Live Theatre bursaries announced

Published: 15 October 2020
Reporter: Peter Lathan

Live Bursary Winners 2020

Newcastle’s Live Theatre has announced bursaries for 13 writers, six more than last year.

“It’s so vitally important right now that theatres do all they can to support artists and the creation of new work,” said Graeme Thompson, Live Theatre’s Creative Producer. “It is because of this that this year we are offering 13 bursaries, using the resources and skills Live has to enable artists to keep working and making new plays. So, when this is all over, new voices and new stories will still be heard at Live Theatre. These 13 bursaries represent a huge range of diverse but incredibly exciting new stories. I can’t wait to see how they develop and share them with an audience.”

The thirteen awards are eight full bursaries of £2,000 and a further five seed bursaries of £1,000.

As well as £2,000 cash and the opportunity to have their work performed at Live Theatre, often as part of the annual Elevator Festival, bursary recipients receive dramaturgical, production and marketing support, access to space for research, development and rehearsals plus, new for 2020, the support of a partner mentor.

The seed bursary winners will each receive £1,000 to spend on any aspect of their project, rehearsal and R&D space at Live Theatre and dramaturgical, production and marketing support from Live Theatre’s team.

£2,000 bursary winners for 2020 are:

  • Adam Donaldson for The North Star.
    A graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Donaldson is a performer and writer. Adam’s debut play Journos twice went to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and his first short film won the Ideastap BAFTA film showcase in 2015.
  • Caitlin Evans of Shybairn Theatre Company for Your (insert here) Won’t Save Us.
    Evans, a director of Shybairn Theatre Company, is a theatre-maker from Newcastle and graduate of MFA Advanced Theatre Practice at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
  • Isabella Leung for A Bouffon Play About Hong Kong.
    A bilingual and multi-disciplinary performer, theatre-maker and writer, born and raised in Hong Kong and based in the UK. Her work focuses on devising, movement and comedy.
  • Lucy Nichol with Chris Connel for The 27 Club.
    Nichol is a writer, PR consultant, published author, podcaster and mental health campaigner. Connel is an actor and presenter. A regular at Live Theatre his work has taken him to Broadway and to venues across the UK.
  • Alison Scurfield for Intergalactic (petals and constellations).
    Scurfield is a writer from North Yorkshire. Her first short, Flushed, was performed at Live Theatre in 2019 as part of 10 Minutes to… Stake a Claim.
  • David Tuffnell for Our Karen—Rainy Days And Mondays
    Tuffnell is a graduate of LAMDA and is co-founder of Teesside Theatre Company Less Is More.
  • Max Emmerson and Rob Ward for I Would Love It If We Beat Them.
    Ward wrote and performed Gypsy Queen which was performed twice at Live Theatre. Emmerson is the producer of Box Of Tricks.
  • Kerry Wright for Thyme Café.
    Originally from Canterbury, Wright is a writer and theatre-maker based in Bradford.

Seed bursary winners are:

  • Lydia Brickland for Ankles.
    Brickland is a member of BRASH, an educational theatre company for young people, making sex education "relevant, political and unafraid".
  • Mhairi Ledgerwood for Swimmers.
    Has had several short plays performed including Parklife at Live Theatre. She was part of the Royal Court Writers Group (North).
  • Rebecca Glendenning Laycock for Chained Reaction.
    She has been involved in the most recent 10 Minutes to… at Live Theatre with her audio play Sheltered and is a member of Bonnie & The Bonnettes.
  • Lydia Marchant and Tom Bellerby for Stuck.
    Marchant is part of the BBC’s Writers Academy, Associate Writer of The Roaring Girls and Affiliate Artist of Hull Truck Theatre. Bellerby is a theatre director and was previously Associate Director of Hull Truck Theatre and Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar Warehouse.
  • Madeline Gould and Tilly Branson for Women In Water.
    Both are North East writers, new to Live Theatre.

All bursary winning shows will be in development with Live Theatre over the next 10–12 months.

For more information on the winners and their plays see the Live Theatre web site.