Lesbian And Gay Writing Out Competition Winner

Lesbian And Gay Writing Out Competition Winner

The London Borough of Newham has announced the winner and runner up in the 2002 Lesbian And Gay Writing Out Competition to find the year's best new theatre and film scripts on lesbian and gay theme.

The 1st prize of 1,500 ukp has been awarded to Billy Cowan from Northern Ireland for "Smilin' Through".

The runners up prize of 500 ukp goes to Canadian Don Short for "Full Frontal Diva".

Selections from both plays will receive workshop presentations on Saturday 1st of March 2003 at Stratford Circus Theatre.

Following this showcase the prizes will be presented by playwright Mark Ravenhill (Shopping and F**king, Mother Clapp's Molly House).

More than 140 entries, over three times the number of scripts submitted last year, were received from across the globe, including the UK, USA, Canada, South Africa and Australia, and were judged by competition director Phil Willmott and a team of readers

Winner Billy Cowan is a first time Belfast writer. "Smilin' Through" is an outrageous black comedy in which a ferocious, die-hard Presbyterian, mother discovers that her favourite son Kyle is gay. She wants him out of her house and he wants her to accept him. Both is as stubborn as the other and a stand off ensues with Kyle building a barricade and going on hunger strike (with the help and hindrance of his boyfriend, hen pecked father and a nattily dressed soldier from the Irish Queer Liberation Army) and mum calling in a whole host of reinforcements from an Ian Paisley style politician and a dead terrorist to a celestial visitation from Hollywood veteran Nelson Eddie. Daring, audacious and completely unpredictable this script impressed the judges for its skill and absolute originality.

"Full Frontal Diva" consists of three humane and intriguing hate crime monologues. Each looks at the murder of 14-year-old Donnie from unexpected perspectives. In the first his brother looks down on the mourners through an air duct whilst trying to untangle his contrasting feelings of indifference, anger and shame. In the second Donnie's killer, imprisoned for another crime, reflects on his life but the pieces of the mystery finally come together in a third monologue delivered in the unlikely shape of a drag queen. The judges were impressed by the striking imagery within the bleak landscape of Donnie's small-town world and the ripples of repercussion resulting from his brief and extraordinary life.

Stratford Circus
Theatre Square London E15 1BX
6.30pm Selections from Full Frontal Diva
8.30pm Selections from Smilin' Through
Entry to each reading costs 2.50 ukp
Box Office: 0208 279 1000

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