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Royal Conservatoire of Scotland graduate wins 2017 Linbury Prize for stage design

Linbury prize-winner Basia Binkowska (left) with awards founder Anya Sainsbury

Basia Binkowska has been announced as the overall winner of the 2017 Linbury Prize for stage design in the award’s 30th-anniversary year.

A graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Polish-born Binkowska has recently completed a year-long traineeship with the Royal Shakespeare Company and previously worked with British Youth Opera.

Her winning design for Othello/Macbeth – a condensed pairing of Shakespeare’s plays – will be realised for the production at the Lyric Hammersmith, London, in October 2018.

Binkowska said her participation in the competition had been “a very exciting journey”.

“I am totally overwhelmed with the result. The Linbury Prize is an amazing platform for young stage designers and I am excited to embrace the new possibilities that the future holds.”

The competition’s 12 finalists worked with theatres across the UK as part of the process and three other shortlisted designers will have their designs taken to full production.

These are Royal Central School of Speech and Drama graduate Khadija Raza, who created designs for the Unicorn Theatre and English National Opera co-production of Dido, former Arts University Bournemouth and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School student Eleanor Bull for her design of Windrush: Movement of the People for Phoenix Dance Theatre, and Fin Redshaw for Pieces of String for Mercury Theatre, Colchester.

Judging panel member Tom Piper said: “The Linbury Prize remains the most important theatre prize open to recent graduates of UK design schools. We receive more than 90 applications and it is a testament to the depth of talent in the students and the extraordinarily dedicated teaching abilities of colleges that the judges have such a tough time selecting the final 12.”

He added: “We are really excited this year to have a range of different performance forms in the commissioning companies, which we hope will demonstrate the deep range of skills and ground-breaking ideas that the young designers bring to bear on their projects”.

Previous winners include Tim Hatley, Anthony Ward and Vicki Mortimer.

The work of all 12 finalists in this year’s competition [1] can be seen at the National Theatre’s Lyttelton Lounge until January 2.

The prize was founded in 1987 and is sponsored by the Linbury Trust.