The 2021 JMK Award winner was Diane Page with her production of Statements after an Arrest under the Immorality Act by Athol Fugard. Diane worked with her designer Niall McKeever and sound designer Esther Ajayi.
Continuing its partnership with the Orange Tree Theatre, the winning production formed part of the theatre’s Recovery Season.
As a director, Diane Page’s credits include Yellowman (Orange Tree Theatre), Julius Caesar (Shakespeare’s Globe), Lost & Found (Royal Opera House), 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, “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, the, then, 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 2021 finalists and their teams were:
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.