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National Theatre Wales

Press Release




William Smith is the winner of the Wales Drama Award 2016, it was announced at a ceremony held this evening at Yr Hen Lyfrgell in Cardiff. He will receive £10,000 and the opportunity to develop his work with BBC Cymru Wales, BBC Writersroom and National Theatre Wales.


Swansea-born William graduated from the University of Wales, Newport with a degree in Film Studies in 2010. Since graduating he wrote the short film King of The Castle, which was made as part of the It's My Shout scheme and broadcast on BBC2 Wales in 2011, and Lift Jockeys, a short film produced in 2014. In addition to writing in his spare time, he’s previously worked as a producer and presenter for Radio Cardiff, as well as an office administrator. He now lives in Cardiff.

The three other finalists for this year’s award were Hardey Speight, Jonathan Jones and Bethan Marlow.


The biennial Wales Drama Award for English-language writing is a collaboration between two creative leaders in drama in Wales – BBC Cymru Wales and National Theatre Wales – in close partnership with BBC Writersroom. It is both a celebration of writers in Wales and an open call to Welsh talent, whether emerging or established.


Over 250 writers, either born or based in Wales, submitted their work in July 2016, from which BBC Writersoom along with input from professional television and theatre readers drew up a shortlist of eight. From these eight writers four finalists were selected by a panel of judges, including Julie Gardner MBE, producer and co-founder of Bad Wolf, Kully Thiarai, Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales, Anne Edyvean, Head of BBC Writersoom and Bethan Jones, Executive Producer BBC Drama.


Anne Edyvean from BBC Writersroom, said: “William's writing keeps you turning the pages - hooked in by skilled storytelling and great visual images. William is drawn to telling stories set in worlds that are in some way different to our own, but familiar enough to resonate with the audience - his settings are often ‘What if......?’”


Bethan Jones, Executive Producer for BBC Drama said: "This award is a way to ensure writers are able to afford to carve out time to write and have support to develop their work. It’s great to be able to support William Smith’s huge potential. But it also draws the industry’s attention to the potential of other voices, the shortlisted winners as well as others who didn’t quite make it through the process.”


Kully Thiarai, Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales, said: "William is a wonderful storyteller who clearly has a passion for, and a commitment to, writing rich and complex characters and narratives. He is undoubtedly a talent to watch. It will be very exciting to see what he goes on to produce, and how his win will inspire other writers in Wales in the future." 


Julie Gardner MBE, producer and co-founder of Bad Wolf, said: “William Smith’s RESIDUE is a compelling study of two teens’ battle for survival in a post-apocalyptic world. The landscape is often domestic and recognisable and so the terror and danger are all the more potent. William weaves an often exciting, yet emotional tale. A genre piece with a twist!”



Issued by BBC Cymru Wales Communications and National Theatre Wales


For more information, contact Non Tudur Williams at BBC Cymru Wales: or 07920 451827


Catrin Rogers at National Theatre Wales: or 029 2035 3077 / 07540 686 725


Notes to editors:

·       This year’s Wales Drama Award was launched in May 2016, at a live-streamed event in BBC Cymru Wales Broadcasting House. The panel discussion and Q&A were available on the BBC Writersroom website and YouTube channel.

Applicants were asked to submit a full-length script in any medium (min. length 30 minutes), unperformed and unproduced, and in the English language, to BBC Writersroom.


The Award Ceremony was held at Yr Hen Lyfrgell, Cardiff at 5.30pm on Tuesday 22nd November.


BBC Cymru Wales is a centre of excellence for drama.  Home to a range of celebrated productions made both in-house and by the independent sector including War and Peace, Sherlock, Doctor Who, Casualty and Pobol Y Cwm. BBC Cymru Wales drama is a major producer of drama for BBC network across television and radio as well as for BBC Wales and S4C.


National Theatre Wales has been making English-language productions in locations all over Wales, the UK, internationally and online since March 2010. It operates from a small base in Cardiff’s city centre, but works all over the country and beyond, using Wales’ rich and diverse landscape, its towns, cities and villages, its incredible stories and rich talent as its inspiration. The Welsh Government and the Arts Council of Wales are supporting National Theatre Wales.


BBC Writersroom champions new writing talent across the BBC. Recent successes include The Break for BBC Three, Elliott Kerrigan's Boy Meets Girl, which came from a targeted Trans Comedy talent search; Dominic Mitchell’s In The Flesh, which came from a Writersroom Northern Voices Scheme; and Debbie Moon’s Wolfblood, one of the winners of an open CBBC competition for original new drama. BBC Writersroom runs schemes targeting talent from a range of sources and works in partnerships with theatres, writers' organisations, screen agencies, and the wider cultural industries. It helps new writers develop their craft through professional training, the website and in open sessions around the country with the UK's best writing talent.


National Theatre Wales presents:

Wales Drama Award 2016

BBC Wales and National Theatre Wales, in partnership with BBC Writersroom, are inviting submissions for the third prestigious £10,000 Wales Drama Award.

The biennial award is both a celebration of writers in Wales and an open call to Welsh talent, whether emerging or established. It’s a collaboration between two creative leaders in drama – BBC Wales and National Theatre Wales – and was first launched in 2012.

The winner of this year’s Wales Drama Award will receive £10,000, and an opportunity to develop their script and work closely with both BBC Wales and National Theatre Wales.

The Wales Drama Award is run in partnership with BBC Writersroom.

Follow Wales Drama Award 2016 on Twitter:


Box Office:

Media Officer

Catrin Rogers

+ 44(0)29 2035 3070

National Theatre Wales
30 Castle Arcade,
Cardiff/CF10 1BW