An annual bursary of up to £3,000 is awarded annually to enable playwrights to devote more time to their writing.

The recipient is announced at the annual Awards at the National Theatre.

The Roland Rees Bursary 2021


Diana Nneka Atuona

Diana said, “I am so thrilled to be the recipient of the Roland Rees Bursary, especially on the 25th anniversary of the amazing Alfred Fagon Award.  This will give me the space to complete projects for next year and has boosted my self belief. Thank you Roland Rees Bursary and AFA!”

The Roland Rees Bursary 2020

Kalungi Ssebandeke

Kalungi Ssebandeke

Kalungi was announced as this year’s recipient at the digital awards produced by the National Theatre on 26 November 2020.

Kalungi says, “It feels me with great joy to be the recipient of the Roland Rees Bursary 2020. I have followed the Alfred Fagon Award for many years and was honoured to have my play ‘Assata Taught Me’ nominated for the Audience Award in 2017.  Receiving this bursary means the world to me because it’s the much-needed lifeline I needed to move into 2021 as a freelance writer.”

See the announcement.

The Roland Rees Bursary 2019

photo credit Richard H. Smith

Juliet Gilkes Romero was presented with her cheque by Rex Obano.  Read Rex Obano’s presentation remarks.


The Roland Rees Bursary 2018

photo credit: Richard H. Smith

2018 recipient Rex Obano was presented with his cheque by Beverly Andrews.

“I know it sounds like a cliché but I didn’t fall out of love with writing for theatre it seemed that it has fallen out of love with me. That was until I was awarded the Roland Rees Bursary. The bursary has not only given me space and time to write, but also has inspired me to complete one play How To Be Black, write another Elephant and I am half way through a third Michael X. It has introduced me into new worlds, explore characters that are much braver than I could ever be and who are not afraid to speak how they feel. I have fallen in love again with the magic that only theatre can bring and I hope to take audiences on a journey through my imagination through a unique, synergetic collective experience trapped in space and time.”  Rex Obano, August 2019.

The Roland Rees Bursary 2017

photo credit: Richard H. Smith

2017 recipient Beverly Andrews was presented with her cheque by Mark Norfolk.

The Roland Rees Bursary 2016

photo credit: Ed Miles

2016 recipient, Courttia Newland, with producer David Aukin

The Roland Rees Bursary 2015

Mark Norfolk with Yvonne Brewster OBE. Photo credit: Richard H. Smith

Mark Norfolk was the first recipient in 2015.