Winner for ETPEP Award 2020, and Finborough Theatre Plans for 2021 announced


The Finborough Theatre today announces the winner for the ETPEP Award 2020. The winner is Julia Grogan for Playfight.

Playwright Julia Grogan is 24, and grew up in Warwickshire. She trained as an actor at Rose Bruford College, graduating in 2018. Her acting work includes At Sea (BBC Radio 4), Belly Up (Vault Festival 2020) and Island Town (Catalyst Festival). While working behind the bar at the Royal Court Theatre, she was invited to join their Intro Writers’ Group and as a result wrote Playfight, her very first play.

Kiera, Zainab and Lucy are smart, outrageous and savvy. They’ve figured out that there are some things school sex ed lessons don’t cover. Now, as they grow from girls into womxn, they’re going to find the answers…

Informed by the rise in violence in mainstream pornography, Playfight interrogates the dangerous reality of hyper-sexualisation, experimentation and exploitation for womxn coming of age today. How we love, the pain we feel, the lengths we go to…

The ETPEP Award 2020 is a playwriting prize for new UK playwrights who work or have worked in the theatre industry, run by the Finborough Theatre in association with the Experienced Theatre Practitioners Early Playwriting Trust (ETPEP).

The winner will receive a prize of £6,000, a development relationship with the Finborough Theatre including one-to-one dramaturgy with Finborough Theatre Artistic Director and playwright Neil McPherson; and an online rehearsed reading performance of the winning play in March 2021. Nine longlisted candidates will also receive a prize of £300.

The judges for the 2020 Award were playwright Winsome Pinnock; Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre and playwright Neil McPherson; Literary Manager of the Finborough Theatre and playwright Sue Healy; actor Oliver Ford Davies; actor, playwright and activist Athena Stevens; and Clive Webster of the Experienced Theatre Practitioners Early Playwriting Trust, which founded the award.

For a full list of longlisted and shortlisted candidates for the ETPEP Award, please visit

The ETPEP Award will return in 2021. Entries will open on January 1st and close on April 30th 2021. The main prize will again be £6,000 with nine longlist prizes of £300 each. For 2021, the winning play will also be published by Salamander Street, independent publisher of theatre, performance and live art.

The winner of last year’s ETPEP Award, Fence by Abigail Andjel, will also be produced at the Finborough Theatre in 2022.

Details at

The Finborough Theatre is also announcing its other plans for 2021.

In addition to the return of the ETPEP Award, the Finborough Theatre is planning to reopen for live performance in September 2021. In the meantime, from January 2021, will be expanding its acclaimed #FinboroughForFree series of monthly online releases into new and original content.

The first original production will be the previously announced Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels by Finborough Theatre Playwright in Residence Athena Stevens, and directed by Lily McLeish. A new play repurposed for online viewing, it will be presented in 28 separate episodes, streaming daily at 6.00pm from 18 January 2021, culminating in a recording of the whole play available from 15 February until 18 March 2021. It will also be streaming simultaneously on Scenesaver with subtitles.

February will see entries open for Poplarism!, a multidisciplinary digital arts festival celebrating the centenary of the Poplar Rates Rebellion of 1921. With the patronage of Dame Angela Lansbury, Poplarism! is a unique partnership between the Finborough Theatre and Poplar Union – two very different venues joining together in a spirit of cross-London partnership and reconciliation to celebrate this milestone in London’s history. Open to residents of Kensington and Chelsea and Tower Hamlets, entries will open in February 2021 and be streamed online in May 2021. Full information will be announced in early January 2021.

March’s release will be a rehearsed reading of this year’s ETPEP Award winning play, Playfight by Julia Grogan, and more new productions will be announced in due course.

The Finborough Theatre’s #SaveOurTheatres Crowdfunder is running until 31 December 2020, and all new donations to our Crowdfunder are now matched (up to a total matched donation amount of £10,000).

Since May 2020, the Finborough Theatre’s #FinboroughForFree series has released monthly free-to-view archive recordings of previous Finborough Theatre productions, gaining six Off West End Award OnComm Awards. Two award-winning Finborough plays are still available – I Wish To Die Singing – Voices from the Armenian Genocide plays until 31 December, and Sarah Grochala’s S-27 until 31 January. All releases are also available simultaneously with subtitles on Scenesaver. Our Olivier Award nominated production of It Is Easy To Be Dead is also currently streaming in the Netherlands as part of Sismo Stories’ specially curated online selection of the best of UK theatre.

The Finborough Forum, our invitation-only group for theatre creatives has also gone virtual with monthly Q&A sessions with industry guest speakers now available to watch online, and will continue in 2021.

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