Lucy Kirkwood wins Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Phoebe Waller-Bridge receives special commendation

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The winners of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize were announced today (25 February), with both the main award and special commendation going to NHB authors.

The winner of the prize was Lucy Kirkwood for her engrossing thriller Chimerica. A gripping political examination and engaging personal drama about an American photojournalist searching for the subject of his most famous photograph - the mysterious Tinananmen Square Tank Man - Chimerica enjoyed a hit West End transfer to the Harold Pinter Theatre last summer, following its initial sell-out run at the Almeida Theatre. It was praised by Time Out as 'the play of the year', and has already won the Evening Standard and Critics' Circle Awards for Best New Play. Last year, Lucy was also named as the UK recipient of the inaugural Berwin Lee Playwrights Award, a major new prize designed to build links between the UK and US new writing scenes.

This year's special commendation was awarded to Phoebe Waller-Bridge for her comic monologue Fleabag. The outrageous play, which premiered at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe before transferring to the Soho Theatre, London, last September, has already won Phoebe a Fringe First, Stage Award for Best Solo Performer, and the Critics' Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright.

Established in 1978, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize is given annually to a female playwright working in English. Previous NHB winners include Caryl Churchill (twice), Elizabeth Kuti and Chloe Moss. The other 2014 nominees were Caroline Bird, Sheila Callaghan, Alexandra Collier, Lauren Gunderson, Joanna Murray-Smith, Lucy Prebble, Theresa Rebeck and Beth Steel.

Susan Smith Blackburn Prize winners - Special Offer

To celebrate our authors' success, we're offering a special deal on the two plays listed above. Get either of the recognised plays - Chimerica or Fleabag - at 50% off when you use the code BLACKBURN at checkout. This offer is valid until Monday 31 March.

  • Chimerica