March 30, 2015

Jerwood New Playwright Molly Davies wins Pinter Commission

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Playwright Molly Davies received the 2015 Pinter Commission onTuesday 24 March – an award given annually by Lady Antonia Fraser, Harold Pinter’s widow, to support a new commission at the Royal Court Theatre.

The Pinter Commission is now in its fourth year and is given each year to support a playwright to write a new play for the Royal Court Theatre. There are no restrictions on the award, which can be given to any playwright from a first time, unpublished writer to one already established.

Molly Davies’ first play, A Miracle, was produced in 2009 at the Royal Court Theatre as part of the Young Writers’ Festival after Molly took part in several writing groups at the Royal Court. She was subsequently commissioned by the Royal Court, writing God Bless The Child, which looked at government schemes and their place in the education system. The play, produced in 2014 with a cast of eight 8 year olds, was inspired from years of working in the schools system as a Teaching Assistant. God Bless the Child was part of the Royal Court’s Jerwood New Playwrights programme, which aims to discover and support the next generation of world class playwrights, supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.

Molly’s other credits include Shooting Truth for National Theatre Connections and Orpheus & Eurydice for National Youth Theatre and Old Vic Tunnels.

Molly Davies, Playwright said:
‘Receiving the Pinter Commission is very humbling as Harold Pinter has always been a great inspiration to me. I’m so grateful to Lady Antonia Fraser and the Royal Court for the opportunity and encouragement.’

Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director of the Royal Court said:
‘I am thrilled to be announcing Molly Davies as the fourth recipient of our prestigious Pinter Commission. Molly’s writing is quietly but fiercely political, is taut and ambitious and I am delighted that this enables us to commission her again. Pinter was not only recognised as an extraordinary playwright and thinker, but was also a vigorous and passionate supporter of new talent, understanding deeply the highs and lows of building a career in theatre. Lady Antonia’s generosity and vision in creating this award ensures his legacy influences long into our future.’

Lady Antonia Fraser said:
‘I believe that the Pinter Commission is exactly what Harold would have wanted. Because he had experienced the devastating rejection of his early work, he knew the true value of encouragement. New writing was always intensely important to Harold and Molly Davies is a welcome recipient of the 2015 Award.’

Molly joins fellow Jerwood New Playwrights Anders Lusgarten, Nick Payne and Roy Mularkey who also won the Pinter Commission in 2011, 2012 and 2014 respectively. 

Royal Court, Jerwood New Playwrights, Molly Davies' God Bless the Child. Image: Manuel Harlan