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The Linbury Prize for Stage Design has announced this year’s judges and the arts organisations with whom the finalists will be working.


On the judging panel this year are renowned designers Sophie Jump, Tom Piper and Tom Scutt while the production companies the finalists will be designing for are the Royal Court Theatre, Traverse Theatre, Nuffield Theatre (Southampton), Lyric Theatre, Belfast.


The Linbury Prize for Stage Design was founded by Anya Sainsbury CBE in 1987 as a springboard for recent graduates from theatre design courses around the UK, giving applicants an unparalleled opportunity to work with professional theatre companies and to collaborate with writers, directors and technical teams at a crucial stage in their careers.


Twelve finalists get the chance to work with the four professional production companies and exhibit their work at the National Theatre. Four of the 12 will then win a commission to realise their designs with the participating companies, and one designer is awarded the overall winner’s title.


Some of the most important stage designers working today are previous winners of the Linbury Prize, including Tim Hatley, Anthony Ward and Vicki Mortimer.


The Linbury Prize for Stage Design is sponsored by the Linbury Trust, one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts. Applications open in May and close on Wednesday 8 July. This year’s finalists will be announced in July, with the overall winner announced in December.





Sophie Jump



Winner of the Gold Award for ‘exceptional achievement across all categories’ at World Stage Design 2013, Sophie Jump designs for theatre and is Associate Director and designer for performance company Seven Sisters Group. Former Honorary Secretary of the Society of British Theatre Designers, she curated the exhibition When Marcel Met Motley at the V&A museum in 2008, is a freelance lecturer and, as the recipient of a Rootstein Hopkins Doctoral Bursary, is currently completing her PhD on Motley and Jocelyn Herbert. Her work was selected to represent the UK at every Prague Quadrennial of performance design between 1999-2011. Work includes: Tell Them That I Am Young and Beautiful (dir: Marcello Magni, Arcola Theatre), Uncle Vanya (dir: Helena Kaut Howson, Belgrade Studio and Arcola Theatre), Led Easy (dir: Emma Bernard, Cardboard Citizens), The Tempest (dir: Nancy Meckler, Shared Experience) and Full Moon (dir: Helena Kaut-Howson). Work for Seven Sisters Group includes; Like a Fish out of Water (with English National Ballet at London lidos), Atalanta (Ashmolean Museum), Asterion (V&A Museum), Salome (St Pancras Chambers), Trainstation (national and international stations), Concrete (National Theatre), Ballroom (Royal Festival Hall) and The Forbidden (Royal Opera House).


Tom Piper



Most recent productions include The King’s Speech (Birmingham Rep, Chichester and UK tour); Mermaid (Shared Experience); Orfeo (Royal Opera House and Roundhouse); Tamburlaine The Great (Theatre For a New Audience, NY); The House That Will Not Stand (Tricycle); Hamlet, The Libertine, King Lear (Citizens, Glasgow); Bakersfield Mist (West End); The Big Meal (Theatre Royal Bath and Hightide); and Red Velvet (Tricycle and NY). . He has worked at the National Theatre, Donmar, Soho, Dundee Rep, Bush, Gate Dublin, Nottingham Playhouse, Hampstead and Sheffield Crucible. Tom Piper was the Associate Designer of the RSC for ten years; recent work there includes Love for Love; Christmas Truce; Antony and Cleopatra (RSC/Miami/NY); Boris Godunov; Much Ado About NothingMacbeth; City Madam, and the complete History Cycle, for which he won the 2009 Olivier Award for Best Costume Design and was nominated for the Award for Best Set Design. He was the designer for the critically acclaimed poppy installation, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, at the Tower of London. He received an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours, 2015. He also received the ‘Contribution to London’s Cultural Excellence’ award at the London Awards and came first in The Telegraph’s Briton of the Year in early 2015.


Tom Scutt



Tom Scutt received the Linbury Prize for Stage Design 2007 for his work with Headlong, the Jocelyn Herbert Award 2007 and the Whatsonstage ‘Best Set Designer’ Award 2013 for Constellations and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

He is Associate Designer for the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton and is currently designing the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Tom has worked extensively in the UK and abroad with recent theatre designs including Constellations (West End/New York/Royal Court and upcoming UK tour); King Charles III (West End); Medea (National Theatre) and Mr Burns (Almeida). Other credits include: 13 (National Theatre); Hope, The Djinns of Eidgah, The Ritual Slaughter of Gorge Mastromas, No Quarter, Remembrance Day (Royal Court); The Life of Galileo, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice (RSC); King Lear, Through A Glass Darkly, The Merchant of Venice (Almeida); The Weir (West End/Donmar); Absent Friends (West End); East is East (Trafalgar Studios/UK tour); South Downs/The Browning Version (West End/Chichester); A Number (Nuffield) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness (Headlong). His designs for Opera notably include Wozzeck (Set) for English National Opera, The Flying Dutchman for Scottish Opera, How The Whale Became for the Royal Opera House and Rigoletto for Opera Holland Park.



About the Linbury Trust

The Linbury Trust is a charitable trust; it was established by Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover KG, and his wife Anya, Lady Sainsbury, CBE. The trustees of the Linbury Trust make grants to organisations and towards causes across a broad range of categories, including the Arts and Art Education, Social Welfare, Education, Environment and Heritage, Older People, Medical, and Developing Countries. Trustees give priority to causes in which they have a particular interest and where they have particular knowledge and experience, as exemplified by their support for the Linbury Prize for Stage Design.


The full Linbury Prize committee are: Jon Bausor, Sean Crowley, Sophie Jump, Philip Lawford, Vicki Mortimer, Caro Newling (Chair), Christopher Oram, David Pritchard and Anya Sainsbury CBE.


For more information please visit




The Royal National Theatre is a registered charity no: 224223. Registered as a company limited by guarantee in England no: 749504. Registered address Upper Ground, London SE1 9PX


The Royal National Theatre
Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PX
Telephone numbers: BOX OFFICE +44 (0) 20 7452 3000, SWITCHBOARD +44 (0) 20 7452 3333
Registered in England as a company limited by guarantee, number 749504
Registered Charity number 224223


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