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Riot Communications has been appointed by property company Bruntwood, a major supporter of the arts and partner of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, and world-class producer, the Royal Exchange Theatre, to help with the strategic positioning and promotion of Europe’s richest prize for playwriting.  

Launched by the two organisations in 2005, the Prize is open to writers of any background or experience and judged anonymously in order to discover new voices and stories for the stage. Through the expertise of the Manchester-based Royal Exchange Theatre, the Prize also champions new playwrights to help develop their craft. Its judging panel is chaired this year by Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director of the Young Vic. 

Riot Communications MD Preena Gadher said: “What most impresses me about the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting is not the reputation it has for consistently finding high-quality plays – which is, in itself, a skill – but the genuine commitment of both Bruntwood and the Royal Exchange Theatre to finding and nurturing brand-new voices and stories. This is something we value at Riot, and when client and agency values align, that’s when you can create truly excellent work.” 

Sally Hill, Social Impact Partnerships Director at Bruntwood said: “The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting is one of a number of partnerships we have with ambitious cultural organisations like the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, since we passionately believe that investment in Arts and Culture is a way to help cities thrive. 

“We were really impressed by the approach Riot took to meeting our brief: they really interrogated what we are trying to achieve with the Prize which demonstrated their intelligence, as well as their passion for our mission to help discover new stories.” 

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For more information please contact Katy MacMillan-Scott onkaty@riotcommunications.com / 020 3174 0118 

Notes to editors 

Riot Communications is a PR agency specialising in culture and entertainment. Driven by the belief that culture promotes empathy, creativity, respect for others and joy, the agency works with clients across publishing, TV, theatre, science, museums and heritage organisations, as well as a variety of entertainment brands.   

Bruntwood develop, own, let and manage outstanding buildings and science facilities across the UK but it is much more than a property company. The company has been investing in its communities for over forty years and is deeply connected to the cities it operates in.  As part of this commitment Bruntwood partner with ambitious cultural organisations that are looking to make an impact, tell the stories of our time, and inspire change. That’s why we’re proud to support the Royal Exchange Theatre and the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting.  Fundamentally what we believe is that cities aren’t structures, cities are people, and we look forward to the stories they can tell us.  

Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre Company transforms the way people see theatre, each other and the world around them. The historic building, once the world’s biggest cotton exchange, was taken over by artists in 1976. Today it is an award-winning cultural charity that produces new theatre in-the-round, in communities, on the road and online. 

The London Review of Books – Europe’s leading magazine of culture and ideas – has hired specialist PR agency Riot Communications to help celebrate the LRB’s 40th anniversary this year.

Published twice monthly, the LRB attracts some of the best writers in the world, musing on a wide range of subjects, in longform, from politics and technology to art and poetry. With the highest circulation of any magazine of its kind in Europe, it is renowned as an exponent of the intellectual essay, admired globally for its fearlessness, its range and its elegance.

Riot Communications MD Preena Gadher said: ‘A reader once described the LRB as “the best thing about being a human” and I know exactly what they mean. The writers that the magazine attracts are outstanding, and whatever mood you are in, there is guaranteed to be something in each issue that resonates. The LRB helps me make sense of the world.

‘It’s also a perfect client for us, because it makes a positive impact in the world, which is one of our key agency values. Forty years is a major milestone, a testimony to the strength of the LRB’s brand. We can’t wait to help them mark this anniversary.’

Nicholas Spice, publisher of the LRB, said: ‘Riot Communications is the most exciting thing to happen to books PR for a long time, so it was only natural that we’d work with them on birthday celebrations that are as much about looking forward as they are about celebrating the past forty years.’

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For more information please contact Caitlin Allen: caitlin@riotcommunications.com / 020 3174 0118

The much anticipated adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s award-winning young adult book series Noughts + Crosses has begun filming in South Africa for BBC One.

Mammoth Screen is producing this gripping story of first love in a dangerous, alternate world where racism divides society. The six-part series is written by Toby Whithouse (Being Human), Lydia Adetunji (Riviera), Nathaniel Price (Tin Star) and Rachel De-Lahay (Kiri).

Noughts + Crosses follows two young people Sephy and Callum, who are divided by their colour but united by love. Sephy is a ‘Cross’, a member of the black ruling class and daughter of a prominent politician. Callum is a ‘Nought’, a white member of the underclass. The two have been friends since early childhood but their relationship grows ever more complicated as they come of age. It’s the story of two families separated by power and prejudice but forever entwined by fate.

BAFTA winner Jack Rowan (Peaky Blinders, Born to Kill) will play Callum McGregor and newcomer Masali Baduza has been cast as Sephy Hadley.

