The Donmar Warehouse announces a new award to commission playwrights, in partnership with Access Entertainment, owner of the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

The Theatre Royal Haymarket Writers’ Award will commission two new writers each year to support the development of their careers on main stages. Each writer will receive a full commission to write a play as well as access to the Donmar’s creative talent who will offer support for the research and development of the writers’ ideas, through readings and workshops with professional actors. Access Entertainment has committed to funding the award for a pilot three years, starting this year, 2021.

The 2021 recipients of the Theatre Royal Haymarket Writers’ Award are Chris Bush and Diana Nneka Atuona.

Chris Bush said
"I've always been a huge fan of the Donmar Warehouse, and the epic intimacy its stage offers. My play is a very important, very personal project to me, and I am delighted to receive a commission from this brilliant theatre."

Diana Nneka Atuona added
"My project is an ambitious play about history and community. It's a play with many parts including music and cultural diversity. Receiving the award will grant me the opportunity and time to produce a polished piece of work”.

Michael Longhurst, Artistic Director, Donmar Warehouse said:
“This award was created to build opportunities for talented writers with the aim of getting ambitious plays onto our stages.

We’re delighted to be collaborating with Chris and Diana, who both have big and ambitious ideas for plays that moved me deeply, asking important questions about identity, and what stories occupy our spaces. It’s so exciting to be able to commission Chris and Diana who share the Donmar's passion and commitment to “important stories, thrillingly told, widely shared”. I am very inspired by their writing and instinct for stories that are both personal and epic. I am looking forward to working alongside them both, as well as all future recipients of this award. We are grateful to be working alongside Access Entertainment to support the future work of artists during this extremely difficult period for theatre”.

Danny Cohen, President, Access Entertainment said:
“We are delighted to be partnering with the Donmar on this new Award. The aim is to provide new opportunities for the UK’s most exciting talent at a time when the theatre industry and everyone working in it are facing huge challenges. Congratulations to this year’s Award winners – Chris Bush and Diana Nneka Atuona. We are greatly looking forward to seeing what they produce.”