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Princess Di comedy wins student Best Drama award

Thursday 11 August 2016

A Salford Creative Writing Masters student is celebrating after bagging a top award at the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival, and crucial funding for further studies.

Stephen M Hornby, 48, was awarded ‘best drama’ at this year’s Fringe, for a play he wrote called “Die Diana”.

The play is a dark comedy exploring the afterlife of Princess Diana. It involves three people stepping out of the shadows and laying claim to her title, with different stories about what happened to her.

The published playwright’s success comes just weeks after he discovered that he is to receive funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to study for a PhD at the University.

Speaking about winning his award, Stephen thanked academic staff for their support.

He said: “The play was a joy to write. It was great to have a project where I could explore modern day issues surrounding fame, celebrity and press intrusion. In my opinion Princess Diana led the way for society to be more open to talking about their issues.

All my lecturers have been very supportive of me, they all came to watch my play at the Festival. They were also excellent in helping me with my Phd application". 

Stephen studied a Masters in Creative Writing, a course within the School of Arts and Media.

He said: “The connections that my course has given me over the last two years with industry has really helped improve my writing.

“I’ve been blown away by the high standard of people who have run special workshops for us. Having Liz Page (ex-The Archers writer) and Olivier award-winning writer Michael Wynne come to teach us has been really inspiring.”

Stephen is currently the playwright-in-residence for LGBT History Month, and plans to base his PhD on historical gay plays.

Below Stephen is pictured (centre) with two of the 'Diana's' from his play.