The winner of the Adrian Pagan Award 2015 is Kate Lock, with her play Russian Dolls.
Russian Dolls juxtaposes the life of Carmelia, a young carer, with Hilda, her blind patient, and in doing so offers a charming, fascinating view on 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 King’s Head 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. The judges (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) look 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 is named after Adrian Pagan, whose first play The Back Room won the Verity Bargate Award and led to a TV career. However, sadly, before he could return to the stage, he passed away – and the award is thus given this year to second-time writers struggling to continue their careers.
Spreadbury-Maher says: “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 is celebrating this anniversary with an exciting new artistic policy after the departure of OperaUpClose, becoming a crucible for new writing and critical rediscoveries. Work from Irvine Welsh, Richard Cameron, Richard O’Brien and Arthur Miller, as well as Mike Bradwell directing for the first time since the 1970s, guarantees that if it’s on here, you won’t see it anywhere else. Led by Adam Spreadbury-Maher, second artistic director following Dan Crawford (who set up the King’s Head as the first pub theatre in 1970), the theatre is the first unfunded venue to have an Equity agreement to pay theatre-makers fair wages since 2011, and continues to do so despite receiving no public funding.
Tuesday 2nd June 2015