Innovators, Visionaries, Pioneers
Theatre & Performance sponsored by Target Live PR

Helen Mirren


Mirren won an Olivier Award for her performance in THE AUDIENCE. She also helped Peter Morgan's play secure record viewing figures for a live theatre broadcast: 80,000 people in the UK and 30,000 North America tuned in when it aired on National Theatre Live.

Ivan Blackstock

Artistic Director, Birdgang Dance Company

27-year-old Blackstock is bringing street dance out of the cold and into the world of professional theatre. He and his company, BirdGang, have created a unique form of theatrical expression - self-labelled "Aahehop" - which blends hip-hop moves with classic theatrical tropes bringing to the stage a signature style both illustrative and thought-provoking.

Jessica Swale

Writer / Director

Berkshire-born playwright, Swale, has been dubbed Britain's 'best young director of period comedy'. BLUE STOCKINGS, the first 'proper' play she has ever written, premiered at the Globe in August. Swale is also Artistic Director of Red Handed Theatre Company; works regularly with the National Theatre, Out of Joint and various drama schools. Additionally she leads theatre projects in developing countries for Youth Bridge Global.

Jonathan Church

Artistic Director, Chichester Theatre

Once an electrician, Church is credited with saving the Chichester Festival Theatre from closure, almost doubling the audience numbers. He has turned Chichester into a hit factory, packing the West End with superb productions such as SWEENEY TODD (2012). His production of SINGIN' IN THE RAIN finally closed after transferring to the West End stage in 2012. Additionally he has helped revive the fortunes of the Salisbury Playhouse and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Mimi Poskitt

Founder / Artistic Director, Look Left, Look Right

Poskitt is the Artistic Director of Look Left Look Right, a site-specific, interactive and documentary theatre company based in London and the East of England. The company creates work that takes its inspiration from ordinary and extraordinary places, people and real-life events to vividly recreate experiences and memories in a unique theatrical medium. The site-specific, often intimate productions see audience members play their part as much as the performers. Often surprising and always memorable, this year the company produced ABOVE AND BEYOND at the Corinthia Hotel, THE LOVE PROJECT at The Underbelly and the award winning play, YOU ONCE SAID YES, which was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in August as part of the British Council Showcase. Their next show ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS, a one on one experience in Covent Garden, opens on 15 November. Poskitt is also a freelance theatre producer who this year has worked with Bryony Kimming on CREDIBLE LIKEABLE SUPERSTAR ROLE MODEL, with Jessica Swale and with Theatre Uncut at The Young Vic.

Wildcard Nominee

Paul Roseby

Artistic Director / CEO, National Youth Theatre of Great Britain

Roseby has been artistic director of the world's first youth theatre for nearly 10 years. In his role he nurtured the talent of thousands of aspiring actors including some of Britain's brightest names like Zawe Ashton, Sarah Solemani and Rafe Spall. He has pioneered innovative cultural exchanges in China and Saudi Arabia, commissioned pertinent plays tackling topics from knife crime to female popes, and recently launched the NYT REP Company - a free alternative to drama school.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Actress / Director / Producer

Waller-Bridge's West End debut in HAY FEVER (2012) was described as "truly memorable"; and her breakthrough role followed earlier this year in MYDIDAE, where she and Keir Charles played a warring couple who spent much of their time naked in a bath on stage. As well as acting, she directs and produces, and she recently made her debut as a writer with her one-woman show FLEABAG. That play, about a twenty-something female struggling with being a woman today, has transferred to the Soho Theatre.

Robert Pacitti

Artistic Director / CEO, SPILL Festival

Pacitti is the Artistic Director of Pacitti Company and the SPILL Festival of Performance. He works tirelessly to change the UK cultural landscape in unprecedented ways on behalf of artists making radical work, through SPILL – an international festival of live art, activism, and experimental performance, presenting the work of exceptional artists from around the globe; and a year-round contextualising Think Tank programme – including artist surgeries, mentoring, salons and more. His risk-taking hard work means UK audiences see artists who simply wouldn’t be seen here otherwise; and nurtures the next generation of home-grown radical artists.

Rupert Thomson

Artistic Director, Summerhall

Summerhall first opened its doors for the Edinburgh Festival in 2011 and quickly established itself as one of the most exciting and unique arts venues on the block. Under Thomson's experienced hand (he previously worked at Roxy Art House), it presents a varied programme of experimental work across theatre, visual art, film, dance and literary events in some 10 different performance spaces. Its programmes have won 27 major awards. Its hit shows include HOTEL MEDEA (2011), SONGS OF LEAR (2012) and L'APRÈS MIDI D'UN FOEHN (2013).

Tania Harrison

Founder / Arts Curator, Festival Republic

Latitude has led the way with the inclusion of a wider programme of arts and culture alongside music stages. This year Harrison booked over 750 acts from theatre, film, dance, comedy, spoken word, literature and performance art, asking creatives to explore the curious theme, 'What Defines Me? Neuroscience vs. Sexuality'.

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