Alfred Fagon Award 2021 – and the winner is….

Chakira Alin, Mojisola Adebayo and Diana Nneka Atuona (Photo courtesy Richard H Smith /AFA)

The 25th Alfred Fagon Award presentation took place on December 3rd in the National Theatre’s Lyttelton auditorium.

Mojisola Adebayo won this year’s Award for her play FAMILY TREE.  The £6,000 prize was presented to Adebayo by Baroness Floella Benjamin. 

Also announced at the ceremony was the recipient of the Roland Rees Bursary, Diana Nneka Atuona; and also the inaugural winner of the Mustapha Matura Award and Mentoring Programme, Chakira Alin.

A special mention was given to the Award’s 25 Black Champions of Theatre. 

Adebayo said, in a statement, :

“I am so deeply honoured and moved to be the recipient of the 2021, 25th anniversary, Alfred Fagon Award for Family Tree.  Family Tree was a painful pregnancy. The process of researching the different ways in which Black women’s bodies have been extracted from was at times more than I thought I could cope with. And the task of writing something beautiful out of the brutal sometimes felt impossible – but we did it! So being gifted with the Alfred Fagon Award means the world to me. It is a hugely respected prize and I am both humbled and delighted to follow in the footsteps of writers and friends for whom I have a huge admiration, from Oladipo Agboluaje to Winsome Pinnock and many more. There is no greater honour for me than being recognised and applauded by and amongst your own Black British theatre family, so thank you so much to all the judges, organisers and sponsors.

Receiving the Alfred Fagon Award feels almost like I’ve birthed a baby, the pain is gone now and there is light and hope and warmth in my heart and peace in my mind and spirit. Like a baby, the play is not mine, I just carried it inside my mind and out onto the page. Family Tree is enriched by the creative DNA of so many artists, actors and supporters. Thank you all. Inside the body of this play text, and all around it and all of us, are the cells of the extraordinarily wonderous, Henrietta Lacks. My award is dedicated to her. All we need now is a stage on which Family Tree can grow and play.”

You can find further information, as well as the shortlists and longlists, at the Alfred Fagon Award website which you can find here

Congratulations to all the winners!