Penelope Skinner wins George Devine Award

26 May 2011



Penelope Skinner, whose play The Village Bike opens at the Royal Court Theatre on 24 June (press night 1 July), has been awarded the 2011 George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright.

The George Devine award is an annual award for new writing in theatre. Coming with a prize of £10 000, it is open to any playwright in the UK for an original stage play, which need not have been produced. It was set up in 1966 as a memorial to the life and talent of the founding Artistic Director of the Royal Court, George Devine.

Previous winners of the George Devine Award include Edward Bond, Mike Leigh, Hanif Kureishi, Martin McDonagh, Conor McPherson, Enda Walsh, Richard Bean, Rebecca Gilman, Mark O’Rowe, Gary Owen, Lucy Prebble, Alexandra Wood, Hassan Abdulrazzak, Nick Payne and Vivenne Franzmann.

The Village Bike is the Royal Court debut from Penelope Skinner. A graduate from the Royal Court’s writing programmes, her credits elsewhere includes a collaboration with Moira Buffini, Matt Charman and Jack Thorne on Greenland at the National Theatre, Eigengrau at the Bush Theatre, Scarlet’s Circus for Hampstead Theatre’s Heat & Light Group and Fucked, at the Old Red Lion in 2008 and at the 2009 Edinburgh Festival.

The cast includes Nicholas Burns, Phil Cornwell, Romola Garai and Alexandra Gilbreath, Dominic Rowan and Sasha Waddell. It is directed by Joe Hill Gibbins, designed by Helen Goddard, with lighting by James Farncombe and sound by David McSeveney

‘Isn’t she gorgeous? Hardly been ridden. She’s been in the garage just gathering dust’

Becky’s pregnant and frustrated. But her husband is more interested in the baby manual than her new underwear so she turns to the porn stash under the bed. As the summer heats up, a brief encounter sends her speeding downhill towards reckless abandon.

A provocative and darkly comic look at fantasy and romance.

Age 18+. Contains scenes of a sexual nature.

The Village Bike is part of the Royal Court’s Jerwood New Playwrights programme, supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation

The Village Bike opens in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court on 24 June (press night 1 July) and runs until 23 July. Tickets available online at or from the Box Office on 0207 565 5000.

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Notes to Editors

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The Village Bike is part of the Royal Court’s Jerwood New Playwrights programme, supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.

The Jerwood Charitable Foundation is dedicated to imaginative and responsible revenue funding of the arts, supporting emerging artists to develop and grow at important stages in their careers. The aim of their funding is to allow artists and arts organisations to thrive; to continue to develop their skills, imagination and creativity with integrity. They work with artists across art forms, from dance and theatre to literature, music and the visual arts. For more information visit