Broadway Baby

Playwright Brad Birch received the 2016 Pinter Commission yesterday (Tuesday 15 March) – an award given annually by Lady Antonia Fraser, Harold Pinter’s widow, to support a new commission at the Royal Court Theatre.

Brad is a courageous writer, tackling complex ideas with a wit and deftness and challenging our notion of the stories which make us feel comfortable

The Pinter Commission is now in its fifth year and is given annually to support a playwright to write a new play for the Royal Court Theatre. There are no restrictions on the award, which can be given to any playwright from a first time, unpublished writer to one already established.

Brad Birch has taken part in several writing groups at the Royal Court. In 2011 the Royal Court Theatre produced Brad’s short play Permafrost as part of the Rough Cut Season of work. His play Where The Shot Rabbits Lay was produced as a performed reading as part of the Young Writers Festival 2012. In 2013, as part of Open Court, Brad was one of the contributing writers on Peckham: The Soap Opera. He also took part in Playwright At Your Table where he read his plays Light Arrested Between The Curtain and The Glass. Brad recently led an Introduction to Playwrighting group at the Royal Court. Brad’s other credits include Protest for Old Vic, Selfie: The Modern Day Dorian Gray for National Youth Theatre at Ambassadors Theatre, Tender Bolus for Manchester Royal Exchange and Schauspielhaus (Hamburg) and Gardening: For The Unfulfilled and Alienated for Edinburgh Festival and Latitude Festival. He currently has work in development with Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, The Orange Tree theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Nadia Latif. His play, The Brink, written on attachment at The Royal Court, will shortly be produced at The Orange Tree Theatre.

Brad Birch, Playwright said:

“I hope to write a play that stands up to the great names of the Royal Court and Harold Pinter.”

Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director of the Royal Court said:

“I am thrilled to be announcing Brad Birch as the fifth recipient of our prestigious Pinter Commission. Brad is a courageous writer, tackling complex ideas with a wit and deftness and challenging our notion of the stories which make us feel comfortable and I am delighted that this enables us to commission him. Pinter was not only recognised as an extraordinary playwright and thinker, but was also a vigorous and passionate supporter of new talent, understanding deeply the highs and lows of building a career in theatre. Lady Antonia’s generosity and vision in creating this award ensures his legacy influences long into our future“.

Lady Antonia Fraser said:

“I believe that the Pinter Commission is exactly what Harold would have wanted. Because he had experienced the devastating rejection of his early work, he knew the true value of encouragement. New writing was always intensely important to Harold and Brad Birch is a welcome recipient of the 2016 Award.”


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