Maher; Olivier-nominated writer and performer Phoebe Waller-Bridge; playwright and dramaturg Paul Sirett; theatre director and NT Connections festival director Audrey Sheffield; and playwright Tess Berry-Hart.
They were looking for a well-told story that communicates bold ideas, is relevant to our times, and engages in some way with the live nature of theatre.
The award, given to second-time writers struggling to continue their careers, is named after the late Adrian Pagan, whose first play, The Back Room, won the Verity Bargate Award and led to a TV career.
Adam Spreadbury-Maher said: “A second professional produced play is something that Adrian never had.
“It can be difficult to find that second production, so we’re very pleased we have this play from Kate; a beautiful picture of how humanitarian values are blind.”
Kate Lock’s first solo play, A Job For Life, won the Writers Guild Award, and Russian Dolls was shortlisted for the Bruntwood Prize 2013.
Now in its 45th year, The King’s Head Theatre, London’s oldest pub theatre, is celebrating its anniversary with an exciting new artistic policy aimed at becoming a hub for new writing and critical rediscoveries.
Spreadbury-Maher is only the venue’s second artistic director following Dan Crawford (who set up the theatre in 1970).
Since 2011 the theatre is the first unfunded venue to have an Equity agreement to pay theatre-makers fair wages and continues to do so despite receiving no public funding.