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Winner announced for 2017 JMK Award

The young director will mount a production of My Name is Rachel Corrie at the Young Vic

Josh Roche
© Rob Logan

Josh Roche has been announced as the winner of the 2017 James Menzies-Kitchin Young Director Award.

Roche will receive £25,000 to mount a production of My Name is Rachel Corrie at the Young Vic. Nathan Crossan-Smith received a £2,000 runner-up prize for his proposal for a production of Debbie Tucker-Green's random.

My Name is Rachel Corrie is a piece of verbatim theatre created from the writings of American peace campaigner Rachel Corrie, who was killed by an Israeli tank while protecting Palestinian homes from demolition at the age of 23. It was jointly edited by journalist Katharine Viner and the late Alan Rickman, who also directed the original production at the Royal Court in 2005.

On winning the award, Roche said: "I'm stunned and delighted to win the JMK award. It's hard to express quite what it means to me. The chance to direct at the Young Vic is extraordinary in any context, but to be working on this play makes the opportunity even more remarkable.

"Rachel Corrie and I were born only ten years apart. Her legacy is our inheritance. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to tell her story."

Roche, whose previous work as an assistant director includes the Shakespeare's Globe productions of The Taming of the Shrew and Farinelli and the King, joins previous winners including Thea Sharrock, Joe Hill-Gibbins, Natalie Abrahami, Polly Findlay, and last year's winner Roy Alexander Weise.

Currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, the award is given by the JMK trust, founded in memory of James Menzies-Kitchin, a young director who died suddenly at the age of 28.

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