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Mercury Monologues in association with Josef Weinberger Ltd

The Mercury Theatre and Josef Weinberger are joining forces once again, following their successful partnership on the 2018 Mercury Weinberger Playwriting Prize, to discover a new cohort of talent by engaging with aspiring writers and creatives during these uncertain times.

Huge thanks to everyone who took part in our #MercuryMonologues competition!

Over the past 6 weeks we have been blown away by the number and quality of the submissions we’ve received.

Our congratulations go to our 7 winners, whose monologues remain on our website and YouTube channel for all to enjoy. Many thanks also to the talented actors who brought our winning scripts to life each week – it has been a joy working with each and every one of you.

We are delighted to announce that we will be partnering with Josef Weinberger Ltd on another exciting writing project very soon. Keep an eye out for more information in the coming weeks!

Week 1: Temptation

Huge congratulations to Diane Crotty, the first winner of our Mercury Monologues Competition!

Diane is a Dublin-based playwright, dramaturg, director and performer, who’s writing credits include RISK (New Theatre as part of the 2016 Dublin Fringe), Absolute Beginners (New Theatre as part of the 2017 season), Spandex Blues (Smock Alley 2016).

The Mercury and Josef Weinberger Ltd are proud to present Diane’s winning monologue Saltborn, which has been read for the Mercury by actress Charity Wakefield (Doctor Who, Bounty Hunters, Wolf Hall).

Week 2: Magic

Congratulations to Kieran Vyas, the second Winner of our Mercury Monologues Competition!

Kieran trained as an actor at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire before working professionally across all mediums and becoming a Triforce Monologue Slam Champion in 2016. He now works as a director, acting coach and filmmaker based in the Midlands. He has worked on projects for Curve Theatre Leicester, the BBC, award-winning theatre company Strictly Arts, and several top drama schools including ALRA, RBC and Central School of Speech and Drama.

The Mercury and Josef Weinberger Ltd are proud to present Kieran’s winning monologue “To Call a Wolf”, performed by Jonathan Livingstone (Death in Paradise, 2011; Treasure Island, 2015; and The Witches, 2020).

Week 3: BOX

Congratulations to our week 3 winner Michelle Payne.

Michelle is a director and playwright from Essex and the recent recipient of the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme. She also trained in acting at Arts Ed & Performance Preparation Academy and playwriting with Philip Ayckbourn at the Queens Theatre Hornchurch. Her first play, Orchid, won two awards at its first outing at the Moors Theatre (Camden Fringe) in 2015 (Best New Writing & Best Actress: Michelle Payne). Michelle is currently in the process of developing her play Squad Goals about female footballers in Essex for the Park Theatre Prism Project.

The Mercury and Weinberger Plays Ltd are proud to present “Memory Box” by Michelle Payne, read by Hannah Khalique-Brown (SQUAD GOALS, The Other Palace; Almost Paradise, Bunker Theatre; and Tin Luck, winner of the OneStopFilm short film award).

Week 4: Magic 8

Congratulations to our Week 4 winner Kelly Jones!

Kelly Jones is a Playwright and comedy cabaret performer from Essex.  She was the winner of the BBC Wales Drama Award, Writers in Residency at Theatr Clywd and has recently completed the Emerging Playwrights Program at The Bush Theatre.

Her credits include: Comma – Sherman Theatre, Merry Fucking Christmas Kids – Theatre 503, Humanequin – Messup the Mess and Tammy – Queens Theatre Hornchurch as part of the Essex on stage season.

The Mercury and Weinberger Plays Ltd are proud to present “Garden Paradis-o” by Kelly Jones, read by Sarah Ridgeway (Black Mirror, Shakespeare and Hathaway, The Making of A Lady).

Honourable mentions go out to Matt Gurr with “Spirit Writing” and Charlotte Cromie with “Icosahedron”.

Week 5: Some people are just born with tragedy in their blood

Congratulations to our Week 5 winners, Sepy Baghaei and Nadya Menuhin!

Our first Week 5 winner, Sepy Baghaei is a director and theatre-maker based in London. She works primarily with new writing and verbatim theatre, and has workshopped new plays with the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre Studio.

Her credits include CITIZEN and Wilde Tales at The Space Theatre; Welcome to Iran at Theatre Royal Stratford East/National Theatre and As You Like It at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

The Mercury and Weinberger Plays Ltd are proud to present ‘A Good Day Will Come’ by Sepy Baghaei, read by Isabella Nefar (Jude at Hampstead Theatre; Goats at Royal Court: Salome at the National Theatre)

Our second Week 5 winner is Nadya Menuhin.

Nadya is a London-based playwright, script reader and literary agent representing non-British authors in the UK. She is a recent graduate of the Royal Court Writers’ Group.

The Mercury and Weinberger Plays Ltd are proud to present ‘The Second Rule’ by Nadya Menuhin, read by Dorothea Myer-Bennett (Leopoldstadt at Wyndhams; Much Ado About Nothing at Tobacco Factory; While The Sun Shines at Orange tree).

Week 6: Great Britain

Congratulations to our Week 6 winner, Matt Gurr!

Matt is a playwright from Essex, now based in London. He recently completed the VAULT Festival 2020 New Writers Programme.

The Mercury and Weinberger Plays Ltd are proud to present “Motherland” by Matt Gurr, read by John Omole (The Last King Of Scotland, Sheffield Crucible; To Kill A Mockingbird, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre; King Lear, RSC/Bam, New York).