Bradley Manning play scoops British drama award

Tue Aug 6, 2013 8:43am EDT
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By Ian McKenzie

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - A play about Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier convicted by a military judge last week for passing classified information to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, has won a newly created drama prize at Britain's oldest literary awards.

Welsh playwright Tim Price's "The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning" became the first winner of the 10,000-pound ($15,300) James Tait Black Prize for Drama at an awards ceremony in the Scottish capital on Monday evening.

The play tracks the U.S.-born Manning's journey from his teenage years in a Welsh village through his life as a U.S. soldier and subsequent arrest in 2010 for passing hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks.

"I am thrilled to be recognized by such a prestigious award, and honored to be chosen as winner from such a fantastic shortlist of plays" Price said in a statement on the prize's website.

A military judge on Tuesday convicted U.S. Army Private First Class Manning, 25, of criminal charges including espionage and theft of classified information.

Price told Reuters that Manning's Welsh mother had seen the play and mailed the script to her son. He also said that some of the prize money would go to Manning's defense fund.

"Bradley's now got a global family thanks to our play," Price said.

Price's work was chosen from a list of 180 plays submitted from around the world by a panel, which included academics and students from the University of Edinburgh, as well as theatre professionals.   Continued...

A poster with the face of U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning is attached to the fence outside the main gate at the U.S. Army's Fort George G. Meade in Maryland, June 3, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing