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Woven Voices Prize 2023

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2023 edition of the Woven Voices Prize for Playwriting is Aaron Kilercioglu with his play The E.U. Killed My Dad. Aaron will receive £2,500 and a professionally produced production of their play at Jermyn Street Theatre in 2024 as part of Footprints Festival.

THE E.U. KILLED MY DAD

by Aaron Kilercioglu

“Who do you blame? The man, the gun, or politics?”

 

Berker travels from Britain to Turkey to meet his estranged father, but it’s too late: his sister Elif informs him that their baba has already died. A family reunion becomes an exhilarating whodunnit investigation as Berker discovers the truth about his roots, grieves for a man he will never truly know, and accidentally unravels a conspiracy that goes to the heart of global politics.

 

Featuring British spies, Turkish soldiers, and London’s Kebab shops, the winner of the Woven Voices Prize 2023 takes you on an inventive, fast-paced exploration of identity, belonging, and history spanning five decades. Aaron Kilercioglu’s previous award-winning work includes the sell-out hit For a Palestinian and has been seen at Bristol Old Vic, the Camden People’s Theatre and Underbelly.

We're thrilled to announce Aaron Kilercioglu's play The E.U. Killed My Dad as the winner of this year's Woven Voices Prize for Migrant Writers. We are so proud to be producing this wildly inventive, hilarious, disarming play that takes audiences on a whodunnit-style ride and upends some very old stories about family, about country along the way. London is a city of migrants – more than 40% of Londoners were born overseas. The Woven Voices Prize is a commitment to  making theatre for the real London of today.

 

- Stella Powell-Jones and David Doyle,

Artistic Director and Executive Producer at Jermyn Street Theatre

 

RUNNER-UP

The judges have also selected Elise van Lil's play next door as a runner-up. Elise's play will receive a public reading of her play at Jermyn Street Theatre.

Number 11 is dead. Number 12 is suspicious. Number 10 wrote this play. next door is a play about the loneliness of city living, big grief in small spaces, and the importance of a tinfoil hat.

Elise is a Belgian/Dutch writer and actor. Their work has previously been selected for the Bruntwood Prize Longlist, the London Playwrights Shortlist and placed in the top 5% in Verity Bargate Award and top 3% BBC Writersroom Open Call. They were also one of the 10 shortlisted writers for Hampstead Theatre's inaugural Phoebe Frances Brown Award, and completed the Royal Court Intro Writers’ Group and the Soho Writers’ Lab. She has just finished writing her first novel on Curtis Brown Creative's Breakthrough Mentoring Scheme, as well as working as a script editor in television.

SHORTLISTED PLAYS AND WRITERS

What a privilege to spend time in the worlds these talented writers have created. The judges travelled extensively through these plays to places like Hong Kong and Turkey even a virtual, meta world, we explored multitudes of stories and themes, and met characters that made us laugh and cry. If the writers who were shortlisted for this competition are a sign of what’s to come, then the future of playwrighting is looking extremely healthy and exciting. 

- Hannah Khalil, Head Judge

Creation Myth, by Elin Caracoglia

 

At a liberal arts college, a group of women utilise rage and violence in order to find their identities and artistic voices.

Elin is a Swedish writer based in London. Her previous work has been performed at Theatre503, the Pleasance, and the Southwark Playhouse.

A Bouffon Play About Hong Kong, by Isabella Leung

 

The bouffons of Hong Kong emerge to tell us a funny story about a city that they once called home. 

Isabella is an actor, theatre maker and writer from Hong Kong. Her work often uses an unhinged sense of humour to explore dark and traumatic lived experiences. 

 

 

Persona, by Héctor Manchego

 

Inspired by the mind-body dilemma, Persona tells the story of an older adult whose mind gets trapped in a virtual environment after falling into debt following a life simulation subscription service. The unexpected arrival of his only son will raise vital questions about transhumanism, age and abusive family dynamics.

Héctor Manchego is a Venezuelan multidisciplinary artist based in London. His work interrogates themes of the Latin American diaspora, power dynamics, and experiences of the LGBTQ+ community. In recent years, he has participated in No Borders, a political theatre program at The Royal Court Theatre; Starting Blocks at Camden People's Theatre; Risk Is This at the Streatham Space Project; and Migration Matters Festival in Sheffield.

 

Hong Kong Tragedy, by Jingan Young

 

Set during the Hong Kong protests, Hong Kong Tragedy is a no-holds-barred political thriller tracking the demise of an ambitious young journalist.

Jingan Young is an award-winning writer originally from Hong Kong, currently writing on the ITVx television thriller RED EYE starring Richard Armitage.

LONGLISTED PLAYS AND WRITERS

Mad Women, by Constanza Hola Chamy

Nhaka (Inheritance), by Mandi Chivasa

Black Sands, by Freda

Windswept, by Katherine Kerman

Scarlet Underground, by Caroline Lezny

Mount View Road, by Yaz Nin

THE JUDGES

Hannah Khalil is an acclaimed Palestinian-Irish playwright. She’s a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, 2022 Resident Writer at Shakespeare’s Globe, and her plays have been staged across the UK and internationally.

Sharmilla Beezmohun has worked in publishing since 1994. Work includes publishing a novel in translation in Spain (2010) and editing the anthology Not Quite Right for Us (2021). She is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Karina Wiedman is an international writer and actor based in London. Originally from Kazakhstan, she lived in Russia and Belarus before moving to the UK.  Her debut play, The Anarchist, was the winner of the Woven Voices Prize and premiered at Jermyn Street Theatre, London, in 2022. The production garnered critical acclaim including four stars from the Guardian. 

Annabel Nugent is an award-winning journalist on The Independent culture desk where she writes, edits and commissions features and reviews across music, film, TV, and theatre. She specialises in writing in-depth profiles on writers, actors, musicians, and directors.

Nadia Cavelle is a writer, filmmaker and actor, raised in Asia by French-Swiss-Russian parents. Her second stage play won a Scotsman’s Fringe First Award. Her debut short was selected at various BAFTA- and Oscar-qualifying festivals. She is working on a slate of short and feature films.   

Gabriele Uboldi is a playwright interested in multidisciplinary and documentary work. They head Undone Theatre, a queer- and migrant-led company platforming marginalised stories through formal innovation. They are the producer at Jermyn Street Theatre.

 

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