Online interviewee Jonathan Harvey to mentor Hope Mill playwriting contest

Through the Mill. Inset: playwright Jonathan Harvey

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Paul Genty

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Hope Mill Theatre offers £5,000 prize in playwriting contest

Manchester's Hope Mill Theatre has launched its first ever playwriting prize, with the finalists getting the chance to be mentored by award-winning writer Jonathan Harvey.

The competition, Through the Mill, has been launched in the run-up to an online appearance by Harvey for the theatre this Saturday night at 8pm, hosted by favourite northern actress Denise Welch.

Through the Mill offers a chance for writers to have their work fully produced at Hope Mill Theatre, and is likely to become an annual event. 

The winning writer will receive £5,000 and a production of his or her work at Hope Mill Theatre. Finalists will receive one-to-one mentoring with Jonathan Harvey

The prize is open to all UK-dwelling writers aged 16 years and over. Works must not have received previous professional performance nor be contracted to any other venue or production team.

Plays must be fully-finished and an hour or more in playing length, original – not an adaptation or translation of an established work – and the writer or writers must hold all copyright and other related rights. Musicals and children's plays aren't eligible.

Writers must submit work by November 27 and successful entrants will be shortlisted by the end of January. The winner will be announced at a celebration evening in March, and the winning play presented next autumn. Get full details here

Mentor Jonathan Harvey will be appearing online on Saturday (8pm) and Sunday (7pm) with Denise Welch and several guest hosts well known to TV and theatre fans, including Olivia Colman, Meera Syal and Maria Friedman.

As well as conversation about Harvey’s life and works, audiences will be able to see stars such as Katherine Kingsley, Frances Barber and Emma Clarke in scenes from Harvey’s plays Beautiful Thing, Hushabye Mountain and The Cherry Blossom Tree, as well as songs from musicals for which Harvey  wrote the book, including Dusty: the Dusty Springfield musical and Pet Shop Boys Musical: Musik.

Tickets are available here.

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