Well, it’s been over a month since I wrote anything here and I feel so bad for ignoring you, blog! I’ve just been too busy. Sorry. Although I’ve known since the start of summer that it was going to get bad, I didn’t realize quite how busy autumn would be…

I can now relax (a little) as one project has reached its conclusion. Last week, I was lucky enough to attend The 2011 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting ceremony, which took place at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. There were ten shortlisted plays and four awards up for grabs. I was there because thanks to a recommendation from a curator, I had designed the awards.

The design process was an unusual one for me, as I had to work to a tight brief and be sensitive to the needs and expectations of both the Royal Exchange and Bruntwood. Luckily however, the representatives from both parties were lovely to work with, I had the aforementioned curator looking out for me and we built up a good working relationship. I had to take a deep breath when I was told the awards had to be made of metal (last time I did any welding was on art foundation!), but this did at least give me the opportunity to go out and meet with metalworkers and learn about that process again.

Because of the very tight schedule, I didn’t get to see the finished pieces until the day of the ceremony. I had been to the welders to supervise the trophies being put together the week before, but they then went off for powder-coating and I was busy working towards other looming deadlines, so although I’m sure I was nowhere near as nervous as the playwrights, I did feel anxious all the same on the day.

The ceremony itself was lovely – the audience was treated to scenes from each of the ten shortlisted plays and I could see why the judges had had such a difficult time choosing four winners. By the time they came to the announcements, the tension was all encompassing – I could see the ten finalists shifting nervously in their seats; even I had a bit of a sweat on and it was nothing to do with me! Eventually, congratulations and praise were heaped on the four deserving and talented winners – Janice Okoh, Alistair McDowell, Gareth Farr and Louise Monaghan. The awards were handed out, not one of them got dropped and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.