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Young playwright Finnius Teppett has taken the top prize in the Playwrights b4 25 competition with his play Cannibal. The award was announced at a function at the Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre on Monday 22 May 2017. The competition, run by Playmarket, recognises the best new writing for the stage by writers under the age of 25.
Cannibal is a slow-burning domestic drama exploring middle-class family dynamics. In the play Jamie has just bought a new house and is looking forward to introducing his family to his new girlfriend. Family divisions, however, soon overtake the housewarming. Judges praised the work for it’s incredible dialogue. One judge remarked “I adore this play.”
Finnius graduated from Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters with an MA in Creative Writing (Scriptwriting), and was awarded the Michael Hirschfeld scholarship. His plays have been produced in New Zealand, Australia, and the Philippines.
His play My Dad’s Boy premiered at BATS in 2016 before opening the Fortune Theatre’s 2017 season. My Dad’s Boy was awarded Highly Commended at both the 2016 Adam NZ Play Award and Playwrights b4 25 2016. It also won an international playwriting competition which saw it workshopped at the Against The Grain theatre festival in Buffalo, New York.
Finn’s upcoming play One Night Only was commissioned by Young and Hungry and will premiere at the 2017 Festival of New Theatre in Wellington in July. One Night Only was also shortlisted in this year’s b4 25 competition. Finn’s other plays include Ushers, The Non-Surgeon’s Guide to the Appendectomy and Auckland Blues. He is also a writer and performer for the hugely successful White Man Behind a Desk.
Three playwrights were named as runners-up: Frances Chin for her dark comedy The Sunshine Airport Hotel; Courtney Rose Brown for her family drama 72 Cambridge Terrace; and Kieran Craft for the love story If I Love You.
The other finalists in the competition were:
Henrietta Bollinger - 26 Cats Destroy the Patriarchy
Ella Hope-Higginson - Raggedy Anne and Mr. Piths
Matt Loveranes - MoodPorn
Rebecca Robertson-Yells - Lilli the Liontamer
Cassandra Tse and James Cain - M’Lady
Playmarket is very grateful for the partnership with Auckland Live which made the event possible.
Playmarket’s major funders are Creative New Zealand and Foundation North.