Start Time: 11.59pm
We are delighted to announce the winner of the People's Play Award!
VOLTEMAND AND CORNELIUS ARE JOYFULLY RETURNED BY PAUL VATES sees two men lost in no-man's land during some of the worst fighting of WWI. Because of shell-shock they have no clue where they are or, even, who they are. Yet they do have each other. But is that enough?
Leeds-born Paul is a comedy actor and, more recently, writer.
About his winning play he told us -
“Voltemand and Cornelius have been in my head since A'Level Theatre Studies, when we looked at Hamlet, Stoppard and Beckett.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have a better look-in than Voltemand and Cornelius and I always felt sorry for them - they have such tiny parts in such a big play with one line referencing their arrival: 'joyfully'.
They rattled around in my head for years because I never quite knew 'where' they were, until I had a chat with a Professor friend (and WWI expert) who suggested they were in no-man's land. That was in 2013. The first draft wrote itself. The draft I entered for the People’s Play competition was version 6.
Voltemand and Cornelius represent everyman. Within the bleakness of it all, I hope the absurdity and humour of their world shines through. It is, in the true sense of the phrase, a black comedy: laughter in the mire.”
Paul wins £1,000 and Voltemand and Cornelius Are Joyfully Returned will be staged in our new Studio Theatre in May 2019.