Mon 28 Nov 22
An Essex graduate has joined an illustrious group of people to win one of Britain’s top playwriting awards – with his first ever script.
Novice Nathan Queeley-Dennis defied his inexperience to scoop the 2022 Bruntwood Prize for his play, Bullring Techno Makeout Jamz.
Judges described the script as “vibrant, laugh-out-loud and a moving tribute” to young people growing up in Birmingham, which is where Nathan is from.
The former East 15 student, who graduated with a BA Acting and Community Theatre in 2016, claimed the top award during a ceremony held at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.
The Bruntwood Prize aims to help writers have scripts adapted for the stage.
A delighted Nathan said: “To win the Bruntwood prize for playwriting means so much.
“It’s one of the most prestigious prizes in playwriting.
“To be amongst the names of some of the greatest writers and plays the country has produced is very surreal.
“When I found out I won it was just every feeling I’ve ever felt hitting me at once. It was pure overwhelming joy.”
Nathan describes Bullring Techno Makeout Jamz as a play about a young man on a journey of self-discovery, exploring black masculinity through Beyoncé lyrics, techno raves and the deeply intimate relationship a man has with his barber.
He added: “My inspiration came from mainly wanting to share a story to the world from a perspective that isn’t often shown, it’s joyous and relatable but also vulnerable and honest.”
East 15 Director, Dr Chris Main, said: “We are delighted to see Nathan win one of the most prestigious awards for playwriting in the UK.
“Nathan’s creativity has shone through and his rise since studying with us here at East 15 has been remarkable.
“His dedication and talent are an inspiration to both our staff and students, and his success is the perfect example of the brilliant things being achieved by East 15 alumni.
“We are proud to have played a role in Nathan’s journey and we are already excited to see what plans he has for his next play.”