Linbury Prize 2017: Winners Announced

Posted on 27 Mon 11 2017

The winners of the prestigious Linbury Prize for Stage Design 2017 were announced at a ceremony at the National Theatre on 1 November. This year’s overall winner of the Linbury Prize 2017 is Basia Binkowska, who will be designing Othello / Macbeth for the Lyric Hammersmith. Other winners announced are Khadija Raza designing Dido, a co-production between the Unicorn Theatre and ENO, Eleanor Bull designing Windrush: Movement of the People for Phoenix Dance Theatre and Fin Redshaw designing Pieces of String for Mercury Theatre, Colchester.

The Linbury Prize for Stage Design is a unique opportunity for graduating designers to work with leading directors and gain a professional commission with four major companies. The winners for the Linbury Prize 2017 were decided by the judging panel which this year was made up of renowned designers Tom Piper, Nicky Shaw and Rae Smith.

Speaking about this year’s competition, judge Tom Piper said:

“The Linbury Prize remains the most important theatre prize open to recent graduates of UK Design schools. We get over 90 applicants and it is a testament to the depth of talent in the students and the extraordinarily dedicated teaching abilities of colleges that the judges have such a tough time selecting the final 12.

We are really excited this year to have a range of different performance forms in the commissioning companies, which we hope will demonstrate the deep range of skills and ground breaking ideas which the young designers bring to bear on their projects.”

All 12 finalists work can now be seen in a new exhibition, including their final models, held in the Lyttelton Lounge at the National Theatre until 2 January, giving visitors a unique glimpse of the behind-the-scenes process of set designers.

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 Othello and The Last of the Haussmans.

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.

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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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.

Twelve finalists for the Linbury Prize have been chosen and will soon be announced. Three designers will work with each of the following companies: Octagon Theatre Bolton, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Nuffield Southampton Theatres and Leeds Playhouse, to create a design for an upcoming production.

Candidates for the Linbury Prize can start submitting their portfolios from Wednesday 1 May. Deadline for submissions is Monday 1 Jul 2019.