Paterson Joseph (Timeless, Peep Show) plays Sephy’s father, the Home Secretary Kamal Hadley, Bonnie Mbuli (Invictus, Wallander) plays her mother Jasmine and her sister Minerva is played by Kike Brimah (Love Type D).

Helen Baxendale (Cold Feet, Cuckoo) and Ian Hart (The Last Kingdom, The Secret Agent) play Callum’s parents Meggie and Ryan and Josh Dylan (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, The Little Stranger) will play his older brother Jude.

Shaun Dingwall (Goodbye Christopher Robin, The Long Firm) plays Liberation Militia leader Dorn. The cast also features Jonathan Ajayi and Rakie Ayola (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, No Offence).

Malorie Blackman, author of the Noughts & Crosses novels, says: “I’m thrilled that the TV dramatisation of Noughts & Crosses has such an amazing cast to bring the story to the screen. It will be so exciting to see how the writers and actors open up the world I created, adding new breadth and detail.”

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama said, “Noughts & Crosses is a novel that leaves an indelible impression on anyone who reads it. It’s fantastic that we have such an electric cast and crew bringing this powerful story to the screen for the first time on BBC One.”

Executive producer Preethi Mavahalli says: “It is an absolute honour to be adapting this treasured novel for television.  We are delighted to have such a phenomenal cast bringing this iconic love story to the screen for both existing fans and a whole new audience.”

The adaptation is based on the first book in the Noughts & Crosses series for young adults, which has won the Red House Children’s Book Award and the Fantastic Fiction Award among other accolades. The author, Malorie Blackman OBE, was the Children’s Laureate from 2013 to 2015.

Noughts + Crosses is directed by Julian Holmes (Daredevil, Iron Fist) and Koby Adom and produced by Johann Knobel (Shameless). Executive Producers are Toby Whithouse, Kibwe Tavares (Jonah), Patrick Reardon for Roc Nation; Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll and Miura Kite; Preethi Mavahalli and Damien Timmer for Mammoth Screen and Ben Irving for BBC One. It will be distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

Press contacts:
Katy MacMillan-Scott – katy@riotcommunications.com

Lisa Vanoli – 07899 060230, lisavanolipublicity@gmail.com

About Mammoth Screen

Mammoth Screen is one of the UK’s leading production companies. Current and forthcoming shows include POLDARK series 5,  THE ABC MURDERS, THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, WORLD ON FIRE and THE SERPENT for BBC1, Mammoth Screen is an ITV Studios Company.

About Malorie Blackman

Malorie Blackman has written over 60 books for children and young adults, including the Noughts & Crosses series, Thief and most recently her science fiction thriller Chasing the Stars. Her work has also been adapted for TV with the 6 part adaptation of Pig-Heart Boy winning a BAFTA. A stage adaptation of Noughts + Crosses was produced by the RSC, with a new production staged by Pilot Theatre running in 2019 under the direction of Sabrina Mahfouz. In 2005, Malorie was given the Eleanor Farjeon Award in recognition of her distinguished contribution to the world of children’s books, in 2008 she received an OBE for her services to children’s literature and, between 2013 and 2015 she was the Children’s Laureate. Malorie wrote the acclaimed Rosa episode for the new Doctor Who series on BBC One and the fifth novel in her Noughts & Crosses sequence, Crossfire, will be published by Penguin Random House Children’s in summer 2019.

Alice Roberts for RIGB

Riot Communications has won a three-way pitch to promote the Royal Institution’s annual Christmas Lectures, the  Ri’s biggest  and  most  famous,  demonstration-based  science  event for  young  people.

With the exception of a pause during WWII, the Christmas Lectures have run continuously since 1825 and featured many famous scientists including Nobel  Prize  winners  William  and  Lawrence  Bragg,  Sir  David  Attenborough,  Carl  Sagan  and  Dame  Nancy  Rothwell. This year’s Lecturer will be Professor Alice Roberts, broadcaster and Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham. Professor Roberts will be exploring the topic of identity in a series of three lectures entitled “Who Am I?”

Robert Davies, Head of Marketing and Communications at the Royal Institution said: “The Christmas Lectures aren’t just about inspiring a love of science, but rather they’re about a critical examination of its place in our lives. In identity, we’ve chosen a topical subject that will resonate with everyone, and Alice will be asking some challenging questions about what identity means in today’s world and what genetic advances in particular might mean for our future. We were really impressed with the way Riot’s pitch went straight to the heart of what we want to achieve through the Christmas Lectures.”

