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Forest Fringe Wins at 20th Empty Space Awards

The Empty Space/Peter Brook Awards were presented today in a lunchtime ceremony at the National Theatre Studio, with Forest Fringe, which presents an annual programme of free experimental work at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, taking the top prize.

Brook himself was in attendance at today's ceremony, where the other winners were: Fuel theatre company, who won the Peter Brook/Equity Ensemble Award; Che Walker’s works Crazy Love and Burnt-Up Love at the Oval House, which won the Mark Marvin Rent Subsidy Award; and Kilburn's Cock Tavern Theatre, which was awarded the Dan Crawford Pub Theatre Award (named in honour of the founder of The King's Head).

The Awards, now in their 20th year, were founded and are run by Blanche Marvin. They honour a body of work rather than an individual production, and are presented in recognition of the pioneering concepts or innovations that, in the spirit of the legendary director Peter Brook, are achieved by venues who perform in smaller studio spaces and receive comparatively little or no public funding.

Forest Fringe, which was established by Andy Field and Debbie Pearson in 2007, wins prize money of £2000, with the nominees – Chichester's Minerva, Battersea Arts Centre, Soho Theatre, Bush Theatre, and the Arches in Glasgow – each taking home £250.


In other awards news, the National Theatre is currently hosting an exhibition of the work of the 12 finalists in this year's Linbury Prize for Stage Design.

The Linbury Prize is a unique opportunity for graduating designers to work with leading directors and gain a professional commission with four major companies, which this year are Birmingham Opera Company, Royal & Derngate (Northampton), Sound&Fury for Fuel, and Unicorn Theatre.

The exhibition runs until 29 November, giving visitors a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes process of set designers. The winners for each company and the overall Linbury Prize winner for 2009 - chosen by renowned designers Bob Crowley, Katrina Lindsay and Nick Ormerod and the commissioning companies’ directors - will be announced on 12 November.

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