Today twelve emerging designers from across the UK are announced as recipients of this year’s Linbury Prize for Stage Design 2023, as part of the National Theatre and The Linbury Trust’s commitment to supporting designers to develop a sustainable career in stage design.
Recipients of the biannual Linbury Prize are awarded a bursary prize of £5,000 and a design placement with an established industry designer or producing organisation, gaining first-hand experience of the production process, and developing their skills further. Additionally, the prize recipients will take part in an exhibition at the National Theatre from 13th November 2023 to showcase their work to the public and industry professionals opening career pathways into theatre.
This year’s recipients of the award are Ania Levy (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama), Bethan Wall (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama), Biz Sutton (Edinburgh College of Art), Finlay Jenner (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts), Jodie Yates (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama), Nitin Parmar (London College of Fashion UAL), Ola Kłos (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama), Peiyao Wang (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama), Tallulah Caskey (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts), Tiffany Fraser Steele (London College of Fashion UAL), Yijing Chen (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) and Yimei Zhao (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama).
The Linbury Prize is the only nationwide prize for Stage Design in the UK, launching the careers of over 200 young talented stage designers since its founding in 1987 by Anya Sainsbury including Es Devlin in 1995 (Set Designer - Dear England, Set Designer - The Crucible), Peter Butler in 2021, who designed the set for the National Theatre’s schools touring production of Shut Up, I’m Dreaming, and 2019 winner Rose Revitt who designed the public installation of The Tree at the National Theatre. In recognition of the diverse range of career paths that can lead to roles in stage design, this year’s prize has been opened to those without degree qualifications for the first time.
Georgia Lowe, Linbury Prize Judge and Committee member said “It has been an enormous honour being a judge for this year's prize- the quality of applications and talent has been astounding and to select the final 12 recipients has not been an easy task. Having been a Linbury prize finalist myself, I understand and connect with the huge amount of work, effort and nerves that go into applying for this prize.
The 12 recipients are an exciting and diverse group of artists and I can’t wait to see their incredible work exhibited at the National Theatre. This exhibition is always an amazing opportunity for the public to get a unique insight into the craft, care and commitment that goes into designing for performance”.
Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre said “The Linbury Prize is such a unique celebration of emerging talent in the world of theatre design. The National Theatre hopes to open pathways for designers from all backgrounds by celebrating and supporting them in these early stages of their career. It is a great privilege to be able to support something that empowers emerging talent”.
This year’s judging panel included award winning designers Georgia Lowe, Tom Piper, Jean-Marc Puissant and Rajha Shakiry. The competition was open to emerging designers with recent relevant degree qualifications or equivalent experience. Applicants submitted digital portfolios online, with shortlisted candidates subsequently invited to in-person interviews.