Winner 2000

Thea Sharrock

Production: Top Girls by Caryl Churchill

theasharrockweb_562Thea is a theatre and film director. Her film credits include Me Before You (2015) and The Hollow Crown (2012). Upcoming films include The One and Only Ivan (2020).

After graduating from Oxford, where she was President of OUDS, Thea attended the directors course at the National Theatre Studio, working on a number of productions in London and on tour. Her winning production of Top Girls toured the UK twice, before a brief run in the West End. In 2001 she became Artistic Director of Southwark Playhouse. In addition she served as an associate director on the long-running West End production of Art. From 2004-2006, she was Artistic Director at the Gate Theatre.

Theatre credits include The Sunshine Boys (Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles and the Savoy Theatre, London); The Bodyguard (Adelphi Theatre) and 13 (National Theatre). Her directing credits also include: Equus with Daniel Radcliffe (Gielgud Theatre); The Misanthrope with Keira Knightley and Damian Lewis (Harold Pinter Theatre); After the Dance with Benedict Cumberbatch (National Theatre).

I wouldn't be where I am now without winning the Award. The only way to become a director is to direct. There is no three year drama school course to go on after which you can be a qualified director. This award provides the opportunity to direct by giving the two things a young director doesn't have - a space and money - Thea Sharrock


Thea Sharrock's production of Top Girls injects sparkling comedy into one of the most insane and yet one of the most thought provoking dinner parties in the 20th century. Sharrock realises playwright Caryl Churchill's slightly dated but still important vision in all it's stirring complexities - Rachel Halliburton in The Evening Standard

Sharrock brings a fresh eye to the extraordinary opening dinner party - Robert Hewison in The Sunday Times

No Runner-up was appointed in 2000. Erica Whyman, then Artistic Director of Southwark Playhouse, gave one of our shortlisted directors, Toby Frow, space at Southwark Playhouse to develop his play, Peer Gynt.

Finalists in 2000 were: Marianne Sharp, Alison James, Ari Edelson, Anthony Banks, Catherine Alexander, Toby Frow and Joe Hill-Gibbins.