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2021 Playwright's Prize

An open call for distinctive, dynamic, heart-stopping, extraordinary, wonderful plays.

2020 Winner

Anoushka Warden

Closing Date

Competition Closed

Information about the Playwright's Prize.

This is an open call for distinctive, dynamic plays.


Please submit your script of up to 10,000 words to


The prize includes ongoing mentoring and producing the winning script, as well as the £5,000 cash prize.


The competition closed at 12pm on 2nd April 2021.

We are thrilled to announce we have received 734 submissions for the 2021 Platform Presents Playwright’s Prize. 


A huge thank you everyone who submitted and to our script readers, Meghan Cosgrove and Adrianna Bertola.


Stay tuned for more information.

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Pearl Mackie

Pearl is best known for her starring role as Bill Potts opposite Peter Capaldi in the BBC’s beloved sci-fi series Doctor Who. Most recently Pearl shot survival thriller feature Horizon Line for STXfilms and SF Studios opposite Allison Williams – she also filmed starring role in independent Dystopian feature The Deal, directed by Orsi Nagypal. Recently aired work includes playing Lucy One in Friday Night Dinner opposite Simon Bird and Tamsin Greig for Channel 4.


On the feature side, Pearl played a supporting role in Steve Coogan’s feature Greed which premiered the London BFI film festival in the autumn. On stage, Pearl was last seen playing Lulu in Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party alongside Zoe Wanamaker, Stephen Mangan and Toby Jones, Directed by Ian Rickson to stellar reviews in his West End production. That year Pearl also shot short film Origami, written by BAFTA New Talent Hotlist writer Sumerah Srivastav, alongside Nicholas Pinnock. Pearl has also leant her voice to award-winning Podcasts Forest 404, playing the lead role of Pan, and Prepper alongside Sue Johnston. Both are available on BBC Sounds.


Pearl’s West End debut came starring in the National Theatre’s Olivier and Tony award-winning production of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time. She appeared in A Mad World, My Masters with the Royal Shakespeare Company, she had previously starred as Nina in Theatre503’s play Only Human and co-starred in the European premiere of Aurin Squire’s Obama-ology at the Finborough Theatre. Alongside Martin Freeman, Michael Socha and Maxine Peake, Pearl featured in the comedy film Svengali, directed by John Hardwick. Further theatre credits include: Hello Kind World; Crystal Springs; Home; The Crucible; and The Comedy of Errors. Pearl trained at Bristol Old Vic. 


Jenna Coleman

Jenna is best known for her BAFTA-nominated performance as CLARA in DR WHO and for playing the title role in ITV's Emmy-nominated series VICTORIA.

Jenna is currently filming a lead role in THE SERPENT for Netflix / BBC opposite Tahar Rahim, Ellie Bamber and Billy Howle; the show tells the story of conman and mass-murderer, Charles Sobhraj, who is discovered and trailed by a young embassy official in mid-70s southeast Asia.

Last year, Jenna returned to the stage in Arthur Miller’s ALL MY SONS at the Old Vic, starring opposite Sally Fields and Bill Pullman, and the year before, she took on the lead role in the critically-acclaimed BBC miniseries THE CRY, for which she was nominated for Best Actress at the International Emmy Awards.


Her film credits include the film adaptation of JoJo Moyes’s best-selling novel ME BEFORE YOU and she also appeared in the box office hit CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER.

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Pippa Bennett-Warner

Pippa can currently be seen in Gangs Of London for Sky Atlantic.


Upcoming projects include Maxxx for Hulu/C4, Sitting In Limbo and Roadkill, both for the BBC. Pippa’s film credits include independent feature Real, Wakefield, The Foreigner and Johnny English Strikes Again.


Pippa’s television credits include Sick Note, The Smoke, Dominic Savage’s The Secret, River, Hulu's Harlots and Motherfatherson for the BBC.

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Actor & Writer

Ella Road

Ella is a writer and actor from London, working across Theatre, TV, Film & Radio. She also occasionally releases poetry.


Ella’s debut play THE PHLEBOTOMIST went on at the Hampstead Theatre Downstairs in 2018 to critical acclaim before transferring to its Main Stage in 2019. It was nominated for an Olivier Award, and was also a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and was adapted into a radio-play for BBC Radio3. Her next play FAIR PLAY (Bush Theatre) was due to premier in 2020, as was HOW TO EAT AN ELEPHANT (Theatre Royal Plymouth/Tour), but both have been postponed due to COVID-19. Theatre-wise, Ella is writing new play commissions for the Almeida Theatre and Hampstead Theatre.


On the screen side, Ella is currently writing on the British series of CALL MY AGENT (Bron/Headline). She is also working on TV and Film projects with Drama Republic, Element Pictures and Liberty Films.