Riot Communications MD Preena Gadher said: “As an agency driven by a desire to work with clients making a positive impact in the world, the Royal Institution is a perfect partner for us; it strives to inspire everyone to think about the role of science in their daily lives and the Christmas Lectures are a crucial platform for that. As the world’s oldest TV science series, the Lectures have become part of the festive tradition in households across the nation for generations. We can’t wait to help spread that magic to even more people.”

The Christmas Lectures will be broadcast on BBC Four between Christmas and New Year.

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For more information contact Emily Souders at Riot Communications: emily@riotcommunications.com / 020 3174 0118

About Riot Communications

Riot Communications is a PR agency specialising in culture and entertainment, because, like our clients, we want to make a positive impact in the world. We passionately believe that culture and entertainment help promote empathy, creativity, respect for others and joy which is why we love what we do.

About  the  Royal  Institution 

The Royal  Institution’s  (Ri)  vision  is  for  a  world  where  everyone  is  inspired  to  think  more  deeply  about  science  and  its  place  in  our  lives.  Home to  eminent  scientists  such  as Michael  Faraday,  Humphry  Davy  and  Kathleen  Lonsdale,  its  discoveries  have  helped  to shape  the  modern  world.  Just  as  importantly  these  scientists  recognised  the  importance  of  sharing  their  work  with  the  wider  public.  Today  it  continues  its  mission  to  build  on  its  heritage  and  create  opportunities  for  everyone  to  discover,  discuss  and  critically  examine  science  and  how  it  shapes  the  world  around  us.  An  independent  registered  charity,  the  Ri  provides  science  education,  public  engagement,  and  heritage  activities  for  people  of  all  ages  and  backgrounds  across  the  UK  and  around  the  world.

Prize backed by Cambridge University aims to promote innovative thinking that tackles the major issues of our time

The Nine Dots Prize has today (Friday 5th October) announced that it is offering US$100,000 and a book deal with Cambridge University Press to whoever can best answer the question ‘Is there still no place like home?’

This marks the launch of the second cycle of the Nine Dots Prize, which is designed to promote and encourage innovative thinking and engaging new writing that addresses the challenges facing the modern world. The Prize is judged entirely anonymously and encourages submissions from both experienced authors and new voices.

Entrants must respond to the set question in 3,000 words and provide an outline showing how they would expand their response, backed up with relevant research and evidence, into a short book of between 25,000-40,000 words. The winner will receive editorial support from Cambridge University Press as well as the opportunity to spend a term at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), at Cambridge University, to help develop their ideas and focus on their writing.

The Prize will be judged by an 11-strong Board of internationally recognised and distinguished academics, authors, journalists and thinkers. In 2018/2019 they will include Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author Anne Applebaum; Head of the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge Professor David Runciman and co-founder and publishing director of one of Africa’s leading publishing houses, Cassava Republic Press, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf. The Board will again be chaired by Professor Simon Goldhill, Professor in Greek Literature and Culture and Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge.

Professor Goldhill says: “What makes the Nine Dots Prize unique is the anonymous judging process, which ensures that it is awarded solely based on the entrants’ ability to engage fully and insightfully with the question and deliver an original and well-evidenced response. The Prize seeks answers to some of the major challenges facing the world today, but the questions that we set are intentionally open to allow for different responses. We are looking for a new voice that has a new perspective on one of the most pressing issues for modern life.”

The inaugural Nine Dots Prize posed the question ‘Are digital technologies making politics impossible?’ and was won by former Google employee turned Oxford philosopher, James Williams. The resulting book, Stand Out of Our Light: Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy, was published in May 2018 to critical acclaim (‘A landmark book’ – the Observer; ‘Switch off your smartphone, slouch in a comfy chair, and pay your full, undivided, attention to this short, absorbing, and deeply disturbing book’ – Financial Times).

James Williams says: “Before winning the Nine Dots Prize, I’d spent several years at Oxford investigating a problem that I felt was of great consequence for society. However, I lacked a clear platform for bringing that thinking to the world. Winning the Nine Dots Prize gave me such a platform: it afforded me the time, the resources, and the support structure I needed to quickly distil some of those ideas into a book. Throughout the writing and editing process, I was particularly fortunate to have benefitted from the expert editorial guidance of Cambridge University Press, research support from CRASSH, and perceptive feedback from the Nine Dots staff and board. This is a unique prize. If you feel you’ve got something unique to say, I’d strongly encourage you to contribute a response to this year’s question.”

The Nine Dots Prize is open to anyone worldwide aged 18 years or over writing in English. Entries must be submitted through the online submission form by midday (GMT) on Monday 21st January 2019. The winner will be announced on 29th May 2019.

For more information, submissions guidance and to enter the Nine Dots Prize, visit http://www.ninedotsprize.org/ and follow the Prize on Twitter @ninedotsprize