Theatre News

Old Vic Announces 503 Award & 24 Hour Plays Event

Inches Apart, a new devised piece centred on individuals living on the margins of society, has won this year’s Old Vic New Voices Theatre503 Award, engineered by Ideas Tap. The show will receive a full production at Battersea’s Theatre503 from 14 May to 6 June (previews from 12 May).

The Old Vic New Voices Club is an ongoing professional development programme for actors, writers, and producers aged 18 to 25-year-olds.

Old Vic artistic director Kevin Spacey said of the award: “I am delighted that we are offering this new company the chance to stage their debut production. The company’s energy is matched by their enthusiasm to produce work that is bold, relevant and unique in style. For these reasons, they represent entirely what this award and Old Vic New Voices are about.”

Inches Apart is directed by Rachel Briscoe, with Joel Horwood as story consultant. The cast features Alex Gatehouse, Michael Malarkey, Tom McCall, Adam Slynn, Sophie Steer and Sara Templeman. It’s designed by Joanna Scotcher with lighting design by Emma Chapman.

24 Hour Plays applications open on Monday

In related news, this Monday (27 April 2009) the Old Vic launches its fourth annual 24 Hour Plays event, which so far claims to have launched and supported the careers of over 150 young practitioners. Spacey said of the event, which takes place on 26 July: “The 24 Hour Plays: Old Vic New Voices acts as a powerful talent showcase … It has proven to be a terrific springboard for those who participate in the scheme.”

A panel of industry insiders will select a company of 50 of London’s young actors, directors, producers and writers aged 18 to 25-years-old. They will prove their theatrical skill by bringing new short plays from conception to performance in 24 hours, which will then be performed to an audience of a thousand industry professionals, family and friends.

One of the previous participants of The 24 Hour Plays: Old Vic New Voices project, producer Jo Danvers, said:  “This was a chance in a million to be involved in such raw, relevant and exciting theatre. It was a privilege and I feel as if I have made friends and co-collaborators for life.”
The deadline for applications for this year’s event is 10am on 29 May 2009. To apply visit

– by Rhian Owen