Belvoir announces Parson’s winner

Belvoir are delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s Philip Parson’s Young Playwright’s Award is Matthew Whittet.

Belvoir are delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s Philip Parson’s Young Playwright’s Award is Matthew Whittet.

Speaking at Belvoir St Theatre on Sunday, November 28, Neil Armfield said: “Matthew is a playwright of great subtlety and wit. His years as an actor have given him a deep understanding of stagecraft, and the ability to see the world through the eyes of his characters. His writing stood out amongst a strong field of applications for its candour and pathos. We eagerly anticipate the first draft.”

The other writers shortlisted for the 2010 Award were: Candy Bowers, Jeffrey Jay Fowler, Claudia O’Doherty, post (Zoe Coombs Marr, Mish Grigor and Natalie Rose) and Rick Viede.

Matthew is a Sydney-based actor who started writing 7 years ago. He has written 5 full length plays for the stage – 12, Warren, Silver, Fugitive and Harbinger. His first full length play 12 was short listed for the Patrick White Award in 2006. It was workshopped at the 2006 Australian National Playwrights Conference in Perth, directed by Benedict Andrews.

Warren was written in 2008 and given a public reading by Belvoir in the same year. Silver was developed as part of the B Sharp creative development program and performed by Matthew as part of the 2009 B Sharp Season  and has since been performed at the National Theatre of Iceland in Reykjavik. Matthew has also received 2 commissions, both from Adelaide companies – Windmill Theatre Company (Fugitive) and Brink Productions (Harbinger). They were produced in 2010 and staged in the Space Theatre at the Adelaide Festival Centre.

The Philip Parsons Award is given each year to a playwright whose work demonstrates an original and compelling theatrical voice, and the competition attracts the highest calibre of artists each year.

The Award has a strong tradition of supporting new Australian writing and the work produced through the Award has a remarkable track record. The winner of the 2009 Philip Parsons Young Playwright’s Award, Tahli Corin has spent the last twelve months researching and developing her script Blush. She recently participated in a two week playwright’s workshop with Edward Albee on The Memory Muse and is currently working on a short commission for Sydney Theatre Company as well as a site specific work with sound designer Rosie Chase. She has also been shortlisted for the 2010 Rodney Seaborn Playwright’s Award for The Memory Muse.

Previous winners include Kate Mulvany whose play The Seed premiered at B Sharp in 2007, moved to the Belvoir mainstage in 2008 and toured nationally in 2009. Brendan Cowell’s Ruben Guthrie premiered at B Sharp in 2008 and a new production was staged as part of Belvoir’s season in 2009. Tommy Murphy’s commission Gwen in Purgatory made its premiere as part of Belvoir’s 2010 season, directed by Neil Armfield. Khoa Do, the 2008 winner whose play To 100 Years of Happiness is still in development, had his film Missing Water screened at the 2009 Sydney Film Festival.

The Philip Parsons Young Playwright’s Award is part of the annual Philip Parsons Memorial Lecture, which this year was delivered by writer, academic and critic John McCallum and looked at the future of Australian theatre and playwriting. A transcript of the lecture will be made available via the Belvoir website –

The Philip Parsons Young Playwright’s Award and Memorial Lecture is generously supported by Arts NSW.

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