The Tron Theatre is announces Abigail Docherty, winner of their  2010 Open Stage Playwriting Competition as the recipient of the prestigious Pearson Playwrights' Bursary.  The Pearson Playwrights’ Scheme is one of the most important awards for new writing in British theatre, with only five awards made each year to writers of outstanding promise.

Each award allows the playwright a twelve-month attachment to a theatre and commissions the writers for a new play. This year’s judging panel included Sir Richard Eyre, CBE (chair), Sue Summers, John Tydeman and Catherine Johnson.

This is the first time the Tron Theatre has been awarded a bursary through the scheme, and Abigail joins an illustrious list of previous recipients of the bursary over the last thirty years including Alan Bleasdale, Hanif Kureshi, Martin McDonagh, Gary Owen, Joe Penhall and Sue Townsend; and in association with Scottish theatres, D.C. Jackson, Gregory Burke, David Harrower, Iain Heggie, Stuart Thomas, Duncan MacMillan and Sam Holcroft.

Abigail Docherty said: ‘I’m really excited to be coming back to the Tron as part of the Pearson Bursary Award. I'm looking forward to being involved in the many creative projects that are coming up over the next year - it will be a huge privilege to be part of the Tron's working life and I'm really proud and excited.'

Andy Arnold, Artistic Director of the Tron Theatre said: ‘It will be great to have Abigail working on projects at the Tron next year.  She presents a very exciting new voice to Scottish theatre and this award is a strong vindication of the value of our Open.Stage playwriting competition and of the Tron’s role in providing space and opportunities for emerging artists.’

Abigail will commence her attachment with the Tron Theatre in January 2011.


• The scheme awards 4 bursaries of £7000 each year, with a fifth bursary donated by the Peggy Ramsay Foundation.

• Applications are invited in August/September each year from Artistic Directors of UK theatres committed to new writing to submit the work of any writer they consider to have promise.

• A panel chaired by Sir Richard Eyre, CBE assesses applications, and potential candidates for the bursary are invited to interview, along with a representative from the nominating theatre.

 • Successful applicants are invited to take up a one-year attachment with their nominating theatre.


Abigail Docherty was born in Irvine but raised in England and has a degree in English from Oxford University. Her previous plays include Room, seen at the Tron as part of its Mayfesto 2009 season, 1000 Paper Cranes, Molly and John and Goblin Market staged at the Southwark Playhouse.  She was a Scriptwriting Fellow for the Scottish Arts Council from 2003 to 2004 and a visiting writer at the International School of Audio-Visual Creation in Paris in 2003. 


• Abigail Docherty’s first full length play Sea and Land and Sky was picked by the general public as the winning entry in the Tron Theatre’s Open.Stage Playwriting Competition in June 2010. 

• The competition, open to Scots and those living in Scotland, aimed to raise the profile of new writing in Scotland and attracted almost 300 proposals with applicants submitting entries from across the country and throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland.  

• The final three plays were selected from the long-list of applications by a panel that included Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Scotland, the playwright David Harrower, the journalists and broadcasters Keith Bruce and Janice Forsyth and the Tron’s Andy Arnold; with voting for the winning entry taking place online.

• A full version of Sea and Land and Sky had its world premiere at the Tron Theatre from 12-23 October 2010, as the flagship production in the theatre’s Autumn season.

Tron Theatre
63 Trongate
G1 5HB

 Image Credits: Abigail Docherty by David Howard

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