By Ogova Ondego
Published August 16, 2011
According to a media release from BBC World Service, 14 plays from India, Brazil, China, Israel, Uganda, Ghana, Georgia, America, Australia, Kenya, New Zealand, Montenegro and Canada were shortlisted from the nearly 1,000 scripts entered in this contest that was only open to writers outside the United Kingdom. The competition considered ‘original 60-minute radio plays on any subject’.
The winners were chosen by a panel of judges comprising Dame Eileen Atkins, star of stage and screen and celebrated screenwriter; award-winning playwright, Roy Williams and acclaimed international actress, Ayesha Dharker, Head of Drama and Dance at the British Council, Brendan Griggs; Acting Controller, English, BBC Global News, Richard Porter and Executive Producer, BBC Audio Drama, Marion Nancarrow.
Bugadze’s The Navigator won in the English as a First Language category while Jaber’s The Wild Neighbour and the Willing Coward was victorious in the English as a Second Language section.
In The Navigator, Rostom is content with his regular office routine, safe on the fifteenth floor. But when he’s made to drive to inspect construction sites – and with a sat nav – his life begins to take an entirely unexpected course. This is a comedy about love, redemption, and the surprising effects of in-car technology.
In The Wild Neighbour and the Willing Coward, a moral fable about community, fear and love of a big cat, being a good man and a good neighbours is not always the same thing, as Avi is about to find out.
The two writers will be recognised at a special award ceremony at the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, and will attend the recordings of their plays. Each of the winner’s work will broadcast on BBC World Service later in 2011.
The International Playwriting Competition is now in its 22nd year and is a unique way of showcasing international writing talent around the world. Previous winners have come from a diverse range of countries including South Africa, Nigeria, America and Ghana, with some participants going on to secure further drama commissions both in the UK and globally.
Brendan Griggs, Head of Drama and Dance at the British Council, says, “The range of entries in terms of countries of origin, subject matter and sheer breadth of imagination is extraordinary. I was privileged to be one of the judges. The winners are outstanding: the writers have created such unique worlds and produced such original work that they will stay in the mind of the listener for some time to come!”
Marion Nancarrow, Executive Producer, BBC Audio Drama, says: “You never know what surprises are in store or what worlds and characters will open up to you when you begin reading for this competition. I’m thrilled that our winning plays are so different, but both so funny, poignant and imaginative and that the shortlist this year spanned more of the world than ever before.”
The shortlisted plays were:
English as a Second Language Category:
– The Wild Neighbour and the Willing Coward by Fernanda Affonso De André Jaber, China
[Winner, English as a 2nd language]
– Horn Signals by Sonja Lazovic, Montenegro [Regional Winner]
– Taped by Aurélio Pinotti Catalão, Brazil
– The New Bwana by Samwel Soko Osebe, Kenya
– Dear Mother by Atwine Bashir Kenneth, Uganda
– Jam by Annie Zaidi, India [Regional Winner]
– The Coup by Stanley Makuwe, New Zealand
– Siamese Twin by Agur Schiff, Israel [Regional Winner]
English as a First Language Category:
– The Floating Books by Finegan Kruckemeyer, Australia
– The Navigator by Lasha Bugadze, translated by Maya Kiasashvili, Georgia
[Winner, English as a 1st language (play in translation)]
– The Nature of Captivity by Matthew Paul Olmos, USA [Regional Winner]
– The Bus by Benjamin Kent, Ghana
– Twelve Easy Steps by Declan Greene, Australia
– The Rosy Sanctuary by Nicholas Popowich, Canada