Liz Stevenson
Liz Stevenson
© Rob Logan

This year's James Menzies-Kitchin Young Director Award winner is 25-year-old Liz Stevenson.

Stevenson will now have her production of the 1977 play Barbarians by Barrie Keeffe staged at the Young Vic later this year, with a bursary of £25,000 going towards the production.

Stevenson, from Chorley in Lancashire, said: "Barbarians is a remarkably relevant and affecting piece and I am drawn to its humour, grit, and energy. To direct this piece at the Young Vic with the support of the JMK behind me is an incredible opportunity for which I am very grateful."

The JMK Trust was set up to commemorate the talented young director James Menzies-Kitchin, whose career was cut short by his sudden death at the age of 28.

The award, now in its 17th year, has previously been won by directors including Thea Sharrock, Orla O'Loughlin, Bijan Sheibani, Joe Hill-Gibbins, Natalie Abrahami, Michael Oakley and Polly Findlay. It had more applicants than ever before this year.

Stephen Fewell, JMK Trust chair commented: "We first became aware of Liz's work when she joined our Manchester director's group, part of our ever-growing Regional Programme; a Programme established three years ago to afford nationwide access to the industry to directors of diverse social and economic backgrounds.

"The JMK Award will fund her production of Barbarians by Barrie Keeffe, allowing a new generation of theatre goers to hear his distinctive political voice, and provide a perfect vehicle for the rare passion and dynamism that, amid a field of considerable talent and strength, secured Liz this year's award."

The runner up was Emily Lim who chose the one act plays Play and Rough for Theatre 1 by Samuel Beckett. She will receive a £2,000 award.