When she’s not in the engine room, Ella also mentors and teaches creative writing - from youth courses, to emerging writers, to work in prisons with Synergy Theatre. Ella is interested in arts advocacy, challenging some of the negative power structures in the industry, and empowering people to shape a healthier and more equitable arts ecology. She is also part of the London Theatre Consortium’s ‘Climate Lab’, looking at how we can move to making theatre more sustainably from an environmental perspective.


Ella trained at the Oxford School of Drama. She was a Soho Theatre Young Writer 2017/18, a Bush Theatre Emerging Writer 2018/19, and on the BBC Drama Writers Programme 2019/20.

Actor, Writer & Director

Aki Omoshaybi

Aki can be seen in Dr Who ‘Rosa ep’, ‘Sick Of It’ (Sky1) ‘Defending The Guilty’ (BBC) & ‘Father Brown’ (BBC). Film credits – Independent film Real, Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi, Riot Club, Burning Men, Faces, A Moving Image, Kids In Love. Theatre: Keith? (Arcola) That Day We Sang (Royal Exchange) The Empress (RSC) Chariots Of Fire (West end) Umbrellas Of Cherbourg (West End) Hair (Broadway Cast) Hairspray (West End).


Aki also writes, directs and produces through his production company ‘Small Long Productions’ His short film ‘Spilt’ was nominated at The British Urban Film Festival & Groucho Film Festival. His debut feature ‘Real’ had it’s world premier at 63rd BFI London Film Festival and also played Leeds International Film Festival, Cine city festival and was nominated for best debut at PAFF in LA. It most recently has been shortlisted for the Bifa Awards.

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Emma Forrest

Emma Forrest has published five books with Bloomsbury, most recently the memoir 'Your Voice In My Head' and the novel 'Royals'.


'Untogether', her first film as writer-director, starred Jemima and Lola Kirke, Jamie Dornan and Ben Mendelsohn and was released in 2019.


Her new memoir will be published Summer 2022.


Helena Lee

Helena is the acting Deputy Editor of Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country.


She is responsible for the art and culture content for both titles, commissioning award-winning writers such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Ali Smith, and runs the annual short story competition, whose winners have included the Booker Prize-shortlisted Daisy Johnson and Fatima Bhutto. She also co-edits the annual magazine Bazaar Art, and invites high-profile artists, such as Lubaina Himid and Gillian Wearing, to collaborate each year.


In 2018, she programmed and launched both the Bazaar Literary Salon, featuring talks with the writers Ali Smith, Elif Shafak and Jessie Burton, and Bazaar Art Week, a series of expert panels, private views and events celebrating women in the art world. As a result, Bazaar Art Week was shortlisted for the BSME Best Innovation Award. 


She also founded the platform East Side Voices, which aims to raise the visibility of East and Southeast Asian voices in the UK, and will publish an anthology of essays of the same name with Sceptre in 2022.

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Francesca Moody

Francesca is an Olivier award-winning Theatre Producer with over a decade of experience having produced theatre on and off London’s West-End, at the Edinburgh Festival, on tour in the UK and internationally. She is best known as the original producer of the multi-award winning FLEABAG by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, which she has produced globally on behalf on DryWrite, most recently in London’s West-End when it was also recorded and broadcast by NT Live, playing in cinemas throughout the world.

In 2020, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Francesca led and coordinated the Fleabag for Charity campaign, streaming FLEABAG NT live on Amazon and Soho Theatre on Demand, raising over £1,000,000 for charities supporting those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Following this, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Olivia Colman Francesca established the Theatre Community Fund, raising a further £1,000,000 to support theatrical artists and professionals whose livelihoods and creative futures have been threatened in the wake of Covid-19.

Francesca is also the former Producer of leading British new writing theatre company Paines Plough, where she produced and developed plays by leading UK playwrights including Dennis Kelly, Duncan Macmillan, James Graham and Kate Tempest. She was also the Executive Producer at curious directive.

Francesca now runs Francesca Moody Productions and since launching in 2018 the company has produced five world premieres. FMP’s most recent production, BABY REINDEER by Richard Gadd was the Bush Theatre’s fastest selling show in history. BABY REINDEER was recently nominated for an Olivier Award and will transfer to the West-End in 2021 in co-production with Sonia Friedman Productions.


Francesca has received an Olivier Award, eight Fringe First Awards and three Off West End Awards for her productions. She is a trustee of The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, an Ambassador for charity Acting For Others and an Honorary Associate of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.   

Chief Executive Producer, The Shed

Madani Younis

Madani Younis is the Chief Executive Producer of The Shed and has been in post since January 2020. He was previously the Creative Director of the Southbank Centre, the largest arts centre in Europe.


