Theatre News

JMK Award 2019 winner Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu to stage Arinzé Kene's Little Baby Jesus

The winner of the annual award has been revealed at a ceremony in Richmond

Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu
Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu

Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu has won the 2019 JMK Award, it has been announced.

24 year-old Fynn-Aiduenu, whose previous credits include Sweet Like Chocolate Boy at Jack Theatre Studio and assisting on The Brothers Size at the Young Vic, will now produce a full-scale show at the Orange Tree Theatre.

Founded in memory of James Menzies-Kitchin, a director who died unexpectedly aged 28, the award enables one applicant aged 35 or under to create their own production of their choice of classic text.

The JMK Trust chair Stephen Fewell said of Fynn-Aiduenu: "We all know there are so many artists in the theatre industry who deserve to encounter opportunity, but Tristan's engaging ability and ambition when working with actors make him a more than worthy winner of this year's JMK Award."

Fynn-Aiduenu will now produce a revival of Arinzé Kene's award-winning 2011 play Little Baby Jesus at the Orange Tree Theatre later this year, alongside designer Tara Usher.

He said: "It is a blessing to be given the support and time to mount the professional revival of Arinzé Kene's play Little Baby Jesus that changed my life. I want people to watch this piece and see that their growing pains can make incredible stories and that there is someone out there desperate to hear them. I thank the JMK Trust and Orange Tree Theatre for investing in my madness. I cannot wait to tear this stage up!"

The runners up are Oscar Toeman and designer Rebecca Brower following their proposal for Lucy Prebble's The Sugar Syndrome.

2019 marks the first year that the JMK Award has been housed at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, after previously worked with the Young Vic to produce the award-winning director's pieces.

Previous winners, including Thea Sharrock, Orla O'Loughlin, Bijan Sheibani, Joe Hill-Gibbins, Natalie Abrahami, Roy Alexander Weise and Polly Findlay, have gone on to direct major productions across the UK and in the West End.

Dates and casting for Little Baby Jesus at the Orange Tree are to be announced.