International applicants are welcome, but should be aware that we are unable to cover any expenses incurred for travel and accommodation should an international applicant be the eventual winner.
This year's panel of judges:
Tess Berry-Hart Playwright, Someone to Blame and SOCHI 2014; and novelist, Escape from Genopolis
Audrey Sheffield Freelance Theatre Director. Co-facilitator for NT New Views London Hub and NT Connections Festival Director 2015, National Theatre. Currently Assistant Director on Electra, Old Vic Theatre
Paul Sirett Playwright, Dramaturg & Associate at Ambassador Theatre Group, RADA & Soho Theatre
The playwright Adrian Pagan was educated at Charterhouse, the Sorbonne, Imperial College London, and RADA, where he trained in stage management. He worked as a stage manager at the Bush theatre, west London, in the mid-1990s. He shone for his wit, intelligence and understanding of the creative processes that bring a new play to life.
Meanwhile, he was privately hard at work on a play of his own. His career changed direction when he won the Verity Bargate award for The Backroom in 1996. Soho Theatre produced the play in a new writing festival at the Pleasance theatre in 1998, and it was picked up and further developed for a fully-fledged production at the Bush Theatre in the summer of 1999. It was a beautifully acted and directed production of a beautifully crafted play, which packed the Bush to the rafters.
Its success resulted in Adrian getting the call to move from theatre into television. He cut his TV writing teeth on Family Affairs and Night and Day before moving on to those small-screen institutions The Bill, Where the Heart Is and Holby City.
At the time of his death in 2007, aged 39, he was working on numerous new projects, including a series adaptation of The Backroom, a return to stage drama, and even a panto for the alternative cabaret venue at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.
The Backroom was described variously by critics as "disgracefully funny", "refreshingly non-judgmental", "flash and funny" and as having "much winning tenderness" and "flawless comic shine". The play was revived in a sell-out extended season which opened The Cock Tavern Theatre in 2009.