The winners of this year’s prestigious Linbury Prize for Stage Design were announced at a ceremony at the National Theatre yesterday, 2 December, marking 30 years since the prize was first held at the NT.
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.
At the same ceremony the judges also announced the other winners whose designs will also be realised at the remaining three partner companies. These are 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.
The Linbury Prize for Stage Design is a unique opportunity for graduating designers to work with leading directors and choreographers and gain a professional commission with four major UK companies. The winners were decided by the judging panel which this year was made up of renowned designers Lizzie Clachan (Absolute Hell, As You Like It), Katrina Lindsay (Small Island, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) and Rajha Shakiry (Nine Night, Misty).
Speaking about this year’s competition, judge Rajha Shakiry said:
"The Linbury Prize for Stage Design stands as the most prestigious award for young designers to launch their careers. The design portfolios of this year’s applicants represented a variety of exciting creativity and skills that are being developed and nurtured by Design schools around the UK.
It was a challenge to narrow down the selections and it’s fantastic that aside from the 4 winners, the award also gives a platform to all selected designers to publicly exhibit their ideas and process at the National Theatre.”
2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the Linbury Prize being held at the National Theatre. Over those 30 years more than 1,200 young designers have entered the Linbury Prize for Stage Design, which continues to champion young designers today.
Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre said:
“The Linbury Prize for Stage Design is a brilliant platform for young design talent. Stage design is a crucial aspect in any theatre production and the Prize has been essential in giving many emerging designers the recognition and support they need as they build their careers. We are thrilled to continue to support this unique and invaluable experience as it marks its 30th year at the National Theatre.”
All 12 finalists’ work, including their final models, can now be seen in a new exhibition in the Lyttelton Lounge at the National Theatre, giving visitors a unique glimpse of the behind-the-scenes process of set designers.
The Linbury Prize for Stage Design was founded by Anya Sainsbury in 1987. The award is sponsored by the Linbury Trust, one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts.