The finalists for the Linbury Prize for Stage Design 2019 are announced today

Posted on 21 Wed 08 2019

The twelve finalists will work on a design brief on an upcoming production from one of the four commissioning companies and exhibit their designs at the National Theatre. Four will win a commission to realise their designs with the participating companies, and one designer will be awarded the overall winner's title.

Designing for Birmingham Royal Ballet are Harry Pizzey from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and Sami Fendall from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and Caitlin Abbott from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. The designers will be working on a newly commissioned piece by choreographer Morgann Runacre-Temple and a yet to be announced composer. The new piece will be performed during incoming Artistic Director Carlos Acosta’s first season of work and Carlos himself will be mentoring the process. 

Kirsty Barlow from the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, Carrie Ann Stein from South Essex College and Zoë Hurwitz from New York University Tisch School of the Arts will be designing for Nuffield Southampton Theatres. They will be working on ACID, a new project co-directed by Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres Sam Hodges and Drew McOnie, written by Tena Stivicic. ACID will be a hybrid piece of theatre and dance which interrogates the relationship between power and art within the dance world.  

Designing for Leeds Playhouse are Rose Revitt, Elin Steele and Debbie Duru, all from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. They will work on a new production of Dr Korczak’s Example, a powerful and enduring play written by David Greig and directed by Leeds Playhouse’s Artistic Director James Brining. The play explores young people’s choices in the face of monstrous abuses of power and the morality of perpetrating acts of violence as opposed to peaceful protest.

Finally, designing for Octagon Theatre Bolton are Laura Ann Price from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, TK Hay and Aline Jeffery, both from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. They will be designing a UK regional premiere which will be part of the opening season in Octagon Theatre’s new building, following a major capital redevelopment. The title will be announced later this year.

2013 Awards ceremony at the National Theatre
2013 awards ceremony at the National Theatre

Madeleine Girling, photo by Sheila Burnett
2013 Winner, Madeleine Girling

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Leeds Playhouse are opening their new production of Dr Korczaks Example by David Greig. The production is directed by James Brining and is designed by Linbury Prize Winner Rose Revitt. 

Rose has written a brilliant piece for what’s on stage and was featured on an interview on Entertainmemt Focus about the stage design.







This year’s overall winner of the Linbury Prize is Sami Fendall, who will be designing a newly commissioned dance work as part of Ballet Now for Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Also announced were three other winners Zoe Hurwitz designing ACID for Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Rose Revitt designing Dr Korczak’s Example for Leeds Playhouse and TK Hay designing An Adventure for Octagon Theatre Bolton.

2019 marks 30 years since the Linbury Prize was first held at the National Theatre. The first exhibition for emerging designers took place in 1987 at the Theatre Museum, arranged by Anya Sainsbury. In 1989 the first Linbury Biennial Prize for Stage Design was held at the NT and the Prize is still held here today.  Over the 30 years, more than 1,200 young designers have entered the Linbury Prize for Stage Design.