A play about the controversial issue of female circumcision has won the New Writing South 2013 Best New Play Award.

Gather Ye Rosebuds by Silva Semerciyan, which ran at the Nightingale Theatre in May as part of the Brighton Fringe, scooped the prestigious title at a prizegiving at The Writer’s Place in Brighton.

The play, which sets a private female circumcision party in Egypt in the context of the Arab Spring and the recent sexual assaults on women in Tahrir Square, was produced by Sandpit Arts, and has also been selected for a run at London’s new writing powerhouse, Theatre 503.

The judges praised Semerciyan’s writing as “timely, complex, political and thoughtprovoking – but funny and fullhearted, too”.

The Best New Play Award, now in its fourth year, is organised in conjunction with Brighton Fringe by New Writing South, the South East’s pre-eminent creative writing organisation.

The winner of the 2011 award, Kefi Chadwick’s Mathematics of the Heart, went on to become Theatre 503’s biggest commercial success of all time – outselling Olivier Awardwinning The Mountaintop.