The annual Awards took place at The Dorfman, National Theatre.
Founder and Artistic Director of Eclipse, Dawn Walton, presented the award and cheque for £6,000 to Winsome Pinnock, winner of Best New Play of the Year for Rockets and Blue Lights at this year’s Alfred Fagon Award supported by The Peggy Ramsay Foundation.
“A major theme of Rockets and Blue Lights is the legacy of history and the ongoing impact of this legacy on the descendants of Africans who were enslaved. Another theme of the play is the significance, necessity and power of love in the face of such a history and the challenge of achieving that. I am also interested in the representation of painful subjects – what we choose to represent and what we deny.” Winsome Pinnock.
Theatre Royal Exchange Manchester were due to stage staging the world premiere in early in 2020. but the theatre was abruptly closed, like all theatres in the UK, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Actor Bertie Carvel then created the Lockdown Theatre Festival to bring some of the plays cut short to the airwaves and Rockets and Blue Lights was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Saturday, 13th June 2020.
The recipient of this year’s Roland Rees Bursary, named in honour of the co-founder of the Alfred Fagon Award and leading theatre director from the 1970s and 1980s, is writer Rex Obano. Rex was presented with a cheque of £3,000 by last year’s recipient Beverly Andrews. The Roland Rees Bursary is awarded annually and enables writers to devote more time to their writing.
The reading was directed by Nicole Charles, finalist for the Genesis Future Director Award 2018 at the Young Vic. The cast included: Geoff Aymer, Seraphina Beh, Denise Black, Dona Croll, Estella Daniels, Ricky Fearon, Shalisha James-Davis, Sarah Niles, Sophie Russell, Ciaran Owens, David Sibley, Steve Toussaint.
- Chinonyerem Odimba Princess & The Hustler
- David Judge PanLid
- Dexter Flanders Foxes
- Tife Kusoro Butterfly
- Winsome Pinnock Rockets and Blue Lights