Sam Pritchard has been announced as the winner of the 2012 James Menzes-Kitchin Young Director Award. His proposed production of Fireface by Marius von Mayenburg will be staged in the Young Vic’s Clare Theatre in October/November 2012 with a bursary of £18,000 towards the production. Fireface was originally staged in Germany in 1998 and was seen in Britain as part of Royal Court’s International Playwright’s Season in 2000, directed by Dominic Cooke.
24-year-old Pritchard trained as a director at Birkbeck College, University of London. He was the New Writing Associate at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester between 2010 and 2011. His credits include Galka Motalka (Royal Exchange Studio), Money Matters (nabokov/Soho Downstairs), The Parrot House (Staged reading, Everyword Festival/Liverpool Everyman) and Notes for first-time astronauts (Slice/Theatre 503). (Slice/Theatre 503). He has assisted Matthew Dunster, Sarah Frankcom, Greg Hersov and Roxana Silbert and is a Connections Director for the NT Connections Festival 2012.
Pritchard says: “I am completely thrilled to be the recipient of this year’s JMK Award. The application and development process has been an unparalleled opportunity to learn about myself as a director and to develop a production of a play I care passionately about. To be given the unique privilege of realising that idea at a theatre like the Young Vic is overwhelming and hugely exciting. I can’t thank the JMK Trust and everyone involved in the award enough”.
The runner-up was Simon Pollard with his proposed production of Hedwig and the Angry Itch by John Cameron Mitchell. Pollard will receive a £2,000 award from the Ian Ritchie Foundation. The other finalists this year were Abigail Graham, Tim Hoare, Kate O’Connor, Kirsty Patrick Ward, Prasanna Puwanarajah and Josh Seymour.
2012 marks the 15th anniversary of the JMK Trust, which was established to commemorate the director James Menzies-Kitchin, who died suddenly at the age of 28. Applicants for the Award must be under 30, have directed no more than two professional productions and must apply to direct a ‘classic text’. In addition to the Young Director Award, the JMK Trust provides development, training and mentoring opportunities for the eight finalists. Previous winners include Thea Sharrock, Orla O’Loughlin, Bijan Sheibani, the Young Vic’s Deputy Artistic Director Joe Hill-Gibbins, Mark Rosenblatt, Natalie Abrahami, Polly Findlay and Cathal Cleary in 2011.