Meet the JMK Award 2019 Finalists

We're thrilled to share details on the finalists of the JMK Award 2019:

Oscar Toeman. Credit: Johan Persson

Oscar Toeman

Runner-Up, in partnership with designer Rebecca Brower, in recognition of their effective collaboration.

The Sugar Syndrome by Lucy Prebble

About the production:

“In 'The Sugar Syndrome' a recovering bulimic befriends a semi-reformed child molester online, and, together, they attempt to help one another. The play explores our need for connection, and the limits of our empathy. It speaks to us now with its nuanced, messy humanity, and is quietly radical in its plea against knee-jerk responses and judgements; its insistence of listening, understanding someone else. And yet, when does our compassion become problematic?”

‘Let's be lonely together, a little less lonely together.' (Lonely Together, ‪Rita Ora‬ & ‪Avicii‬)

Creative team:
Director: Oscar Toeman, Designer: Rebecca Brower, Lighting Designer: Jess Bernberg, Sound Designer: Giles Thomas, Movement: Chi-San Howard

Anthony Almeida

born bad by debbie tucker green

Credit: Johan Persson / The Royal Opera House

Creative Team:

Director: Anthony Almeida, Designer: Eleanor Bull

Credit: Eleanor Bull



Becky Hope-Palmer

Salonika by Louise Page

About the production:

“Louise Page has perfectly encapsulated the current issue many families face when growing old with no children to look after you. I believe a play such as this could start a larger discussion about the future prospects of caring for the elderly. It could also go some way to asking why this generational divide has happened and explore how to better understand each other.

Salonika shows there is most definitely another narrative for women in drama. Women must be seen leading on stage in all their forms, not as an aid to their male counterparts but as the protagonist.

Staging this play now will give actors over sixty the opportunity to fill our stages telling vivid, interesting stories that ask questions about our humanity in all it's complicated forms - what it means to grow old and with whom. What we value in life. Why grow old if you can't share life with anyone?”

Creative team:

Director: Becky Hope-Palmer, Designer: Ruth Hall, Composer: Sophie Cotton, Movement: Ayse Tashkiran


Jane Moriarty. Credit: Ben Delfont

Jane Moriarty

born bad by debbie tucker green

About the production:

“In debbie tucker green's searing family drama, language becomes a ferocious weapon. When Dawta confronts her family about the dark secret of their past, subjective truths and fragments of memory collide in a devastating battle of silence, victim-blaming and betrayal.

In our proposed production, we want to bring out the fragmentary and inquisitional form of the play, to engage the audience as active witnesses complicit in the unfolding story, and to create a dynamic and immediate production with economic use of design elements, psychologically vivid performances and sensitive attention to rhythm, pacing and the poeticism of the language.

debbie tucker green won the 2004 Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer for born bad, which was originally performed at the Hampstead Theatre (2003).”

Creative team:

Director: Jane Moriarty, Designer: James Donnelly, Lighting Designer: Jessica Hung Han Yun, Sound Designer: Alexandra Braithwaite, Movement: Shelley Maxwell


Jocelyn Cox. Credit: Manuel Harlan

Jocelyn Cox

Last Easter by Bryony Lavery

About the production:

“It's a beautiful exploration of the punch of grief. What to do when your heart hurts, when you just miss them and miss them and miss them. But much more it is a play about peace, hope, people acting from love even when it's complicated and will ultimately hurt like hell.

A narrative of fear, hope, sacrifice, faith and love is played out through both direct address and scenes, to create a uniquely poignant depiction of true friendship. Our production focuses on faith. Faith in friendship, and in love, far more than in salvation.

The crescendo of design elements is the final sequence, when beauty breaches the performance space and engulfs the whole theatre. We reveal a beautiful overwhelming image which communicates the transcendent spiritual experience of joy after heartbreak, that moment you can finally breathe with your whole lungs again.”

Creative team:
Director: Jocelyn Cox, Designer: Grace Venning, Lighting Designer: Lee Curran, Sound Designer: Peter Rice



Lilac Yosiphon.
Credit: Natalya Chagrin

Lilac Yosiphon

Static by Dan Rebellato

About the production:

"Static by Dan Rebelatto explores the chaotic landscape of grief in both BSL and Spoken English.

Our approach to the design was inspired by the work of Christine Sun Kim, Pina Bausch, Crystal Pite and Gecko Theatre and the writing of Max Porter and Michael Rosen.

Following major shifts in how we perceive loss and inclusiveness, this production would utilise a movement-led-approach to integrate both languages and engage with deaf and hearing audiences.”

Creative Team:

Director: Lilac Yosiphon, Designer: Jemima Robinson, Lighting Designer: Will Monks, Sound Designer: Liam Quinn, Movement: Angela Gasparetto.


Tash Hyman

Little Baby Jesus by Arinze Kene

Creative Team:

Director: Tash Hyman, Designer: Liam Bunster, Sound: Xana, Lighting: Jessica Hung Han Yun, Movement: Yassmin Foster, Costume Associate: Natalie Pryce

About the production: Design images credit: Liam Bunster

‘You know when you tell everyone to stop, and they're all just looking at you, and that kinda surprises you because you never thought  they would pay you any mind' - Joanne, 'Little Baby Jesus' by Arinzé Kene.


'Every flower came from the dirt. You're supposed to shake off some of the dirt that you came from, but if you don't you're still a flower innit. Most of the mandem's songs will be dirty but you've got to understand where we're coming from innit' - 'Don't call me Urban!', documentary by Simon Wheatley


‘Far from where I wanna be in this life/ It's nothin' I can't be in this life/ I just wanna do my ting and be free in this life' - 'Pressure', Little Simz





The winner of the JMK Award 2019 was Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu, with his production of Little Baby Jesus by Arinzé Kene. To find out more, please click here.