Yorkshire village play puts writer in line for international award

Playwright Charley Miles from Kilburn, North Yorkshire
Playwright Charley Miles from Kilburn, North Yorkshire
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A playwright from the North York Moors has been nominated for a prestigious American award for her debut drama.

Charley Miles, who was made writer in residence at Leeds’ West Yorkshire Playhouse after being awarded a Channel 4 Playwrights’ Scheme bursary, developed her play, Blackthorn, for the theatre’s autumn season last year. It tells the story of the intense bonds between the only two children born to a tiny village in a generation.

She is now nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn prize, which was set up in 1978 to recognise outstanding work by female playwrights. Past winners have included Caryl Churchill and Timberlake Wertenbaker.

Ms Miles, from Kilburn, said: “It’s such an honour to join the ranks of so many incredible female playwrights as a finalist for this prestigious prize.”

She said she was proud to see her play “about a tiny Yorkshire farming village reach so far beyond itself”.

The playhouse’s artistic director, James Brining, added: “We are thrilled that Charley’s extraordinary talent and unique voice from the north of England has been recognised on a now international level.”

Ms Miles previously won the Alan Ayckbourn Young Playwright award at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre, and was a resident writer in Oxford.