The Winners — The Loneliness Project

The Winners — The Loneliness Project

31 May 2016

We reveal full details of the winners of the Of Mice and Men Loneliness Project, including which poem has been awarded the grand title of 'Most Powerful'.

Of Mice and Men played its final performance on Saturday, concluding its 11 week tour across the UK at the Curve Leicester. At the beginning of the year, when rehearsals began at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, we launched the Loneliness Project — a callout for people everywhere to think and write about one of the key themes in Steinbeck's story — loneliness. We'd like to thank everybody (over 500 of you!) who joined us on this journey, helping contribute something unique and poignant about this important theme. We'd also like to make special thanks to those who used the ticket offer and were able to support this production at your local theatres.

Each week, our judges (Ronnie Dorsey, Jacqui Rowe and Dudley Sutton) have been selecting their favourite poems, with the Of Mice and Men cast performing a filmed reading at each theatre on tour. Congratulations to everyone who made the shortlist — you can still see their wonderful work read by members of the Of Mice and Men cast. Big thank you to the cast for getting involved, especially Samantha Hopkins who was superb in recording them each week. And of course, the judges!


Well, without further ado, it's time to reveal which submission the judges awarded the prestigious title of 'Most Powerful' when they got together on the set of Of Mice and Men to make their decision in Leicester last week...  

Most Powerful Piece: Storytelling by Sasha Palmer

Sasha tells us that eight years ago, she realised she couldn’t do without writing and decided to write ever since. “Things come full circle, nothing is ever lost, and everything is connected. I love that. I believe all writing is rooted in loneliness. We crave connection. And writing helps us connect — across continents, oceans, languages, and other minor barriers. That’s why I write.”

Runner Up: Most Powerful Duologue: A Bit of Give and Take by Sue Gale

Sue started writing about eight months ago when she joined a writing group in Nottingham. “The piece I wrote was based on my mum who actually uses some of the phrases in it. I had just read about a woman who had ended her life because of being hassled by charities and having no-one to talk to about it. I thought this presented a bit of a stereotype when writing it into a dialogue and so I made her daughter have her own problems which had come about through feeling lonely too.”

Shortlist - Most Popular Poem: Loneliness by Kieran Davies

Kieran started writing in his early teens, creating magical worlds to escape! He now has had over thirty poems published! “Participating in the Loneliness Project was a great experience. I am still dancing inside, thinking how I won the 'Most Popular Vote'.” Kieran also told us that the theme of loneliness is an excellent one to write about "Everyone can relate to it at some point. I picture (with a heavy heart) elderly in homes, misunderstood youths, mentally ill, homeless; and oh so many others.”

Theatre Cloud is very honored to have such humble participants!

“Thank you all so much for this project, it was amazing to have so many poets involved and incredible to see so much promotion for poetry as an art-form. Thank you to all the actors of Mice and Men for great performances of the shortlisted poems and sincere congratulations to all who made the final eleven, especially the winners.”

General – Most Popular Submission: The Disease by Megan Grace

“I was so pleased to find out I had won!” Megan Grace is our youngest winner. At only 13, she is a big John Steinbeck fan and had read Of Mice And Men for the first time only last year! Megan has been writing stories, scripts, and poems since she was five! What a spectacular young lady! “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to partake in the project! I look forward to entering more in future!”

Let us know your thoughts about our winners or any of the work submitted to the project on Twitter with the hashtag #LonelinessProject. If you're interested in our next exciting project, sign-up now to be the first in the know! 

Of Mice and Men premieres at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, where it runs from 4 to 13 February 2016. It then tours to Cheltenham, Nottingham, Wolverhampton, Darlington, Blackpool, Cambridge, Brighton, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Oxford and Leicester where it concludes on 28 May.