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Remarkable unearthers of new talent.” Fiona Mountford, The Evening Standard



Papatango discover, produce and publish brilliant playwrights, launching the best new talent with maximum impact. We inspire artists and audiences that theatre is open to anyone, regardless of background. 

Our discoveries have won BAFTAs, Alfred Fagon, Off West End and RNT Foundation Playwright awards, premiering in over 20 countries worldwide. Our free playwriting training reaches over 4000 people a year. Our unique commitment to give feedback on every script we receive – over 1500 a year – and our unprecendented travel bursaries ensure that anyone, anywhere, can access new writing.

Because all you need is a story.



Company Number 07365398
Registered Charity Number 1152789



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The Papatango New Writing Prize


“Knocks spots off much of the new writing I have seen.”
Michael Billington, The Guardian


Opening in 2009, the Papatango New Writing Prize was the first – and remains the only – annual playwriting award in the UK to guarantee an emerging playwright a full production on the professional stage. It provides a royalty of 10% of the gross box office and publication by Nick Hern Books, as well as a full commission to support a follow-up play.

As well as giving one brilliant writer an unrivalled opportunity, the Prize is unique in giving feedback to all entries. No other company makes such an investment in emerging playwrights.

The 2018 Prize is now closed to entries. It received 1384 scripts, meaning Papatango continue to receive more plays, by average annual entries, than any other award.

Read our literary guidelines for more information.

“Winning the 2017 Papatango Prize has already transformed my career. It has provided me with a real launching pad as a writer, led to an award nomination, meetings with major TV production companies, and even a Danish translation of the play! The entire process from the moment Chris phoned to tell me the news, through to raising a glass or two after the final performance, has been an absolute joy, and also a real demonstration of a highly professional theatre company working on all cylinders. From dramaturgy through marketing to production and the sheer care and attention paid to their writers, Papatango have been spectacular. I can’t thank them enough, and I’d urge every playwright to consider sending something in to the 2018 Prize. It’s the smartest decision I think I’ve ever made.” Stewart Pringle, 2017 Prize-winner



Literary Guidelines         Previous Winners


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“A bold and often brilliant stab at something new.”
Dominic Maxwell, The Times



by Sam Potter (2018)
Arcola Theatre & UK tour


by Stewart Pringle (2017, Prize Winner)
Southwark Playhouse


by Matt Grinter (2016, Prize Winner)
Southwark Playhouse

After Independence

by May Sumbwanyambe (2016)
Arcola Theatre


by James Rushbrooke (2015, Prize Winner)
Southwark Playhouse


by Fiona Doyle (2014, Prize Winner)
Finborough Theatre


by Luke Owen (2013, Prize Winner)
Finborough Theatre


by Louise Monaghan (2012, Prize Winner)
Finborough Theatre

Everyday Maps for Everyday Use

by Tom Morton-Smith (2012)
Finborough Theatre

Back Home Contemplation

by May Sumbwanyambe (2012)
Finborough Theatre

Photos of You Sleeping

by Jane Wainwright (2012)
Finborough Theatre


by Dawn King (2011, Prize Winner)
Finborough Theatre

Through The Night

by Matt Morrison (2011), Finborough Theatre

Rigor Mortis

by Carol Vine (2011)
Finborough Theatre


by Rob Young (2011)
Finborough Theatre


by Jacqueline McCarrick (2010, Prize Winner)
Tristan Bates Theatre

My Balloon Beats Your Astronaut

By Kerry Hood (2010)
Tristan Bates Theatre

The Ducks

by Michael McLean (2010)
Tristan Bates Theatre


by John Seymour (2010)
Tristan Bates Theatre

Christmas Reloaded

by Philip Gawthorne (2009)
Old Red Lion


by Dominic Mitchell (2009, Prize Winner)
Tristan Bates Theatre

The Muse

by Matt Roberts (2008)
Pleasance Islington & Tristan Bates Theatre


by Matt Grinter (2008)
Pleasance Islington & Tristan Bates Theatre





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