The Linbury Prize is the UK’s most prestigious award for Stage Design, providing a unique opportunity for graduating designers to work with some of the UK’s leading theatre, opera and dance companies.
This year the twelve finalists are: Laura Albeck, Emily Bates, Basia Binkowska, Eleanor Bull, Abby Clarke, Dylan Howells, Maxwell Nicholson-Lailey, Sonya Plenefisch, Khadija Raza, Fin Redshaw, Jessica Stanton and Jasmine Swan.
The finalists will each get the chance to work with one of the participating companies and four of the twelve will win a commission to realise their designs, with one designer being awarded the overall winner’s title.
Khadija Raza, Maxwell Nicholson-Lailey and Sonya Plenefisch will design Dido, a co-production between the Unicorn Theatre and ENO, to be directed by Purni Morell. Basia Binkowska, Jessica Staton andDylan Howells will design Othello / Macbeth directed by Jude Christian and Sean Holmes for the Lyric Hammersmith. Jasmine Swan, Laura Albeck and Eleanor Bull will be working on designs for Windrush: Movement of the People choreographed by Sharon Watson for Phoenix Dance Theatre. Emily Bates, Fin Redshaw and Abby Clarke will work on designs for a new musical called Pieces of String by Gus Gowland and directed by Daniel Buckroyd for Mercury Theatre, Colchester.
All twelve designs will feature in an exhibition at the National Theatre from 1 November – 2 January 2018 in the Lyttelton Lounge.
The Linbury Prize for Stage Design is sponsored by the Linbury Trust, one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts. The Prize was founded by Lady Anya Sainsbury in 1987 as a springboard for recent graduates from theatre design courses around the UK, giving applicants an unparalleled opportunity to work with professional arts companies and to collaborate with writers, directors and technical teams at a crucial stage in their careers.
Previous winners of the Linbury Prize include some of the most important stage designers working today, including Tim Hatley, whose work includes Timon of Athens at the NT, and Spamalot and Shrek the Musical in the West End and on Broadway; Anthony Ward, whose credits include Sweeney Todd at Chichester and in the West End and Headlong’s Enron; and Vicki Mortimer, whose extensive work for the NT includes Othelloand The Last of the Haussmans.
The Linbury Prize committee comprises; Jon Bausor, Sean Crowley, Sophie Jump, Philip Lawford, Katrina Lindsay, Caro Newling (Chair), Christopher Oram, Tom Piper, David Pritchard, Anya Sainsbury
THE 2017 FINALISTS
Training – Performance Design & Practice at Central Saint Martins 2016
Set and costume designer working within live and recorded performance. Graduated from Performance Design & Practice at Central Saint Martins with 1st Class Honours in 2016. Background in art history and curating from Copenhagen and New York. Native Dane currently living in London.
Training – MA Design for Performance course at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama 2017
Emily is a graduate of the MA Design for Performance course at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. With a background in costume design and construction she has worked professionally in Scottish theatre as both costume supervisor and design assistant. Her most recent production to date has been Kurt Weill’s opera Street Scene, directed by Martin Constantine at the Sherman Theatre. She is a recipient of the South Square Trust Award and the Edinburgh University John L Paterson Design Award.
Training – BA Production Arts and Design at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland 2016
Basia studied BA Production Arts and Design at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. Before studying theatre design, she completed extensive training in fine arts and history of art at Leon Wyczółkowski State School of Art in her native Poland.
During her 2nd year of studies in Glasgow, she was selected for an international exchange at the California Institute of the Arts, where she focused on scenic design and immersive theatre performance. Since her graduation, she has worked as the resident Trainee Designer at the Royal Shakespeare Company assisting designers and working alongside the company on several RSC productions this year.
Training – BA in Costume with Performance Design at the Arts University Bournemouth 2013& Theatre Design MA at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School 2017
Eleanor Bull graduated from the Theatre Design MA at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 2017. She has been working as a freelance Theatre Designer throughout the UK since graduating from her BA in Costume with Performance Design at the Arts University Bournemouth in 2013.
