Alfred Fagon picture

Alfred Fagon lived in Clarendon Jamaica, Nottingham, Bristol and London. He was a boxing champion, a welder, an actor, poet, and playwright.

His agent was Harriet Cruickshank.

After his untimely death in 1986 his friends held a memorial evening at Tricycle Theatre to commemorate his life and work. The donations collected at the memorial formed the basis of the Alfred Fagon Award to recognise Black British playwrights from the Caribbean.

The first award was supported by Arts Council England and The Peggy Ramsay Foundation was presented to Roy Williams . The Peggy Ramsay Foundation continues to support the Award and the prize this year for the winning writer is £6,000.

A bust of Alfred created by David G Mutasa was erected in St Paul’s, Bristol. Bristol keeps his name alive; in September 2013 the Bristol Old Vic Studio dedicated an evening to him where a full rehearsed reading of his play 11 Josephine House was performed. On 26th October 2006 we celebrated the ten year anniversary of the Award at The Royal Court Theatre in London. A reading of Alfred’s play 11 Josephine House preceded the Award ceremony. Lorna French was presented with the prize for her winning play Safe House by Diane Abbott MP.

The Alfred Fagon Award was founded by Yvonne Brewster OBE, Oscar James, Roland Rees and Sheelagh Killeen Rees, and Paul Stephenson OBE.  It is now a registered charity.

Roland Rees chaired the Award from 1997 – 2009. In 2006 the founders decided to appoint a new chair on three-year tenure and to extend the reach of the Award by also recognising Black British African playwrights. The Awards are now open to Black British playwrights of Caribbean or African descent resident in the UK.

From 2010-2012 playwright, Winsome Pinnock, was the Chair of the Judges. Winsome is featured in the National Theatre Black Plays Archive. She currently teaches creative writing at Kingston University.

From 2013-2015 actor and director, Anton Phillips, was the Chair of the Judges.

From 2016 – 2018 Brian Walters was the Chair of the Judges.  Brian was Deputy Literary Manager at the National Theatre, where he worked with  many writers including Michaela Coel, Rachel Delahay and Oladipo Agboluaje.  He also worked with a number of directors including Ola Ince, Natalie Abrahami and Elayce Ismail.

From 2019 – 2021 Mimi Findlay was the Chair of Judges.  Mimi is currently the Administrative Producer for the London Borough of Culture 2022 Programme at the Albany. Prior to this she has worked as a Producer, Project Manager and Administrator for companies including, Clean Break, Talawa, Fuel, the National Theatre and Paines Plough.

The Audience Award, voted for by the public, ran for three years (2015-2017).

For many years the Alfred Fagon Award received administrative support from Britain’s foremost black-led theatre company Talawa Theatre Company.

In 2013 administrative support was provided by Tiata Fahodzi.

Since 2014 Administration and Creative Production has been provided by Pauline Walker from PDW Productions.

The Awards have been held at Royal Court Theatre (1997–2007), National Theatre (2008-2012; 2014-2015), Tricycle Theatre (2013) now known as Kiln Theatre.  The Awards returned to the National Theatre in 2014.



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