Theatre in Wales

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KELLY JONES ANNOUNCED WINNER OF WALES DRAMA AWARD 2014     

KELLY JONES ANNOUNCED WINNER OF WALES DRAMA AWARD 2014

Kelly Jones from Cardiff has been awarded the Wales Drama Award 2014. The announcement was made today (Monday 15 December) by Faith Penhale and John McGrath at the award ceremony in BBC Cymru Wales’ Roath Lock drama studios, Cardiff Bay.

With a prize of £10,000, Kelly will receive the opportunity to develop her ideas with BBC Cymru Wales and National Theatre Wales and a reading of the winning script will take place in early 2015. Her work is inspired by real human stories and often takes inspiration from personal experiences, her up-bringing in Dagenham and rooting in Wales. The piece is available to read via bbc.co.uk/writersroom.

A writer and performer, this year’s winner Kelly Jones has been living and working in Wales since 2007 and is originally from the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. Kelly is currently working on producing a tour of her solo show ‘The Drowned Girl,’ a piece she created whilst at National Theatre Wales’ Summercamp in 2013. In February of this year the piece premiered at the Yard Theatre, Hackney Wick, as part of their N.O.W’14 programme.

The biennial Wales Drama Award is presented by BBC Wales and National Theatre Wales, in partnership with BBC Writersroom. It was launched in 2012 - this is only the second time it has been given. The award is offered to any writer residing in Wales, and aims to encourage writers who feel passionate about the stories they want to tell, and who have something to offer audiences across the length and breadth of Wales and the wider UK. Writers were asked to submit a full-length script in any medium, unperformed or unproduced and in the English language and at least 30 minutes long.

The highly acclaimed panel making this all important decision comprised of:-

· Faith Penhale - BBC Cymru Wales’ Head of Drama
· Kate Rowlands - Writersroom’ BBC Creative Director, New Writing
· John McGrath - Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales
· Andrew Davies - Writer (A Poet In New York)
· Lucy Gannon - Writer (Lead writer and creator of the BBC One drama series Frankie)

Faith Penhale, Head of Drama, BBC Cymru Wales said:

“We are truly committed to discovering and nurturing home grown talent here in Wales and this is an unparalleled opening for Kelly to work with the best in the broadcast and theatre industries. Our collaboration with National Theatre Wales and close partnership with BBC Writersroom will provide her with a variety of platforms to showcase her piece and be recognised for her writing skills.”

John McGrath, Artistic Director, National Theatre Wales said:

“I’m delighted that Kelly has won this important award. As a writer at a relatively early stage in her writing life, to have been chosen from a very strong and in many cases rather experienced field of applicants is a real achievement. The Wales Drama Award has once again highlighted the strength of dramatic writing talent in Wales, and the range of voices coming through. National Theatre Wales is very proud to have worked alongside BBC Wales and BBC Writersroom to make this award happen.”

This year’s Wales Drama Award 2014 finalists, selected from over 170 other Wales-based drama writers, also included Jeremy Davies (Newport), Alyn Farrow (Cardiff) and Alan Harris (Cardiff). As runners-up they will also be supported with a script development opportunity and £1,000.

Katherine Chandler was the first winner of the Wales Drama Award in 2012. Dirty Protest’s production of her winning script Parallel Lines won best production at the Theatre Critics of Wales 2013 Awards, and her play Bird won the judges’ prize in the Bruntwood playwriting competition. Katherine went on to adapt Terry Jones’ Fairy Tales for National Theatre Wales’ production of Silly Kings in December 2013. In 2015, her play Hood will be performed as part of the National Theatre Connections programme.
 
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