Phoebe Frances Brown

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Honoring Actress Phoebe Frances Brown With A New Award

Phoebe Frances Brown

Phoebe Frances Brown, a Nottingham resident who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and wrote and participated in a play about it, passed away in April.

To honor the memories of an actress who passed away at the young age of 29, two theaters have established a writing award.

The Nottingham Playhouse and the Hampstead Theatre in London declared their desire to recognize her talent.

Young playwrights who win the prize will get a paid commission and a £1,000 bursary.


The award is for female writers who are just starting their careers, according to a joint statement from the venues.

They said they would receive a paid commission from Hampstead Theatre, a bursary of £1000, and assistance from both theaters with project development.

The Glad Game, a one-woman show by Miss Frances Brown, won praise for being a “mesmerizing depiction of hope in the face of catastrophe.”

She passed away at home, with her boyfriend Jake and family by her side.

“Phoebe had a great talent both as a performer and a writer, as well as an incredible passion for theatre,” said Tess Walker, associate director of Hampstead Theatre and the director of The Glad Game.

“I could think of no better way to honor her memory than with a new writing prize that would encourage more talented women,” the author said.

“Phoebe… was immensely appreciated at the Playhouse and by the artistic community in Nottingham,” stated Adam Penford, artistic director of Nottingham Playhouse.

“Phoebe’s writing and acting skills were showcased in The Glad Game, and we’re so happy to support this new award in her honor.”

Phoebe’s mother, Gail Brown, said of her daughter: “Phoebe was the most inspiring and determined person I know. Her infirmity never prevented her from accomplishing anything.

“Her optimism shone through and will do so for the duration of this honor. I’m incredibly proud.

In a BBC interview conducted in 2021, Miss Frances Brown claimed that she had begun composing the play while recuperating in the hospital.

She remarked,

“I was writing more for myself because I was just trying to make sense of it all.

Phoebe was raised in Nottingham, where she received her training at the city’s Television Workshop, a non-profit organization that has produced stars like Vicky McClure and Jack O’Connell.

She continued her education at the University of Birmingham, where she graduated with honors.

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