Character Seven is delighted to sponsor the Verity Bargate Award alongside Soho Theatre. The VBA looks for extraordinary voices and unique styles which stand out from the crowd and tell inspiring, unheard stories.


Established in 1982 to honour the co-founder of Soho Theatre, the award funds the commissioning of a play to be produced at the theatre.

Past winners include Vicky Jones, Thomas Eccleshare, Insook Chappell, Matt Charman, Bonnie Greer and Toby Whithouse.

Recent judges include Russell T Davies, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Arinze Kene, Lolita Chakrabarti and Laura Wade.

Judges for 2022

This year’s award was judged by a panel of industry experts including past Soho playwrights Theresa Ikoko (‘Girls’, 2015, Soho Theatre), James Graham (‘Tory Boyz’, 2008, and ‘Monster Raving Loony’, 2016, Soho Theatre) and Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (‘Mum’, 2021, Soho Theatre), as well as April De Angelis (‘Jumpy’, 2011, Royal Court and 2012, West End). The award is chaired by film and television producer, Character 7’s Stephen Garrett.


Winner 2022

Sam Grabiner’s 'Boys on the Verge of Tears' wins Verity Bargate Award 2022

From close to 1,500 entries, a longlist of 17 inspiring and fantastically realised voices, and a shortlist of six unique new plays, Soho Theatre is thrilled to announce Sam Grabiner’s 'Boys on the Verge of Tears' as the winner of the Verity Bargate Award 2022. The production will have its world premiere at Soho Theatre in 2023. Rhianna Ilube’s 'Samuel Takes a Break in Male Dungeon N°5 After a Long but Generally Successful Day of Tours' receives the Highly Commended Award

The other shortlisted plays are:

Soho Theatre has announced the six plays shortlisted for the 40th anniversary of Soho Theatre’s Character 7 sponsored Verity Bargate Award:

'A Young Man Comes' by Alan Mahon
'Everything I’m Thinking, All of the Time' by Sam Ward
'Porn Play' by Sophie Chetin-Leuner
'Samuel Takes a Break in Male Dungeon N°5 After a Long but Generally Successful Day of Tours' by Rhianna Ilube
'Working Men' by Benjamin Kuffuor


Winner 2020

Amanda Wilkin won the 2020 Verity Bargate Award with her play ‘Shedding A Skin’

“As sponsor of the Verity Bargate Award, I could not be more thrilled that 'Shedding A Skin' has won this year’s prize. Amanda Wilkin has crafted a play that is as funny as it is warm, as profound as it is of the moments. She’s captured a generation. It’s a work of incredible beauty and great wit, she will go far.”
Character 7’s Stephen Garrett

“I was not prepared to be kidnapped by a play and a voice so completely as I was by Amanda Wilkin’s 'Shedding A Skin'. I’m excited to see this profound, funny, modern, stark and hopeful play performed at Soho Theatre. Then of course, after that, just everything Amanda puts her pen to!”
Phoebe Waller-Bridge



★ ★ ★ ★ “A sensation.” The Independent
★ ★ ★ ★ “A shrewd and zingy comedy.” The Telegraph
★ ★ ★ ★ “Amanda Wilkin gives a cracking performance in her richly written show about growing to know yourself" The Stage