Diverse short-list announced for Edinburgh University's international drama prize

CRIMINAL justice, race and the dark side of social media are the themes explored in the plays that have made the shortlist of this year’s James Tait Black Prize for Drama.
Shortlisted, [BLANK] by Alice BirchShortlisted, [BLANK] by Alice Birch
Shortlisted, [BLANK] by Alice Birch

The international drama prize, which is awarded annually by the University of Edinburgh is linked to the UK’s oldest literary awards and carries a prize of £10,000 for the winner.

Chosen from more than 80 entries from around the world, the three diverse short-listed works nominated for the prize explore the sexual politics of the Notting Hill Carnival and examine the ownership of Black bodies online and in real life. Also in the running is an experimental piece that probes the impact of the criminal justice system on people’s life experiences.

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The plays are [BLANK], by Alice Birch, a mosaic of 60 unrelated scenes telling the stories of adults and children caught up in the criminal justice system; J’Ouvert, by Yasmin Joseph, based on the streets of Notting Hill amid the vibrancy of its famous Carnival; and Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner, by Jasmine Lee-Jones, which is a reflection of the Black British experience told through the story of two best friends.

Chair of the judging panel Greg Walker says, “When considering the award, we ask our judges to nominate dramas that make them look at life a little differently, and this year’s James Tait Black nominees more than fit the bill in this challenging year.”

The winner of the prize will be announced in September at a virtual awards ceremony.

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