JMK Award winner 2013 is Alex Brown with his production of The Island by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona. The Island ran at the Young Vic 7 – 30 November 2013. (Production photos by Richard Hubert Smith).
"Commemorating 40 years since this beacon of the anti-apartheid movement was first performed, Alex Brown’s stirring revival succeeds in maintaining the tension from that famous, absurdist opening, through the long nights in the duo’s prison cell, and climaxing with their triumphant performance of Antigone. Brown achieves this partly through confident use of the traverse stage space and chiefly by eliciting strong performances from Jimmy Akingbola as Winston and Daniel Poyser as John." The Stage
Alex has directed short plays at the Young Vic, Soho, Arcola, Old Vic, BAC and Lyric Hammersmith. As an assistant director he has worked on The River (Royal Court) The Turn of the Screw (Almeida) Platform and Late at Night (Old Vic).
Alex studied English and Drama at Sussex University and graduated in 2009. In 2010 he was a director on Old Vic New Voices: 24 Hour Plays and went on to work on OVNV’s Ignite project (2010) and TS Eliot Exchange (2012). He also trained through workshops with Living Pictures and on the Young Vic’s Genesis Directors Network.
He has directed youth theatre productions and run workshops for the Arcola, Roundhouse, Almeida, Lyric Hammersmith, Old Vic and Islington Community Theatre. This year he has been working as a Connections Director for the National Theatre’s NTConnections Festival 2013.
Alex says, “The process of applying for the JMK really sharpens your thinking about putting on a production. It’s a chance to build relationships with designers, producers and other creatives and to ask big questions about the work you want to make. To answer those questions then be given the opportunity to put the play on for real is absolutely thrilling. I can’t thank the Trust enough for giving me the space and support to make that wish a reality.”
The recipient of the 2013 year’s runner up prize, funded by the Ian Ritchie Foundation, is Kim Pearce with her production of Road by Jim Cartwright.
The other 2013 finalists were Tom Bailey, Michael Bryher, Mel Hillyard, Anna Marsland and Jennifer Tang.