2022 Papatango Prize Shortlist

The 2022 Papatango New Writing Prize drew a record 1,553 scripts. All assessed anonymously, an exceptional shortlist emerged. These writers will each receive £500 and their plays will be filmed as readings, directed by some of the country’s most exciting directors and showcased on The Playwright’s Laboratory, a worldwide network of producers and programmers.
Time, Like The Sea by Georgia Bruce
Directed by Julia Head
Linda’s house has always been a sanctuary for women rebelling against the norms. She’s helped generations of radical queer women fulfil their beliefs and resist the throes of patriarchy. But when her estranged grandchild Ky shows up with their girlfriend Scarlet in tow, Linda finds herself behind the times, confronted with a queerness that she fails to understand. As she, Ky and Scarlet settle into an uneasy co-existence, they must confront the question: does progress have an endpoint? 
Georgia Bruce’s debut play is a captivating, beautifully rendered family epic. Filled with vivid characters, it compassionately explores the collision of age, radicalism and changing social perspectives.
Core by Jennifer Lunn
Directed by Emily Howlett
How do we change the world when we can’t even sort our own shit? Clem and Jules both care, passionately, about making change: one a climate scientist, one a politician, their marriage was built on shared beliefs. Now it’s falling apart, and the world’s only getting hotter. Teenage Libby, adopted by Jules, might be able to help these two women come together again – but she’s determined to make them hear what future she wants first.
Jennifer Lunn’s furious play brilliantly articulates the issues facing all of us: climate, communication, family. A bilingual play written to be performed in BSL and English, Core gives a voice to the things that matter most, as we prepare for a future in an unrecognisable world.
Wishbone by Esme Mahoney
Directed by Lucy Jane Atkinson
When her best friend Sid dies on a date, Loz shuts herself away in the flat they used to share. Unable to face the terrifying realities of the outside world, she exists in an anxious limbo. Until Sid reappears…
Battling against manifestation, misogyny and Beelzebub himself, Sid is determined to help Loz reclaim her life. But can she do it before the tour bus leaves for the hole in the horizon? And why does she have to eat so much rotisserie chicken…?
Wishbone is a fresh and funny take on women’s safety, loss, and enduring friendship. Bursting with wit and passion, rage and joy, Esme Mahoney’s debut play showcases a striking creative power.
Little India by Dilan Raithatha
Directed by Aneesha Srinivasan
Family’s a peculiar thing: it’s always there for you, until it’s not. Sachin finds himself back in his childhood home; his brother Rishi never left. They root through their old things, waiting to cremate their Dad. They know they should be growing up, supporting their Mum, moving on, yet it’s so much easier to bicker in the basement and pretend the loss isn’t real, not yet. Plus, Sachin has a decision to make before he can give the eulogy, one that might change the family for ever.
This is an absorbing portrait of a family slowly adjusting to bereavement. Dilan Raithatha’s debut play plunges us into a family in the most moving and challenging of times.
Find out more about The Playwright’s Laboratory HERE.