Meyer Whitworth

Meyer Whitworth Award

Playwrights' Studio managed the prestigious Meyer Whitworth Award from 2007 - 2011. The last Meyer Whitworth Award, the twentieth, was presented for the final time in 2011 (to playwright David Ireland), at which point the funds supporting it became exhausted.

Previous winners are:

1992 (1st Award): Roy MacGregor for Our Own Kind

1993 (2nd Award): Philip Ridley for The Fastest Clock in the Universe

1994 (3rd Award): Diane Samuels for Kindertransport

1995 (4th Award): Jointly - Terry Johnson for HysteriaBilly Roche for The Cavalcaders

1996 (5th Award): Michael Wynne for The Knocky

1997 (6th Award): Conor McPherson for This Lime Tree Bower

1998 (7th Award): Jointly - Moira Buffini for Gabriel and Daragh Carville for Language Roulette

1999 (8th Award): David Harrower for Kill the Old Torture their Young

2000 (9th Award): Kate Dean for Down Red Lane

2001 (10th Award): Ray Grewal for My Dad's Corner Shop

2002 (11th Award): Jointly - Gregory Burke for Gagarin Way and Henry Adam for Among Broken Hearts

2003 (12th Award): Gary Owen for Shadow of a Boy

2004 (13th Award): Owen McCafferty for Scenes from the Big Picture

2005 (14th Award): Steve Thompson for Damages

2006 (15th Award): Dennis Kelly for Osama the Hero

2007 (16th Award): Morna Pearson for Distracted

2008 (17th Award): Hassan Abdulrazzak for Baghdad Wedding 

2009 (18th Award): Ali Taylor for Cotton Wool

2010 (19th Award): Natasha Langridge for Shraddha

2011 (20th Award): David Ireland for Everything Between Us


In 1908 the movement for a National Theatre joined forces with that to create a memorial to William Shakespeare. The result was the Shakespeare Memorial National Theatre Committee (SMNT), which thereafter became the practical and legal embodiment of the campaign for a National Theatre.

The Meyer-Whitworth Award was set up to commemorate all those who were members of, or worked closely with, the SMNT. Many are household names. They are too numerous to list here, however, and the award bears the name of but two protagonists: Carl Meyer, a wealthy philanthropist who inaugurated the appeal fund with a donation of £70,000 in 1909 - a princely sum in those days - and Geoffrey Whitworth, who did so much to maintain the long campaign for the National Theatre as founder and director of the British Drama League and as Honorary Secretary to the SMNT from 1930 to 1951.

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