Originals Playwriting Award 2022

Originals Playwriting Award 2022

Originals Playwriting Award 2022

Our Originals Playwriting Award 2022. If you’re an early-career playwright with a brand-new script, we want to hear from you.

Originals Playwriting Award 2022
Live from Riverside Studios

The Originals Playwriting Award is the UK’s latest national competition for playwriting. It is a search for compellingly well-told stories capable of entertaining a wide audience. We’re looking for theatre scripts that have not yet been produced, by all UK-based writers who identify at being at the outset of their careers and would benefit from this platform.

We will award four plays with a cash prize and a script-in-hand performance live-streamed and recorded by North South in front of a live studio audience at London’s iconic theatre and television hub, Riverside Studios. The winning play will receive an enhanced cash prize and the potential of a full stage production by Original Theatre.

How do I enter?

Submissions for the Originals Playwriting Award are open until Monday 9 May 2022 10:00.

Short entry requirements

  • -       Your play should not have been previously produced/performed
  • -       Your play is written to be performed by 4 actors or less
  • -       Your play should be no longer than 70 minutes in performance
  • -       You consider yourself to be at the outset of professional playwrighting career and believe that this award would be transformative. 

To read the full entry requirements please visit: https://www.dropbox.com/s/fzgmkeoodvrui4k/FAQs.pdf?dl=0

You can submit your application through this link here:  

And you can find our equal opportunities form here: 

All plays submitted that meet the entry requirements will be considered by an expert panel of readers managed by Original Theatre. There is an extensive process to the reading before creating the longlist of 25. The longlist will be considered in full by a further panel, including Artistic Director of Original Theatre, who will shortlist 10 for consideration by the Judges. The Judges will award the Originals Playwriting Award 2022 to one winning play, and three will be awarded the Originals Playwriting Award 2022 – runner-up.

Judging Panel announced

We're delighted to announce the Originals Playwriting Award judging panel – Mike Bartlett, Sarah Butcher, Angel Coulby, Jack Holden, Nick Marston, Dafydd Rogers, Abdul Shayek and Rachel Tackley.

Mike Bartlett said, “Theatre thrives when a new, provocative, unexpected writer arrives - bringing a new perspective, experience or imagination (or often all three) to an audience. It’s what audiences crave - to step outside their own worlds and enter someone else’s. To expand their understanding. 

“I wanted to take part in the Originals Playwriting Award, as it’s a great encouragement for writers to write, to have a go and get the script finished and sent off. It can be very hard starting off as a writer but there is also a freedom at that early stage - that all rules are there to be broken. You are the radical and the breath of fresh air. Show us how it should be done. I can’t wait to read them.”



Scripts should be submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF formats only.

Please list at least one contact telephone number and email on the front page of the script itself.

Please describe the casting of each of your characters, remembering that Originals are limited to four actors. List the character’s name, pronouns / gender identity, ethnicity, disability, age – and any other features you feel should be considered in casting. If your cast of four requires doubling, we require you to designate the doubling.

Please do not include a synopsis or CV – this is on the Submission forms.

 All entries should include page numbers on every page.

 All entries should be made via the Submissions Form.


Entrants will receive an automated acknowledgment via email. If you do not receive this acknowledgment then please check your spam folder. If you have not received it, please write to ask us to confirm receipt, stating the name of your script and the date you submitted it, via the contact form on this website.

Please only write to us if you have not received the email acknowledgment; we regret that, due to the volume of entries, no other correspondence can be entered into regarding any matter of the Prize process.

All entrants’ email addresses will be added to a private mailing list to receive updates from Original Theatre throughout the process. We will not use this list to send any information other than about the Prize, it will never be shared with any third parties, and upon completion of the Prize the list will be deleted and no further contact will be made.


How do I apply? 

You can submit your application through this link here: https://8lfzrbkbk7x.typeform.com/OriginalsAward

And you can find our equal opportunities form here: https://8lfzrbkbk7x.typeform.com/OriginalsEqual

What scripts do you accept? 

We are accepting unsolicited scripts from writers who are over 18 years old and live in the UK. All scripts must be your own original work and written in the English Language. We are looking for compelling stories well told by a cast of up to four actors that can connect with audiences across the UK and internationally.

What won’t you accept? 

We are unable to accept: 

  • Adaptations of existing works from other mediums that are in copyright, such as films, novels, TV etc.
  • Original translations of another author’s copyrighted work.
  • Anything that would require over four actors (if actors are multi rolling this must be delineated in your script).
  • Scripts that have previously been produced in a professional capacity (defined as covered by press in features or reviews and / or given three public performances or more).
  • Scripts that are optioned or likely to be optioned by another theatre producing entity.
  • Musicals.
  • Children’s theatre pieces. 
  • Film, TV, Radio scripts or any scripts not written for theatre. 

Diversity and representation

We encourage writers to be specific in describing their characters. We would like to reassure writers that we will endeavour to cast actors with an understanding of the lived experiences of the characters that you have created and we believe that representation and diversity matters.

Will you give me feedback on my script? 

We are unable to give dramaturgical feedback on any entries at this time. We recommend contacting organisations including the National Theatre and the Papatango Award that do.

Who will be reading my work? 

Our reading team is a diverse range of professional actors, writers, directors, producers and theatre makers from across the industry, as well as our team of Judges. 

If I win can I specify who I would like to work on and star in my reading? 

Due to the nature of the production process, Original Theatre have already appointed the production team who will deliver the live performances, including the directors. We will welcome the input of writers for the casting process which will commence once the winners are selected.

What makes a winner? 

We’re looking for compelling stories that are thrilling to behold! Original Theatre are one of the UK’s most prolific and far-reaching UK touring companies, and our taste is for well plotted and structured stories with recognisable human conflicts and heart that we believe will thrill audiences. We love sparky dialogue that pings back and forth between actors and keeps audiences guessing for what’s coming next. We’re unlikely to programme an obscure, niche experimental work.

I’ve already had a play produced. Can I still enter? 

Yes, this is an opportunity for emerging writers as they build their career. We want this Award to boost the winner’s profile and that their career to the next level. If you think this will happen for you then please enter!

Can I enter more than one script? 

No, we can only accept one script per writer so make sure you send your best!

Can I enter a script I have written in a partnership? 

Yes, as long as you’re willing to share the prize equally! 

Can my script be any length? 

We want plays that are under 70 minutes. As a rule of thumb, this will be 70 A4 pages in script format font sized 12. We will not disqualify scripts that are longer but we remind writers that staged readings live and online, without an interval, are at their optimum under 70 minutes.