Churchill College, the Faculty of English and the Marlowe Society have announced that the 2022 ‘Other’ Prize for Drama has been awarded to St Catharine's student Maddie Lynes (2018, English), who graduated last week, for the play Her Very Many Faces.
Reacting to the news, Maddie commented:
“Winning the prize has been such a joy because I’ve been able to receive feedback ahead of workshopping it in rehearsals and ultimately seeing it performed. I feel like writing a play is only half of the process, bringing it to the stage is the other exciting half.
“I’d like to say a special thank you to my mum who is a brilliant writer and who has read everything that I have sent her and taken it seriously! Thank you as well to my wonderful friends Gaia, Cara, and Beattie, who have all been sources of support and inspiration, both in theatre and in life!”
Her Very Many Faces was written during Maddie’s final year at St Catharine’s after she first started writing plays, monologues and short films as an undergraduate during periods of lockdown due to COVID-19, hoping for the chance to make something with other people.
“In this new play, I wanted to explore the lies we tell to be loved a little more, and how these lies destabilise our relationships with things, people and places. Wider social structures, such as class and gender, condition the lies that the protagonist (Her) tells, as she struggles to move between her home life with elderly, working-class parents, and her university life among privileged students. Her eating disorder becomes the only thing she can control as she grapples with her sense of self. But when Her lies begin to dissolve, perhaps she can find comfort in the truth of who she is.
“I had the idea for the play near the beginning of the year and started plotting it in my head and jotting the odd line or thought down in a notebook during Lent term. I then wrote it quite quickly at the end of term. So far not many people have read it, but I hope the characters and themes will connect with audiences.”
An earlier play by Maddie, When We Were Normal, was performed in Cambridge at the Portland Arms in February 2022 and will be going to this year’s Edinburgh Fringe (15–27 August).