The Octagon is thrilled to announce the winners of the first ever National Octagon Prize. In 2016 the Octagon invited writers to submit 40-minute dramatic monologues of any theme or genre. After receiving hundreds of entries from across the globe, the Octagon is delighted to announce that the winners are Charlotte Josephine with her entry Blue, Ian Townsend with Being Amazing and Shauna Mackay with Nobody Can Never Get us Back.
The winning monologues were chosen by an esteemed panel of judges, including Sue Emmas (Associate Artistic Director, Young Vic); Amit Sharma (Associate Director, Graeae and Associate Artistic Director, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester); Aisha Khan (Co-Artistic Director, Freedom Studios); Max Stafford-Clark (Artistic Director, Out of Joint); Stella Feehily (playwright); Lawrence Till (television director and producer and former Artistic Director, Octagon Theatre); Sue Roberts (BBC Audio Drama Producer for Radio 3 and 4, and editor of Radio 3’s The Verb); and Octagon Theatre Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman.
Elizabeth Newman commented: “It was absolutely brilliant to receive so many wonderful entries for our first National Prize and it was very difficult to choose just three winners. We are thrilled with the winning monologues which are poignant, moving, and hopeful in equal measure. I can’t wait to see these new scripts performed in our building alongside Alan Bennett’s legendary ‘Talking Heads’ in June.”
Charlotte Josephine, Blue: “His tongue’s slimy wet like a whale's lick. Dizzy, I watch him lick his lips, sometimes there’s blue in those flicks.” Life for Amber has always felt grey ‘til suddenly she discovers the secret to tasting technicolour. Problem is, getting your colours like that doesn’t last long. How can you ever get enough of something that only almost works?
Ian Townsend, Being Amazing: One morning 17 year old Leon wakes up believing the day is going to be amazing. The only trouble is, everything – home, college, family, friends, the world at large – seems to be working against him, and the day just keeps getting worse and worse. He has only one hope – his mum’s favourite singer, Kate Bush. But can she save the day?
Shauna Mackay, Nobody Can Never Get Us Back: Yolanda Black is more than her trauma. Yolanda is Yolanda and that’s a lot. She’s got daughters, dogs, jobs, words, shoes—only the one husband—though some might say not quite. Yolanda likes to look after everybody and bother nobody. She is a woman who, if told she was unsung, would sing!
The winning monologues will be performed in the Octagon’s First Words season in the Studio Theatre from Wed 21 June to Sat 8 July 2017. Tickets go on sale on Mon 5 December 2016.