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The Independent Culture
The focus of the theatre world this year will be Manchester, which, as City of Drama, will be hosting and staging 12 months of plays. Writers in the North-west still just have a chance to be part of the action. If you've got a play you are proud of, submit it by Monday 10 January and it will be returned with two detailed reports by experienced readers. Up to six of the best will be chosen for a professional workshop at the Contact Theatre in June, run by North West Playwrights' Workshops. Call Melanie Harris on 061-274 4418 for details.

The winner of this year's LWT Plays On Stage competition is the Bush Theatre with Raising Fires by Jenny McLeod ( pounds 18,000). Second place was taken by Talawa Theatre Company with Resurrection in the Season of the Longest Drought by Biyi Bandele- Thomas ( pounds 16,000) and third place by the Soho Theatre Company with The Yiddish Trojan Women by Carol Braverman ( pounds 14,000). The award puts money into new productions on the basis of proposals submitted by professional theatre companies with a consistent track record of production. The prize money will enable the three winning productions to be staged in 1994.

Sinead Cusack and Jeremy Irons will perform two readings of Mirad, a Boy from Bosnia by Ad de Bont at Oxford Playhouse on Sunday 30 January. The performances, at 6pm and 8pm, are in aid of the British Red Cross and the Bosnia Aid Committee for Oxford. This will be the first time in six years that Cusack and Irons, who are husband and wife, have appeared together on stage. Oxford Playhouse, Beaumont St, Oxford (0865 798600).