We are delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s JMK Award is Diane Page with her proposed production of Statements after an Arrest under the Immorality Act by Athol Fugard. Diane will work with her designer Niall McKeever and sound designer Esther Ajayi.
This year’s runners-up are director Rafaella Marcus with her designer Anna Reid and their proposed production of Peggy Pickett Sees the Face of God by Roland Schimmelpfennig.
Continuing its partnership with the Orange Tree Theatre, the winning production forms part of the theatre’s upcoming Recovery Season, and opens on 2 September, with previews from 28 August and running until 2 October. It will also be streamed live via OT On Screen 23 – 24 September at 7.30pm.
As a director, Diane Page’s credits include Out West (Co-director), In Love and Loyalty (also as writer), Ghost Stories, Leave to Remain, Dick Whittington (Lyric Hammersmith), Yeggs (Wildcard Online), Love and Information (ArtsEd) and Krool Britannia (Rabbit Hole Theatre/Camden Fringe). Her credits as an associate director include Ghost Stories (Duke of York’s Theatre/UK tour); and as an assistant director, othellomacbeth (Lyric Hammersmith/HOME) and Bartholomew Fair (Shakespeare’s Globe).
Diane Page said today, “I am beyond thrilled to be the recipient of the JMK Award. It is such an incredible feeling to have the opportunity to stage Statements after an Arrest under the Immorality Act by Athol Fugard – a brilliant and poignant play that is in dialogue with the world now – and I’m overjoyed to be able to do it at the Orange Tree Theatre. I want to thank the JMK Trust for their support and keeping this award going – especially at this time. My creative team and I cannot wait to share the production with you.”
Stephen Fewell, Chair of the JMK Trust, also commented, “I’m really thrilled to see Diane and her team receive the JMK Award of £25,000, and cannot wait to be sat in the Orange Tree Theatre this autumn to see her production spark into life. As theatre audiences, like the lovers in Fugard’s play, meet together once more in the darkness, I’m anticipating what modern parallels may be drawn from his account of life under a corrupt, immoral and racially prejudiced government regime.
Today sees theatre audiences beginning to return, and I hope audiences will come along to see Diane’s show, and support all our shortlisted directors’ future projects. They represent the future, and as we all decide what we want to regain and what to reimagine, who to mourn and how to rebuild, they deserve every opportunity that theatre can provide.”
Paul Miller, Artistic Director of the Orange Tree Theatre added, “I am seriously delighted that Diane Page, this year’s winner of the JMK Award, will play a key part in the OT’s recovery season. Her passion and insight in to Athol Fugard’s seminal classic blew us away, and in particular her feeling for it as a powerful response to recent events. In Diane the JMK Award has once again struck gold. I can’t wait for audiences to return and experience this electric play, in the hands of such an exciting director.”
The other finalists and their teams were:
Director Emily Aboud, designer Natalie Pryce – Rum and Coca Cola by Mustapha Matura
Director Matt Harrison, designer Camilla Clarke – Tom Fool by Franz Xaver Kroetz
Director Becky Hope-Palmer, designer Luke W. Robson – When I was a girl I used to scream and shout by Sharman Macdonald
Director Ed Madden, designer Grace Smart – Peggy Pickett Sees the Face of God by Roland Schimmelpfennig
Director Katherine Nesbitt, designer Rose Montgomery – Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. by Alice Birch
Director Emerald Crankson, designer Zoë Hurwitz – Mules by Winsome Pinnock (*see below)
The JMK Award was kindly supported by Philip Hooker, The Martin Bowley Charitable Trust, the Katie Bradford Arts Trust, Arts Council England Culture Recovery Fund and all our individual donors.
* Update on Emerald – due to the combination of COVID restrictions and a change her personal circumstances, sadly Emerald Crankson has chosen to withdraw from the process for this year’s JMK Award. As together we were unable to find a work around, Emerald has been offered a place on the shortlist of a future JMK Award, if and when it is able to go ahead.