David Ireland wins Meyer Whitworth Award for Everything Between Us

Posted on 13 October 2011 in Dramaturgy

Tinderbox’s winning streak continues with another award for playwright David Ireland

David Ireland

David Ireland has been awarded with the prestigious 2011 Meyer-Whitworth Award for Best New Play by an Emerging Writer for his stage play Everything Between Us which was commissioned and produced by company Tinderbox in 2010 and has been performed in Belfast, Glasgow and America to rave reviews.

Ireland was presented with his prize at an awards ceremony in London’s National Theatre. Amongst his competitors was fellow Northern Ireland playwright Jimmy McAleavey who was nominated for another Tinderbox commission, The Sign of the Whale and Hannah Khalil who was nominated for Plan D a play Tinderbox presented as a rehearsed reading at the Pick n Mix festival 2009.

Supported by the Royal National Theatre Foundation, the Meyer-Whitworth Award aims to help further the careers of UK playwrights who are not yet established. The Award is also intended to draw to public attention the importance of writers in contemporary theatre. Judge Kate Mosse described David Ireland’s play as: ‘a compelling and powerful piece of writing, taking important themes and making them relevant and fresh. More than anything, though, it was the sharpness of the dialogue that impressed and the wonderfully realised two female characters – each plausible, each flawed, both finally, in the end, sympathetic. A tour de force from David Ireland. I can’t wait to see what he does next.’

Ireland said “I’m honoured and delighted to receive the Meyer Whitworth Award for “Everything Between Us”. The play is very close to my heart and was a pleasure to write. To be given this kind of recognition for it is both humbling and inspiring.”

Commenting on Ireland’s achievement Tinderbox’s artistic director Michael Duke: “Everyone at Tinderbox is over the moon for David – this is a very well deserved prize. We have been honoured with a number of our playwrights winning awards in the past 12 months for work commissioned by Tinderbox. David won the Stewart Parker BBC Radio Drama Award for Everything Between Us back in March alongside Jimmy McAleavey who won a New Playwright bursary for The Sign of the Whale. Colin Bell’s God’s Country, which featured alongside Everything Between Us in our True North season received the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s Audience Award last year too. This recognition is evident of the commitment at Tinderbox to new writing and to developing plays and playwrights.”

Everything Between Us was developed through Arts Council of Northern Ireland initiatives including the Joint Sectoral Dramaturgy Project, the Professional Arts Abroad Scheme and National Lottery Project Funding.