Winner 2003

Bijan Sheibani

Production: Party Time and One for the Road by Harold Pinter


Bijan is Artistic Director of ATC. His most recent directing credits include Our Class (National Theatre), Ghosts (Arcola), The Brothers Size (ATC/Young Vic), Gone Too Far! (Royal Court), Fixer (Almeida Theatre), Other Hands, Flush (Soho Theatre), Breath (BAC) and Have I None (Southwark Playhouse).

Bijan recently won a 2008 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement or Performance in an Affiliate Theatre for his production of Gone Too Far! in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court.

Winning the JMK Award made it possible for me to direct two plays by Harold Pinter that I loved, which Harold himself came and saw. It was a gruelling, energising, and thrilling time. Without that time, and without the JMK Trust, I would not be in the privileged position I'm now in. I only wish there were more opportunities like this one for the breadth of talented people who are embarking on that very daunting and penniless road - Bijan Sheibani

Beautifully cast and aesthetically vibrant, both plays demonstrate how language can simultaneously dissemble and carry oppression in every syllable - Rachel Halliburton in The Evening Standard


These are really first rate productions. It gave me great pleasure and pride to watch them. They have real authority and focus. I am deeply impressed - Harold Pinter


The brilliance of Sheibani's double bill is to make very different depictions of squashed dissent seem like two instalments of the same story. And the cast grasp Pinter's comedy of menace with both hands. This pairing catches the savage sophistry of latter day Pinter without missing a beat
- Claire Allfree in METRO

The staging by Bijan Sheibani - winner of this year's James Menzies-Kitchen Award for Young Directors - is bleak and gripping. Elusive and haunting - Kate Bassett in The Independent on Sunday

In 2003 the weekend workshops at BAC were led by Tom Morris who was joined on the interview panel by Thea Sharrock, then Artistic Director of Southwark Playhouse, and designer Dick Bird. The shortlisted directors included Elliot Cowan, Chris Rolls, Katie McAleese, Charlotte Westenra, Helen Eastman, John Terry and Philip Breen.

Production photos by Paul Burgess.