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31.08.2021

RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2021

The Royal Theatrical Support Trust (RTST) and ETT (English Touring Theatre) were delighted to announce that the 2021 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award Scheme was open for another year in October 2021.

In its fifth year, the award – which honours the memory of RTST co-founder, Sir Peter Hall – offers the winner their first-time opportunity to direct a full-scale, fully funded, mid-scale regional touring production of a classic or modern play, which may be an existing play or a new adaptation of a novel or film. The production will open in 2022 at Leeds Playhouse, as a co-production between ETT and Leeds Playhouse, then tour across the UK. The RTST will make a grant of £50,000 to be applied towards the costs of the winner’s production.

The scheme promotes the RTST’s charitable objectives by supporting up-and-coming theatre practitioners and British regional theatres. It is also intended to appeal to a wide range of candidates and to play a part in promoting diversity in the theatre, onstage, offstage and among audiences.

The winning director will demonstrate exceptional directing skills and a passion for regional theatre, and will be chosen by a panel comprising of Chair, Richard Twyman; Artistic Director of ETT; James Brining, Artistic Director of Leeds Playhouse; Dominic Cooke, Director; Paapa Essiedu, Actor; Haydn Gwynne, Actor; Shelley Maxwell, Movement Director; and Davina Shah, Literary and Creative Agent.

The 2019 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award winner Anthony Almeida opens his production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Curve, Leicester on 8 September, with previews from 3 September, before touring to Liverpool, Canterbury, Ipswich, Theatr Clwyd, and concludes in Southampton on 30 October. Other previous award winners and official runners-up of the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award include Nancy Medina and Josh Seymour (2018); Chelsea Walker and Tinuke Craig (2017); and Kate Hewitt and Rebecca Frecknall (2016).

Sir Geoffrey Cass, Chairman, and Mark Hawes, Director of the RTST said today, “After a year’s hiatus, we’re overjoyed to be running our RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award scheme once more —this year with ETT, which is set to co-produce the winner’s production with Leeds Playhouse. This will be the fourth regional mid-scale touring co-production (and the fifth regional production in total) to be catalysed by our RTST Award and production grant — again providing a career-transformative experience for the winning director, work for multiple theatre practitioners, and high-quality drama for audiences around the country. In a regional industry recovering from the desolating effects of the pandemic, this RTST Award stands for opportunity, excellence and hope.”

Richard Twyman, Artistic Director, and Sophie Scull, Executive Producer of ETT, also commented, “This is ETT’s fourth year partnering with the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award and it represents one of the most important things we do as company; opening up the stages of cities and towns throughout the UK to artists that haven’t had the chance to work on them before. The opportunity to make work on a larger scale that tours to audiences nationwide, in a fully resourced and supported production, can be a watershed moment in a director’s career and feels all the more significant after the last 18 months.

We’re ever grateful to the RTST for their continued commitment to raising significant funding for new talent and delighted, this year, to be partnering with Leeds Playhouse to co-produce the production. We look forward to introducing the work of a visionary director to audiences across the UK in Autumn 2022.

James Brining, Artistic Director of Leeds Playhouse, added, “We’re delighted to be working with RTST and English Touring Theatre to support up-and-coming theatre practitioners to develop the scale and ambition of their work. Supporting theatre practitioners at all stages of their career is a key part of the Leeds Playhouse mission. As part of our pioneering Furnace artistic development programme, we work year-round to develop audacious creative voices and vital new theatre for the stage.

The step from small to middle scale presents particular challenges. This award has a terrific reputation for enabling visionary directors to make that step with confidence, knowing they have the support of an established producing theatre. We can’t wait to meet the selected candidates and to work on realising the production in the autumn of 2022.

For further details of the award, please visit the RTST’s website: www.rtst.org.uk.

The closing date for entries has now passed.