“The Alfred Fagon Award is unique."
Michael Abbensetts, winner 2004
Supported by the Peggy Ramsay Foundation
2016 Awards

2016 Awards

The annual Awards took place at Dorfman, National Theatre and was filmed by the BBC.

Rufus Norris, Artistic Director of the National Theatre welcome us back to the Dorfman.


This year’s Awards were hosted by Chair of the selection committee Brian Walters.


Michael Buffong, Artistic Director of Talawa Theatre Company presented the award and cheque for £6,000 to Lorna French, winner of this year’s Best New Play of the Year at this year’s Alfred Fagon Award supported by The Peggy Ramsay Foundation.

The themes uppermost in Lorna’s play City Melodies concerns the fragmented sense of home and the impermanence of life as explored through the experiences of first and second generation immigrants to London. Other themes include the negative repercussions of putting people into boxes based on a prejudiced response to the unknown. Finally, the theme of persevering despite adversity and pursuing your dream is also explored.

This is the second time Lorna has won the Alfred Fagon Award for Best New Play of the Year.  She won in 2006 with Safe House.  Last year Lorna was selected to be one of 16 writers on Eclipse Theatre’s 3-year Revolution Mix Project for which she is writing a full length play with support from Birmingham Rep Theatre;  and earlier this year Lorna was selected to take part in BBC Doctors shadow scheme.

The winner of the Audience Award for plays staged between September 2015 and August 2016 was won by May Sumbwanyambe for his play After Independence.  May was presented with his Award by actor, Martina Laird who is currently starring in the Shakespeare Trilogy produced by Donmar Warehouse at King’s Cross Theatre.


This year’s recipient of the Roland Rees Bursary, named in honour of the co-founder of the Alfred Fagon Award and leading theatre director from the 1970s and 1980s who died in September, was writer Courttia Newland.  Courttia was presented with a cheque of £3,000 by David Aukin, Executive Producer from Daybreak Pictures and friend of Roland Rees. The bursary is awarded annually and enables writers to devote more time to their writing.


Joining Lorna in the celebrations are the last three winners of Best New Play of the Year Charlene James, Theresa Ikoko and Diana Nneka Atuona.


We were honoured to be joined members of Alfred Fagon’s family from the UK and the states.


See pictures from this year’s event on our Facebook page.


Lorna French                         City Melodies

Max Kolaru                             Traffick Jam

Natasha Marshall                  Half Breed


Annette Brook                         Gala Mae

Beverly Andrews                    Awa’s Journey

Edd Muruako                          Magnetic

Emma Dennis-Edwards        The Yard

Kalungi Ssebandeke              ASSATA: She Who Struggles

Liz Mytton                               Red Snapper

Lola Olarewaju                       Bastard Child

Lorna French                          City Melodies

Max Kolaru                             Traffick Jam

Michelle Inniss                       She Called Me Mother

Mufaro Makubika                 Miracles

Natasha Marshall                  Half Breed

Patrice Etienne                       Mum

Somalia Seaton                       Fall of the Kingdom Rise of the Foot Soldier

Submissions for Best New Play of the Year opened on 1st April 2016

Award Eligibility and Criteria


The Award is open to any playwright of Caribbean or African descent, resident in the UK, for the best original, new stage play in English.

Plays must be full length.

The play does not need to have been produced.  However, if it has, only plays produced since August 2015 will be considered.

Each submitted play must be accompanied by a CV, confirming the writer’s Caribbean and/or African heritage and residency in the UK along with a brief synopsis of the play. (CV must also include your email address and a contact telephone number).

Each entrant can submit only one play. A play may also be nominated by a third party with the writer’s consent (e.g. via an agent)

Television, radio plays and film scripts will not be considered.

New as well as established writers are encouraged to enter.

Two hard copies of your script should be sent to: Pauline Walker, The Alfred Fagon Award, c/o Talawa Theatre Company, 53-55 East Road, London, N1 6AH.

An electronic copy of the play should also be sent by email to info@alfredfagonaward.co.uk.

Deadline for all entries: 5pm, Friday, 29th July 2016.

Judging and Prize

The Award is given to the best new play judged by the Selection Committee.

The winning writer wins £6,000.

Selection Committee for The Alfred Fagon Award for Best New Play of the Year 2016:
Brian Walters (Chair)

Anton Phillips

Joan Ann Maynard

Natasha Bonnelame

Olusola Oyeleye

Sheelagh Killeen

Dr. Judith Malone-Fagon

All applicants will be notified by email of their entry’s safe arrival. No correspondence will be entered into between the Selection Committee and applicants.

Only shortlisted writers will be contacted in early November 2016.

The writer of the winning play will be announced at The Alfred Fagon Award ceremony in late November 2016.

The Alfred Fagon Award for Best New Play of the Year is supported by The Peggy Ramsay Foundation