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Bruntwood Prize: Timothy X Atack wins top drama award at fifth attempt

A Bristol-based writer and composer has won Europe’s biggest playwriting competition at the fifth attempt.

Timothy X Atack has entered the biennial Bruntwood Prize every time since it began except one.

This year, he has triumphed over 1,897 other entrants to win the £16,000 top prize for his play Heartworm.

Atack, who has already had plays produced on stage and on BBC Radio 4, was named the winner at a ceremony at Manchester’s Royal Exchange theatre.

He is currently working at the venue as sound designer on the stage version of the 1978 punk film Jubilee.

Image copyright The Other Richards Image caption Laurie Nunn won a judges’ award worth £8,000

The Royal Exchange will now stage his winning play, about a couple who rent their spare room to an unusual guest, in collaboration with London’s Royal Court.

Royal Court artistic director Vicky Featherstone described Heartworm as “a brilliantly unnerving and visceral piece of work by a distinctive and vividly theatrical voice”.

Judges’ awards of £8,000 each went to Tim Foley, Sharon Clark and Laurie Nunn, daughter of former National Theatre artistic director Trevor Nunn.

She entered her debut play King Brown, which explores racism in 1970s Australia.

The judges included screenwriter Russell T Davies, playwright Lucy Prebble and Kirsty Lang, host of Radio 4’s Front Row.

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