Winner 2014


Kate Hewitt

Production: Far Away by Caryl Churchill

Kate Hewitt, originally from Newcastle but now resident in London, trained in Lecoq physical theatre at the London International School of Performing Arts after studying Drama at Goldsmiths and received a Jerwood Assistant Director Award (2012). After winning the JMK Award, Kate went on to win the inaugural RTST Director Award 2016 and was named as one of Variety magazine’s ’10 Brits to Watch in 2017’.

Kate is directing three episodes of LIFE, an original drama by Mike Bartlett for the BBC.

Recent directing credits include: Plenty (Chichester Festival Theatre); Jesus Hopped the A Train (Young Vic); Midsummer (Edinburgh International Festival for the National Theatre of Scotland); Cock (Chichester Festival Theatre); Frost/Nixon (Sheffield Crucible), The Ice Road (a site-specific play set in disused Edwardian swimming baths in Bristol) and Kiki's Delivery Service (Southwark Playhouse). Kate was the Associate Director on Yerma (Young Vic) and part of the original creative team on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Drury Lane) as the Resident Director.

“Winning the JMK Award allows me to take the thrilling next steps towards creating my own work, but most significantly with the confidence of the JMK Trust behind me. The rigour and care that goes into the JMK's varied approach to finding the finalists stops it being about someone who can write a great application and it raises your game as a director before you've entered the rehearsal room. All of the previous winners are brilliant directors and to be included in that world is a privilege. The JMK allows me the incredible opportunity to apply myself in a fully committed way to a staggering play, to venture out as a director making my own work, and also connects me to a network and world of very exciting practitioners and collaborators. I'm thrilled.” - Kate Hewitt

“The JMK Award seems to lead to good productions by young directors. I've enjoyed Thea Sharrock's Top Girls and Caroline Steinbeis' Mad Forest and look forward to seeing Kate Hewitt's Far Away.”Caryl Churchill, writer of Far Away.

“Kate is an exciting and worthy winner of this year’s JMK Award. The financial necessities of life can, understandably, lead talented emerging directors down the path of looking after existing theatre productions, where their skills are recognized and rewarded. However it can prove tough to leave the world of staff or resident direction and risk that livelihood in the quest to originate your own work. All theatre is collaborative, and Kate and her team impressed with their creative and original ideas for this modern classic. But it was Kate’s skill with actors that has secured her this year’s JMK Award and, with the support of the Young Vic, the rare opportunity to take that risk.”Stephen Fewell, Chair of the JMK Trust.

Roy Alexander Weise was the runner up with his production of The Ugly One by Marius von Mayenburg.

The finalists in 2014 were Hannah Banister, Phil Bartlett, Jessica Edwards, Kate O'Connor, Tara Robinson and James Yeatman.

Production images: Katherine Leedale