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Leah Gasson wins the Platform Presents Playwright's Prize 

Leah wins with her play That Awful Sound. A story of love and loss; of grief and recovery


Leah Gasson

The Platform Presents Playwright’s Prize was founded to nurture and provide more opportunities for playwrights. A call for writers to enter went out in November 2018 with the launch of tickets for the Poetry Gala. The deadline for entries was February 15th 2019. 167 plays were entered from London to New York to Melbourne, and shortlisted to 10 by the Platform Presents Co-Founders and a script editor.

The shortlisted scripts were judged by a panel of industry experts in March, including Adam Speers (Executive Producer, ATG Productions), Caitlin Ryan (EMEA Regional Director, Creative Shop, Facebook), David Eldridge (Playwright, ‘Beginning’ National Theatre, ‘Holy Warriors’ The Globe, ‘In Basildon’ Royal Court Theatre & ‘The Knot of the Heart’ Almeida Theatre & Screenwriter), Jessica Ronane CDG (Casting Director, The Old Vic

& Jessica Ronane Casting), Justin Martin (Director, ‘The Jungle’, Associate Director, ‘The Inheritance’ & Netflix’s ‘The Crown’), Mary Laws (Playwright, ‘Blueberry Toast, Screenwriter, AMC’s ‘Preacher’ & HBO’s ‘The Crown’ & lead writer and Executive Producer on Hulu’s ‘An Anthology of North American Monsters’), Nadia Latif (Associate Director, The Young Vic), Nadine Rennie CDG, (Casting Director, Soho Theatre), Nancy Durrant (Arts Commissioning Editor, The Times), Nicholas Pinnock (Actor, ITV’s ‘Marcella’, Starz’s ‘Counterpart’, and Poet).

The winner, Leah Gasson, received £5,000 in prize money raised at the Poetry Gala, and Platform Presents is currently working on bringing her play to a London stage with a formidable team: playwright and screenwriter, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm who is helping to dramaturg it (‘Emilia’, Vaudeville Theatre), director Justin Martin (The Jungle, The Playhouse Theatre) and Casting Director Jessica Ronane (The Old Vic). On 11th July we produced a play reading of ‘That Awful Sound’ supported by the Ambassadors Theatre Group starring; Jessie Buckley, Luke Treadaway, Erin Doherty, Aimee Lou Wood, Haydn Gwynne, Pearce Quigley and Karl Queensborough. ‘That Awful Sound’ is now in development for the stage and screen.


The 10 finalists, out of 167 entries, for the Platform Presents Playwright’s Prize were (in alphabetical order):


CHURCH STREET by Daniel Rusteau

COAST by Thom Petty

LOLA O’MARA BABY by Sara Joyce

SHED: EXPLODED VIEW by Phoebe Eclair-Powell

STRAIGHT LINES by Florence Keith-Roach

SWALLOW by Freya Hannan-Mills



THIGH GAP by Jamaica Zuanetti

VELOCIRAPTOR by Matilda Ibini

To all the writers who submitted their work to us, thank you.

Our work would not be possible without you.

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