Press Releases 2014-2015

UWTSD Graduate Wins Wales Drama Award


It has been announced that a performing arts graduate from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) in Swansea has been named as winner of the Wales Drama Award 2014.

2009 UWTSD graduate Kelly Jones, from Cardiff, was presented with her award by BBC Cymru Wales’ Head of Drama Faith Penhale and Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales John McGrath during a ceremony at the BBC’s Roath Lock drama studios in Cardiff Bay this week.

With a prize of £10,000, Kelly will receive the opportunity to develop her ideas with BBC Cymru Wales and National Theatre Wales and a reading of the winning script will take place in early 2015. Her work is inspired by real human stories and often takes inspiration from personal experiences, her up-bringing in Dagenham and rooting in Wales.

A writer and performer, Kelly has been living and working in Wales since 2007 and is originally from the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. She is currently working on producing a tour of her solo show ‘The Drowned Girl’, a piece she created whilst at National Theatre Wales’ Summercamp in 2013. In February of this year the piece premiered at the Yard Theatre, Hackney Wick, as part of their N.O.W’14 programme.

The biennial Wales Drama Award is presented by BBC Wales and National Theatre Wales, in partnership with BBC Writersroom. It was launched in 2012 and this is only the second time it has been given. The award is offered to any writer residing in Wales, and aims to encourage writers who feel passionate about the stories they want to tell, and who have something to offer audiences across the length and breadth of Wales and the wider UK. Writers were asked to submit a full-length script in any medium, unperformed or unproduced and in the English language and at least 30 minutes long.

The highly acclaimed panel making this all important decision comprised of:

Faith Penhale - BBC Cymru Wales’ Head of Drama
Kate Rowlands - Writersroom’ BBC Creative Director, New Writing
John McGrath - Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales
Andrew Davies - Writer (A Poet In New York)
Lucy Gannon - Writer (Lead writer and creator of the BBC One drama series Frankie)

Faith Penhale, Head of Drama, BBC Cymru Wales, said: “We are truly committed to discovering and nurturing home grown talent here in Wales and this is an unparalleled opening for Kelly to work with the best in the broadcast and theatre industries. Our collaboration with National Theatre Wales and close partnership with BBC Writersroom will provide her with a variety of platforms to showcase her piece and be recognised for her writing skills.”

John McGrath, Artistic Director, National Theatre Wales, said: “I’m delighted that Kelly has won this important award. As a writer at a relatively early stage in her writing life, to have been chosen from a very strong and in many cases rather experienced field of applicants is a real achievement. The Wales Drama Award has once again highlighted the strength of dramatic writing talent in Wales, and the range of voices coming through. National Theatre Wales is very proud to have worked alongside BBC Wales and BBC Writersroom to make this award happen.”

Martin Johnson, Senior Lecturer in performing arts at UWTSD, said: “We are delighted to learn of Kelly’s success in winning this award. It is just reward not only for her ability as a writer but also for her dedication and perseverance in conscientiously honing her skills still further since her graduation. Kelly is not one for resting on her laurels and I’m sure that her invaluable relationship with National Theatre Wales will offer her further help and support in developing her work.

“She has kept in touch with her course here at UWTSD in Swansea and shared her experiences and skills with current students on a number of occasions. We follow her career with great interest.”

Note to Editor

  1. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University.
  2. The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University.
  3. On 1 August, 2013 Coleg Sir Gâr merged with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group, however they will keep their own brand. Coleg Ceredigion merged with the Group on 1 January 2014.

Further Information

Steven Stokes
Principal Corporate Communications and PR Officer
07872 423788