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‘After giving up my dancing career with the Royal Ballet
in 1965, I joined the Theatre Design Course at the Slade School under the wonderful designer and teacher, Nicholas Georgiadis. The seed was sown and 20 years later, in 1989, it grew into the Linbury Prize for Stage Design, at the National Theatre.’

Lady Anya Sainsbury CBE,
Founder of the Linbury Prize for Stage Design

Anya Linden in the role of The Girl in Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet Solitaire, with dancers of The Royal Ballet Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, UK; 1958. Choreography by Kenneth MacMillan, designed by Desmond Heeley, photo by Roger Wood. Copyright: Roger Wood/Royal Opera House/ArenaPAL;


'The Linbury Prize is a brilliant platforma 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.’

‘Lady Anya Sainsbury’s love of theatre design inspired her to create the Linbury Prize. It is a unique and amazing platform, a beacon of opportunity for new design talent. The generations of designers that have been involved are a testament to

the singular brilliant vision of its creator.’


Rufus Norris,
Director of the National Theatre

Anthony Ward, Designer

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‘From little acorns oak trees grow! Being part of the Linbury Prize from the start has been the most fulfilling and creative project. A small idea born in the mid- 1960s grew to maturity when we brought the Prize to the National Theatre and involved UK producing companies. The Prize is the job!’

Professor Pamela Howard OBE


‘The Linbury Prize has had an enormous impact on my practice: as a participant, I learned to translate theory into practicality as soon as
I finished my studies. As a judge,
I learned so much from the next generation of young designers.’

Es Devlin OBE, Designer


‘If the Linbury Prize is universally respected – and it is – it’s because, for over 30 years it’s been an essential shop- window for young designers, giving a matchless opportunity for established directors, designers and producers to see the work of emerging talents.’

Sir Richard Eyre,
Director of the National Theatre (1988 – 1997)

‘The Linbury Prize allows young designers and theatre-makers to connect in what can be a very dislocated and isolating industry, making these connections and supportive relationships has been hugely important for me in continuing to make work past the prize. It also feels vital to have a space to celebrate the variety

of forms in design for performance and how it continues to change as new artists

come through.’


Blythe Brett,
2021 Linbury Prize recipient

‘The Linbury Prize is a fantastic opportunity to recognise and celebrate the inspirational talent of emerging designers for theatre and dance. Lady Anya Sainsbury’s vision in bringing this prize into being allows us to support new designers whose imagination and craft is so essential to our engagement with and

delight in performances.’


Roxana Silbert,
Chair of the Linbury Prize for Stage Design

‘Building professional contacts and getting your work seen can often be overwhelming as a new designer
and the Linbury Prize is an incredible platform and unique experience to showcase your work. For me, it was
a brilliant way to connect with other emerging designers and directors and having the support of the National Theatre during the experience and beyond has been invaluable.’


Zoë Hurwitz,
2019 Linbury Prize recipient

The History Of The Prize

Audio Description

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