Mercury/Weinberger Playwriting Prize 2018

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Deadline: 20 July 2018

Mercury Theatre Colchester & Josef Weinberger Ltd are joining forces to discover the very best and most diverse new British theatre writing talent from across the UK via a new national playwriting competition, launching this year. The Mercury/Weinberger Playwriting Prize will be looking for previously unperformed plays that have the ambition, appeal and theatricality to fill larger theatres, with the desire of getting the very best new work published and into production over the next few years.

The winning entry will pick up a cash prize of £5,000, a publishing deal with Josef Weinberger Ltd and the possibility of a full production at the Mercury Theatre. A panel of high profile industry judges will be announced in September.

The online portal for entries will open here on 25 May 2018, the closing date is 20 July 2018 and winners will be announced week commencing 5 November 2018.



The Winner

The Winner will receive:

  • A cash prize of £5,000
  • Their script published & represented by Josef Weinberger Ltd
  • A rehearsed reading plus the possibility of a production at the Mercury Theatre

In addition, the Mercury/Weinberger Future Voice Award specifically recognises young talent between the ages of 16-25 years. Eligible entrants are automatically considered for the award, with the winner receiving a cash prize of £500 and a rehearsed reading of their play.


  • Writers must be 16+yrs
  • Writers may only submit one script
  • Scripts must be full length (minimum playing time 90 minutes)
  • Scripts must be suitable for production in the Mercury's Main House (c500 seats).
  • Scripts must be wholly the original work of the writer
  • Scripts must be previously unproduced (excludes amateur production)
  • Scripts must be previously unpublished (publication on blogs / personal websites is acceptable provided non-commercial)
  • Scripts must be in English
  • Excerpts, unfinished works or outlines will not be accepted
  • Entries submitted posthumously will not be accepted
  • Entries from Mercury Theatre Ltd / Josef Weinberger Ltd staff will not be accepted
  • By entering, writers agree to grant Josef Weinberger Ltd permission to publish and license the Live Stage Performing Rights in their play if it wins and first refusal (but not an obligation) to publish and license the Live Stage Performing Rights in their play if it is shortlisted. (NB writers who already have publishing/licensing arrangements must ensure they can meet this condition)
  • By entering, writers agree to grant the Mercury Theatre a 2 year exclusive option to produce their play if it wins
  • The decision of the judges is final and no individual correspondence will be entered into



For enquiries regarding the Mercury Weinberger Playwriting Prize, please contact

For general enquiries regarding our New Work and Talent offers, please contact

Josef Weinberger Ltd. is one Europe's leading theatrical and musical publishing houses working internationally to promote the work of playwrights, composers and lyricists as well as handling the estates of some the most famous names in theatre, musical theatre, classical music and opera.

The Josef Weinberger Plays division exists to champion the work of playwrights around the globe; working with agents across every international territory, their authors consistently have their work produced here in the UK as well as in countless languages in countless countries. Driven by a pride in their long history and a passion for discovering emerging talent, Josef Weinberger Plays has an international reach and partners with some of the world's leading producers and practitioners to create and inspire exceptional theatre.

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