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2023 Shortlist

The shortlist of writers for the 2023 Women’s Prize for Playwriting.

We’re delighted to present our Shortlist for 2023


Alison Carr

In this dark drama, a family fractured by an unforgivable crime are reunited and no one emerges unscathed.


Caoimhe Farren
Hello Charlie

Maeve has hidden behind he drunken alter-ego, Charlie, for years. Can she finally say goodbye to her beloved and make amends, or will Charlie take over completely?


Daisy Hall

In a thunderstorm, two bellringers wait for lightning to strike.


Danielle Phillips
Children of the Night

Doncaster’s infamous club Karisma opens its doors for the final time, but what happens to the town and punters it leaves behind?
Child of the night, Lindsay Jenkins won’t let it go without a fight.
A love poem to Donny and a feisty middle finger to Thatcher.
Karisma. Are. You. Ready?


elle van lil
the thing about touch.

Through Mo’s carousel of intimate partners, we learn how her life is touched by every person she’s ever touched.


Emma Gibson

The pigs are stressed, Liv won’t eat, and Ma wants everyone to follow the Constitutions. Set in a modern-day commune on the outskirts of the Chihuahuan desert in Texas, this new play about our need for community, asks why the line between delusion and what the rest of us believe, is getting blurrier than ever.


Esme Mahoney

When her best friend Sid dies on a date, Loz enters an anxiety spiral that prevents her from attending the funeral. This brings Sid raging back to her door, pursued by Hades, Beelzebub, and a weirdly hot, emotionally complicated, Archangel Gabriel.


Esohe Uwadiae
Pots and Pans and Prayers

When their husband/father is kidnapped during a trip to Nigeria, a mother and her three daughters must race against greed, embassies and family secrets to get him back.


Jess Edwards
Spooky Action at a Distance

A love story about physics, for two performers of any gender, which begins like a Richard Curtis rom-com and ends as a terrible co-dependent nightmare. Just like life.


Linda Marshall Griffiths

El Irving disappeared seventeen years ago. When his sister Tor, sees him on screen at a protest, she embarks on a journey that will lead her to the invisible.


Louisa Hayford

Ghana 1957 in the lead up to the country’s independence, JOY and DAFEEN DONKOR the two warring wives of JOHN DONKOR, seek independence on their own terms.


Martha Watson Allpress
Ask Her If She Still Keeps All Her Kings in the Back Row

Ella loves Travis, Travis loves Ella. Travis is ill, Ella is tired. And then Ella fucks Toby. Ask Her If She Still Keeps All Her Kings in the Back Row is a play about coping, or not coping. Yeah it’s a play about not coping at all.


Rachel Mars

BLOOD PLAY is a big camp epic about the medieval Church’s creation of the blood libel myth in Norwich, smashed against the contemporary wellness/medical world that trades in similar territory. Money, power, and really shitty saints.


Sandy Foster

When Beth loses her baby, grief arrives as a fully-formed symphony. Haunted by its looping presence, Beth is left with a choice. Let it destroy her or get it out.


Sarah Grochala

When a Victorian female computing pioneer tries to make a career for herself as a serious scientist, her path is blocked by men in every direction. When she gets the chance to try again, first in World War II America and 1980s Silicon Valley, she realises that there is more at stake than her own thirst for fame: it’s the very nature of intelligence that she should be fighting for.


Sepy Baghaei
A Good Day Will Come

A Good Day Will Come is a new play inspired by the ongoing ‘Woman Life Freedom’ revolution in Iran. The play interrogates the responses of two women to the unfolding events – Ariane, a photographer in Iran, and Suri, a playwright in the diaspora – both of whom ask themselves: “What do I do?


Shaan Sahota
The Angels Were Worms

Its 1618 and the Italian miller Menocchio won’t put his trust in corrupt ‘educated experts.’ He can see what’s real, he can see what’s right – and is but on trial by the Roman Inquisition for his theory that the planets formed from curdling cheese.


Sonali Bhattacharyya
King Troll (The Fawn)

A dystopian tale about the corrosive impact of state racism and the monster within on two migrant sisters.


Zoe Cooper
Cambium Layer

Susie and her adult daughter Skye bicker about everything: from Susie’s worsening MS and rather lax attitude to kitchen hygiene, to the increasing flood risk that threatens her home. When unemployed and troubled Simon invites himself in, Skye is suspicious – but perhaps this new friendship holds the key to coping with the rising tide.

Well done. And good luck…