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Garance Marneur’s Turandot design wins Linbury Prize

The Linbury Biennial Prize for Stage Design 2007 has been awarded to Garance Marneur for her proposed set of Hampstead Theatre’s forthcoming production of Turandot.

The recent graduate from Central St Martins College of Art and Design has beaten 90 entrants to win the competition, now in its 20th year, and have her creation realised next September when the venue is expected to present the unfinished play by BertoltBrecht.

Hampstead Theatre artistic director Anthony Clark, who worked with Marneur and two other short-listed entrants, told The Stage: “The three designers I was working with all chose very different routes, and Garance’s was an extraordinarily imaginative and challenging approach.

“It is a multi-locational play, it has 40 characters, maybe more, and we could only work with 12 actors on it. It has to move quickly from one location to another, also the political content of the play was very important, and you look to how to make the themes resonate today. She embraced all those challenges very successfully.”

Winners from the three other participating companies included Rhys Jarman, for his stage design of Varjak Paw at The Opera Group, Helen Goddard, for Doubt: A Parable at the Tricycle Theatre and Tom Scutt for Gulliver for Headlong Theatre. Scutt also won the Jocelyn Herbert Award, which is given to a ground-breaking Linbury applicant.

Marneur added: “I thought some of the designs were very strong, and mine was so different. My set was a lot more simple, I was mainly focussing on space and how to organise the space.”

Previous Linbury Prize recipients include Olivier and Tony Award winning pair Tim Hatley and Anthony Ward, and Jean-Guy Lecate, who has spent the last 25 years working with acclaimed director Peter Brook.

Lady Anya Sainsbury, founder and chairman of the award, also announced that the National Theatre would take over the management and administration of the prize from 2009. An exhibition of designs by this year’s winners and eight runners up, can been seen in the NT’s Lyttelton Circle Foyer until January 5, 2008.