Writer wins script commission in BBC Cymru Wales, BBC Writersroom Wales and National Theatre Wales award
The winner of the inaugural Wales Writer in Residence award has been announced as Rhiannon Boyle. The Holyhead-born scriptwriter will be given an unique opportunity to develop her craft under the guidance of the BBC Cymru Wales, BBC Writersroom Wales and National Theatre Wales over the course of a year.
As part of her prize Rhiannon will have a broadcast credit on BBC Radio 4 and/or BBC Sounds, a £12,000 bursary, and two consecutive residencies; an initial six months with BBC Cymru Wales and BBC Writersroom Wales including working with BBC Studios, followed by six months with National Theatre Wales. Keeping Faith writer Matthew Hall, who was a guest judge for the award, will also be her mentor.
Matthew Hall said:
“The shortlisted entries all exhibited unique qualities and each had interesting and surprising characters. I was looking for a story which contained the crucial elements of drama: a layered and complex central character and a story with dramatic conflict and surprising twists. It was a difficult decision, but ultimately Rhiannon’s script combined more of these vital ingredients than the other entries and she had created a protagonist who left a lingering impression.”
Rhiannon collected the award at a special ceremony at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff, this evening (Wednesday 2 October) on the set of the latest National Theatre Wales and Royal Court co-production, Ed Thomas’ On Bear Ridge.
Rhiannon originally trained as an actor but started writing in 2007, and has screenwriting credits for productions on S4C.
Her winning script, Impacted, tells the story of Alys, a teacher whose life unravels when a colleague and friend is arrested for possessing indecent images of children. Overwhelmed with feelings of confusion and disbelief, Alys turns to the internet as she tries to make sense of what’s happened.
Wales Writer in Residence Rhiannon Boyle said:
“Winning the Wales Writer in Residence is an amazing opportunity because I have so many interesting stories to tell. At this early stage of my writing journey the mentorship and guidance offered will allow me to develop my voice and perfect my skills. This is an excellent springboard to launch my career in drama and I am extremely excited to get started with both the BBC and National Theatre Wales.”
BBC Cymru Wales Director Rhodri Talfan Davies said:
“Many congratulations to Rhiannon on winning this year’s residency. With such an obvious gift for storytelling, it’s going to be exciting see her development over the next 12 months. Both BBC Wales and National Theatre Wales are determined to develop the next generation of Welsh writers and this year’s competition has once again demonstrated the phenomenal natural talent that exists here in Wales.”
Kully Thiarai, Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales said:
“Huge congratulations to Rhiannon Boyle for winning the Wales Writer in Residence award in what was a highly competitive field. Her script was rich with story and character and tackled a difficult subject in surprising ways, enabling us to be drawn into the emotional world of the lead character Alys.
“I’m thrilled we’ve had such a great response to the WWiR initiative, an initiative that celebrates and raises the profile of our talented writers in Wales . The list of finalists reflects the quality of submissions to this year’s award with a rich and varied range of scripts. We are really looking forward to welcoming Rhiannon into the team at National Theatre Wales and working closely with her in the development of her ideas for an original stage work.”