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.
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.
- 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
This year’s winner is May Sumbwanyambe for his play After Independence. He was presented with his award by Martina Laird.
The Alfred Fagon Audience Award recognizes and celebrates the depth of talented Black British playwrights of Caribbean and African descent writing in Britain today.
This year the top play voted for by the public in the online poll will win the award.
Plays receiving a professional production between 1st September 2015 and 31st August 2016 with a minimum of five performances is eligible for the Award.
The list of plays will be published on the AFA website and online public voting will take place between 1st September 2016 and 16th October 2016.
The award will be presented to the winning writer at the Alfred Fagon Awards on Wednesday 23rd November 2016.
- After Independence by May Sumbwanyambe
- Cuttin’ It by Charlene James
- i know all the secrets in my world by Natalie Ibu
- Nine Lives by Zodwa Nyoni
- Red Snapper by Liz Mytton
- She Called Me Mother by Michelle Inniss
- Soul by Roy Williams
- The Crows Plucked Your Sinews by Hassan Mahamdallie