Prior to that the Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre, a leading London new writing house, from 2012 to 2018. In achieving this role, Madani became the first Artistic Director of colour to lead a London theatre.


Madani is a Cultural Ambassador on the London Mayoral Cultural Leadership Board and has been a Groucho Club Committee Member, Trustee of the Directors Charitable Foundation, and a special advisor to Artistic Directors of the Future, amongst a number of other advisory roles.

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Casting Director

Victor Jenkins

Victor started out assisting Lucinda Syson on Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy and Oliver Stone’s Alexan- der. From there he moved into television and became a Casting Director in his own right at age 25 taking over the helm at Sky One’s flagship drama’s Dream Team and Mile High for 3 and a half years.


When those shows ended he decided he needed broader experience and went on to be- come Associate to the late Carrie Hilton, and then Gary Davy. In 2010 he started VHJ Casting with friend and fellow Casting Director Kelly Valentine Hendry working on many award winning shows such as Broadchurch, Fleabag, The Wrong Mans, Episodes, Humans, Unforgotten, The Last Kingdom and Grantchester as well as features Brotherhood, Access All Areas and UK casting on Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted and Into The Woods.


In 2017 it was time to go solo again and Victor has worked on Troy: Fall Of A City, The Rook, Clean Break, The Split, Dark Money, World On Fire and upcoming series Leonardo for Italy’s Rai and Des for ITV. In 2019 another joint venture began, so alongside his solo work he also works in partnership with Andy Brierley CDG as The Casting Office Ltd.


Together they are working on The Watch for BBC America, the second season of The Spanish Princess for Starz and a new Playground series developed by Peter Kosminsky for Channel 4.

Producer & Director

Kristín Ólafsdóttir

Kristin Ólafsdóttir is an award winning producer, independent film maker and owner of Klikk Productions where she has been producing and directing documentaries, films and theatre plays since its inception in 2002. Kristin’s latest films are: Rebel Hearts  (Sundance Competition 2021), Against the Current (2020) and InnSæi (2016). Her feature films and documentaries have been nominated and awarded at many film festivals such as Sundance, Miami Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Hot Docs, Copenhagen International Film Festival amongst others. They have been shown globally on Netflix, BBC, HBO, Amazon Prime and iTunes.

Kristin is Co-Chair of the Film Committee at The Serpentine Galleries in London and a Founding Patron of the British Fashion Council Foundation.  She is a philanthropist, mainly fundraising for and raising awareness on issues relating to education, women and children as well as environmental issues. She sits on the Prince Albert Foundation Board, is an ambassador for VOW to End Child Marriage and is also a former Guardian of UN Women in Iceland. Kristin is a LSE Graduate with the Chevening Scholarship.

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Casting Director

Jessica Ronane

Jessica Ronane is Casting Director for The Old Vic.

Her work at The Old Vic includes: Faith Healer, Endgame/Rough for Theatre II, A Christmas Carol, Lungs, A Very Expensive Poison, Present Laughter, All My Sons, The American Clock, SYLVIA, A Monster Calls, Mood Music, Fanny & Alexander, Woyzeck, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, King Lear, The Caretaker, The Master Builder, Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, The Hairy Ape, Future Conditional (The Old Vic); Girl from the North Country (The Old Vic/West End); The Divide (The Old Vic/ EIF);

Jessica’s film credits include: The Kid Who Would Be King, Emma.

Upcoming work includes Luca Guadagninos’ remake of Brideshead Revisted and casting for Jeremy Herrin’s 'Second Half Productions'.


Amy Gardner

Having worked on music videos for East West Records (Time Warner), Amy then moved to independent film production in Los Angeles before setting up her own UK production company Finite Films in 2008.


Features include Island (with Academy Award nominated Janet McTeer) and Honeytrap (BFI) & TV pilots Walk Like a Panther (which went on to become a Fox Features film) & Life According to Geri (as in Ginger Spice).


Amy has also exec produced a number of features as well as documentaries and supports new talent with their short films. Amy also directed her first short film as part of a larger series of women directed shorts. The project, now represented by ICM, is called Everything I Ever Wanted to Tell My Daughter About Men, due for release 2021.


Cynthia Wu

Cynthia Wu is a business executive and an award winning producer for documentaries, short films and advertisements currently based in Taiwan.


She was a co-producer of Father, a biopic about the journey of an octogenarian puppeteer who, despite his National Treasure status must adapt to make his art relevant. This project which took a decade to complete by Golden Horse Award winning director Yang Lichou, won Best Documentary at the Hong Kong Film Awards (2018).


Other short films produced have raised awareness on issues she is passionate about including  environmental conservation, women and public health. She is an alumna of the Courtauld Institute of Art and Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.

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