Sophie Swithinbank Wins Peggy Ramsay Award (The Tom Erhardt Bursary)
Sophie Swithinbank Wins Peggy Ramsay Award (The Tom Erhardt Bursary)

Sophie Swithinbank Wins Peggy Ramsay Award
(The Tom Erhardt Bursary)

Sophie Swithinbank has been awarded the Peggy Ramsay Foundation and Film4 2023 Playwrights’ Scheme bursary for her play Bacon, winning The Tom Erhardt Bursary, named after the late literary agent and long-time supporter of the Finborough Theatre.
Sophie Swithinbank’s play Bacon received its world premiere at the Finborough Theatre in March 2022 where it received an extended run and was nominated for five OffWestEnd Awards. It previously won Soho Theatre’s Tony Craze Award in 2018. Her other plays include Circle Game, originally written for Oxford School of Drama, which was shortlisted for the Phil Fox Award 2020, Even In Arcadia (longlisted for the Verity Bargate Award), The Fellowship (Picturedrome, University of Northampton), Where There Is Smoke (National Theatre Learning), Come Inside (Bush Theatre) and The Superhero (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith). She also teaches Playwriting at the University of Northampton.
The Peggy Ramsay/Film4 Awards celebrate and support emerging British writing talent. The initiative awards six bursaries a year to new theatre writers. Four bursaries are supported by The Peggy Ramsay Foundation (one is dedicated to the memory of literary agent Tom Erhardt) and two by Film4. Each bursary is worth £10,000. The Sonia Friedman Productions Award is given to the writer of the best play written by one of the previous year’s bursary recipients.
The other recipients of the bursaries for 2023 are Waleed Akhtar for Kabul Goes Pop (Hampstead Theatre), Henry Maddicott for Land of Lost Content (Pentabus), Rachel Mainwaring for Bright Places (Birmingham Rep), Lauryn Redding for Bloody Elle (Royal Exchange Theatre) and Nicola Werenowska for Silence (High Tide Theatre).
The successful writers will now embark upon one-year attachments with the theatres above, giving them the opportunity to meet a variety of theatre practitioners and to have first-hand experience of a working theatre. Their principal task in the next 12 months is to write at least one full-length play. The writers will also have the opportunity to submit their play for The Sonia Friedman Productions Award in the year following their bursary. This Award is also judged by the same selection panel chaired by Sir Richard Eyre.
The Finborough Theatre is the only non-publicly funded theatre to win the the Peggy Ramsay Film 4 Playwrights Scheme bursary twelve times. Previous Finborough Theatre bursary winners include James Graham, Laura Wade, Anders Lustgarten, Chris Thompson and Carmen Nasr. Three bursary winners (James Graham, Laura Wade and Anders Lustgarten) also won the Catherine Johnson Award (now the Sonia Friedman Productions Award) for Best Play.

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