James Tait Black Drama Prize2

James Tait Black for Drama Previous Winners

2019 

Dance Nation by Clare Barron (winner)

Dance Nation is an exhilarating tale following a dance troupe in their early teens trying to reach the national finals in Florida, under the guidance of a bullying dance teacher.

Subverting the modern teenage drama, Clare Barron examines the inner lives of the dancers to capture the joy and despair experienced during adolescence.

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Richard III Redux [or] Sara Beer [is/not] Richard III by Kaite O'Reilly with Phillip B Zarrilli

A thought-provoking, one-woman play highlights the limited opportunities available to disabled actors.

Slave Play by Jeremy O. Harris

Slave Play explores themes of race, sex and power. 

2018

Lions and Tigers by Tanika Gupta (winner)

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Premiering 70 years after India gained independence,  Lions and Tigers is based on the true story of Tanika Gupta's great-uncle Dinesh Gupta, a Bengali revolutionary who fought against British colonial rule in the early 1930s.

Letters written by her great-uncle from his prison cell provide the foundation of  Tanika Gupta's ambitious and emotive drama, offering fresh insight into Indian independence and  the battles between the so-called British lions and the Bengal tigers. 

The Anatomy of a Suicide by Alice Birch

This experimental play explores the personal trauma of suicide, and questions whether it can run through a family's DNA. 

Glory on Earth by Linda McLean

The play examines the relationship between the young Catholic Mary Stuart and the Protestant reformer John Knox - both of whom believe that they have the God-given right to power. 

Locker Room Talk by Gary McNair

Locker Room Talk features four women repeating verbatim sexist remarks made by real men in anonymous interviews. 

2017

Cyprus Avenue by David Ireland (winner)

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Cyprus Avenue centres on Eric Miller, a Belfast Loyalist who is convinced his new born grandchild is  Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams. At one point he puts glasses on the baby and draws a beard on her face with marker pen. The play reveals Eric agonising over his own sense of identity and masculinity.

Oil by Ella Hickson

Oil spans 150 years, and centres on a woman called May and her daughter. May travels through time - first as a 19th century farmer's wife with a newly invented kerosene lamp; then as a servant in 1908 Tehran; and, in 1970, as the CEO of an oil company. 

Scenes From 68* Years by Hannah Khalil

A series of everyday snapshots from life in Palestine in Scenes from 68* Years, which spans from 1948 to the present day. 

2016

Iphigenia in Splott by Gary Owen (winner)

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Welsh playwright Gary Owen drew his inspiration from a Greek myth, in which King Agamemnon sacrifices his daughter, Iphigenia, to allow his ships to sail to Troy.

Iphigenia in Splott centres on Effie, a foul-mouthed, aggressive young woman living in Cardiff, who drinks excessively and lives for nights out. Throughout the monologue, she tells the story of her meeting an ex-soldier and how that led her life to unravel.         

Effie's vulnerability is revealed as she becomes reliant on an under-resourced National Health Service. The tragedy climaxes with a rallying cry against austerity measures. 

People, Places and Things by Duncan MacMillan

Duncan Macmillan's tragi-comedy tells the story of an actress whose life has spun recklessly out of control

hang by debbie tucker green

hang is set in a near future where victims of crime can decide their perpetrator's punishment

2015

Tomorrow Come Today by Gordon Dahlquist (winner)

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A science fiction drama about people who swap bodies to cheat death. The play is set against the backdrop of an impending apocalypse and was first produced by Undermain Theatre, Texas.

The James Plays by Rona Munro

Rona Munro's trilogy chart the lives and deaths of King James I, II and III of Scotland, who ruled the country throughout the fifteenth century.

Incognito by Nick Payne

Incognito interweaves three stories, all focussing on neuroscience. First, the theft of Albert Einstein's brain in 1955, on to a pioneering brain operation in 1953, and finally the focus shifts to a modern-day clinical neuroscientist.

2014

Cannibals by Rory Mullarkey (winner)

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A play dealing with the consequences of war and the nature of love.  Set in a remote region of Eastern Europe. It centres on the story of Lizaveta, who is forced to leave her home when her husband is killed by a soldier fighting in an indeterminate war.

On the run, she meets a variety of characters and ultimately becomes a victim of human trafficking, taken to England as a paid-for bride.

Some Other Mother by A J Taudevin

Some Other Mother explores the emotional wounds caused by immigration.

Grounded by George Brant

Grounded looks at the ramifications of drone warfare.

2013

The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning by Tim Price (winner)

The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning by Tim Price was the first play to win the new drama category for Britain's oldest literary awards.

The play is based on the true story of Bradley Manning, the 24 year-old soldier accused of releasing classified military logs and embassy cables, now facing a court martial.

The story charts his radicalisation from his teenage years growing up in Wales to his current incarceration in America.

The Hundred Flowers Project by Christopher Chen

Foxfinder by Dawn King

In Water I'm Weightless by Kaite O'Reilly

The Effect by Lucy Prebble



Main image: 2019 shortlisted playwrights by Neil Hanna

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