The Silver Gull Play Award competition this year attracted a large variety of entries, with an extremely high standard of scripts submitted.

The judging panel read, assessed and discussed each submission multiple times. The identity of the writers was kept anonymous from the judges, so the shortlist truly reflects a determination made on merit, based solely on the quality of the writing.

After a month of deliberation, a shortlist of five plays has been selected. The judges were impressed by how each writer responded to the brief for plays that speak to New Theatre’s ethos of ‘Plays With a Purpose’, and the merit of scripts demonstrates the amazing strength and diversity of playwriting in this country. 

The shortlist for The Silver Gull Play Award 2023 is:
Next To Godliness
 by Alastair Brown

Chicken In A Biscuit by Mary Rachel Brown and Jamie Oxenbould
Burning by Christopher Bryant
The Mews by Joanna Erskine
The Dragonfly by Simon Thomson

The curator of the awards is New Theatre’s Artistic Associate, Helen Tonkin, and the judging panel for this year’s award is: Louise Fischer (Artistic Director, New Theatre), Helen Tonkin, New Theatre’s Play Assessors panel (Annie Bilton, Michael Briggs, John Keightley, Doug Cairns, Susan Jordan, Sahn Millington), Saro Lusty Cavallari (freelance director), Joy Minter (sponsor of the award), Patrick Howard (freelance theatre-maker and Arts on Tour Program Manager), Eloise Snape (freelance actor/writer/producer, and Creative Producer, Critical Stages), and Jeremy Waters (freelance actor/producer and Artistic Director, Outhouse Theatre Company). 

Congratulations to the shortlisted writers, who will share in a total prize pool of $7000 courtesy of sponsor Joy Minter. We’re looking forward to presenting rehearsed readings of excerpts from the shortlisted plays, directed by Tiffany Wong (Artistic Director, Slanted Theatre), at the awards night on Monday 23 October, when the winner will be announced. 

Original artwork © Michael Tonkin