Over recent year’s there is no denying the local theatre is having a boom time. With the success of plays such as The Railway Children and theatre groups such as Belt Up gaining international praise people seem to be looking north more and more in order to gauge what is up and coming. It therefore comes with little surprise that Leeds theatre company tutti frutti and York Theatre Royal have announced that their co-production of Hare and Tortoise by the acclaimed playwright Brendan Murray has been nominated in the Best Play for Children and Young People category at the 2012 Writers Guild of Great Britain Awards.
Playwright Brendan Murray said about his nomination “I’m really delighted about being short-listed for a Writers Guild Award. Things are getting better but it’s still the case that writing for young audiences – even for companies like tutti frutti who are at the top of their game – rarely attracts much critical attention. So it’s lovely to have your work acknowledged by your peers – and doubly so when you find yourself in the company of such writers as Kevin Dyer and Evan Placey.
Hare & Tortoise was a wonderful project for me: never particularly easy but always really well supported by the other artists involved – without whom the play simply wouldn’t be what it is. Working for this age-range, plays need to have real clarity without sacrificing richness or complexity and, for me, this took a bit of doing. But in the end – despite/because of its simplicity – I felt it was one of the best things I’d written for some time.”
tutti frutti’s Artistic Director Wendy Harris added “We are really thrilled Brendan has been nominated for this award; it is so well deserved, and we are delighted at the response the play evoked from children and families on both its national tours in 2011 and 2012. This award is important as it reminds us of the value of work for younger children and the importance and need for the young to have access to their cultural entitlement. It is also important for tutti frutti as it endorses our commitment to finding new ways of working with writers to create magical and relevant creative experiences for our young children.”
Playwright Brendan Murray has undertaken many commissions over his distinguished career including working with The Crucible Studio Sheffield, The Unicorn Theatre, The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, and Polka Theatre. His work has been produced throughout the UK as well as in Europe, Japan, Australia, and the USA. His awards have included The Brian Way Award and The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Award for Best Play: Children & Young People.
The other nominated plays in the category are Angel by Kevin Dyer for Theatre Hullabaloo, and Holloway Jones by Evan Placey, commissioned and produced by Synergy Theatre Project.
From Thursday September 27 – Saturday13 October tutti frutti and York Theatre Royal will be staging their latest co- production Rapunzel in the Studio at York Theatre Royal. The production will then tour the UK until 23 February 2013. For tickets for York Theatre Royal contact the Royal Box Office on 01904 623568.