The Alfred Fagon Award was established in 1996 to commemorate the life and work of playwright Alfred Fagon.
Each year the award seeks to recognise the best original play written by a British playwright of Caribbean or African descent. Last year’s winner was Juliet Gilkes Romero who won the Alfred Fagon award for her play The Whip and writer Kalungi Ssebandeke won the Roland Rees Bursary – an annual bursary of up to £3,000 is awarded to enable playwrights to devote more time to their writing presented at the award ceremony.
The competition is open to any playwright of Caribbean or African descent, resident in the UK, for the best original, new stage play in English. The play does not need to have been produced. However, if it has, only plays produced since August 2020 will be considered. The deadline for entries is Friday 30th July 2021, with the winner being announced at The Alfred Fagon Award ceremony in November 2021.
Alfred Fagon lived in Clarendon Jamaica, Nottingham, Bristol, and London. He was a boxing champion, a welder, an actor, poet, and playwright. After his untimely death in 1986, his friends held a memorial evening at Tricycle Theatre to commemorate his life and work. The donations collected at the memorial formed the basis of the Alfred Fagon Award to recognise Black British playwrights from the Caribbean.
The first award was supported by Arts Council England and The Peggy Ramsay Foundation and was presented to Roy Williams. The Peggy Ramsay Foundation continues to support the Award and the prize this year for the winning writer is £6,000.
Roland Rees co-founded as Artistic Director Foco Novo, one of the earliest, innovative touring UK Fringe Theatre companies. In sixteen years with Foco Novo he worked experimentally with new writers, designers, actors, musicians, producers and administrators who have taken their experience into mainstream theatre, TV and films. Rees was a long-time friend and colleague of Alfred, directing three of his plays.
Rees chaired the Alfred Fagon Award from 1997 – 2009. Rees died in 2015. The Roland Rees Bursary has been created in his name.
In 2006 the founding patrons extended the reach of the Award to also recognise Black British African playwrights.
The trustees of The Alfred Fagon Award are: Yvonne Brewster OBE Sheelagh Killeen-Rees James Olusola Oyeleye James St. Ville Brian Walters Hogan The founders of the Award are: Yvonne Brewster OBE Mustapha Matura Oscar James Sheelagh Killeen -Rees Roland Rees Paul Stephenson OBE.
Deadline for applications to the Alfred Fagon Award close 5pm, Friday 30 July 2021. Find out more and how to submit your play here.