A selection of her work includes:
Costume & Set Design for Crave (The Wardrobe, Bristol), The Witches (Theatre Royal Winchester), Much Ado About Nothing (Arts University Bournemouth). Costume Design for Julius Caesar (Bristol Old Vic Theatre- Main Stage), Othello (Riverside Studios), The Drowsy Chaperone (The LOST Theatre), Love and Money (The Tabard Theatre). Set Design for The Two Gentlemen of Verona (The Redgrave Theatre, Bristol).
Training – MA Design for Performance at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama 2017
Abby Clarke studied MA Design for Performance at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, prior to this she studied English at the University of Oxford where she spent much of her time designing for theatre productions.
Abby’s designs stem from a deep exploration of text and a desire to create theatre that truly impacts and involves the audience. She has designed for a number of venues including the Minack theatre, Oxford Playhouse and New Theatre, Oxford. Her most recent designs include The Little Orchestra’s autumn concert series and Image of an Unknown Young Woman in the Caird Studio, Cardiff.
Training – Theatre and Performance Design at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts 2017
Dylan Studied Theatre and Performance Design at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. He has always had a diverse range of interests, often finding his design inspiration comes from a variety of places. While studying at university he started to experiment with merging the disciplines of lighting and set design often considering how light will effect the space and narrative of his designs. His most recent production was ‘Urinetown’ (LIPA, Director Martin Parr, 2017).
Training – MA in Costume Design for Performance at London College of Fashion 2017
After training as a dancer at Rambert School of Ballet & Contemporary Dance, Max discovered his passion and talent for choreographing his own works and creating the costumes and designs for them. He has gone on to study for an MA in Costume Design for Performance at London College of Fashion.
Max’s approach to design stems from his passion for transforming spaces and bodies, being able to create an atmosphere or convey a feeling, thought or idea. Max considers the blank and sterile spaces of theatres a perfect place to create something visually striking, and believes the aesthetic elements of a performance are just as crucial as the performance itself.
Training – BA design for performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama 2017
Sonya studied BA design for performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Sonya’s love of theatre led her to develop a strong fascination with the collaborative process of storytelling that a designer is involved in. Her most major project to date has been a production of Killer Joe at Bute Theatre, directed by Debbie Hannan (2016).
Training – BA Design for Stage at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama 2017
Khadija Raza studied BA Design for Stage at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and is interested in working in theatre, opera and site-specific performances.
Previously, she has assisted Annemarie Woods on L’heure Espagnole and Gianni Schicci (Opera Nationale de Lorraine), James Cotteril for the British Youth Opera on English Eccentrics and Owen Wingrave (Peacock Theatre), and Geraldine Pilgrim on her site-specific, promenade piece, Well (Sanofi Factory, Dagenham). Currently, Khadija is Assistant Designer to Rosie Elnile on The Unknown Island (Gate Theatre).
Training – BA Performance Design course at The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in 2016
Fin Redshaw graduated first class the BA Performance Design course at The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in 2016.
Her recent design works include In Arabia We’d all be Kings (Bute Theatre), Mojo (Richard Burton Theatre), As it occurs to me (Leicester Square Theatre), Zero for the Young Dudes (Sherman Studio), PLAY Takeover (Bunker Theatre) and Islanders (Soho Theatre Upstairs).
She is the current Old Vic 12 Designer 2016-2017 and has worked as a design assistant to Rob Howell, Bob Crowley and Jonathan Fensom.
Training – BA in Design for Performance Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama 2016
Jessica graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with a First Class BA (Hons) in Design for Performance.
She has twice designed for the Orange Tree Theatre (Richmond): ‘King Lear’, for their Primary Shakespeare program, and ‘Extra Yarn’ for which she has been nominated for The Stage’s Debut Design Award.
Training – Theatre Performance Design at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts 2016
Jasmine studied Theatre Performance Design at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, graduating in 2016 with a First Class BA Hons.
Through her work she hopes to make bold, abstract statements that play with and challenge traditional notions of what theatre is; Aiming to subvert the audiences expectations whilst simultaneously conveying the narrative of the piece. Since graduating she has worked on a freelance basis assisting different designers based in London, including: Fashion Set Designer Shona Heath and Theatre Designer Andrew Edwards.
Her recent design credits include: Hyem (Theatre503), Sc
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