Presented annually under the auspices of London TheatReviews, V&A Theatre Department and the National Theatre Studio, the awards are now in their 24th year. The winner is given a cheque for £2,000, and the National Theatre will be giving the Empty Space Award prize money to Talawa Theatre Company, and matching those funds with its own contribution to the company’s future development under Michael Buffong’s leadership. Talawa will be re-staging Buffong’s NT production of Errol John’s Moon on a Rainbow Shawl for a UK tour next spring.
The nominees this year also included The Gate Theatre, the Open Court season at the Royal Court, the Union Theatre and the Theatre Royal Bath's Ustinov Studio.
The award was judged by a panel that comprised U.K. theatre journalists Lyn Gardner, Dominic Cavenidsh, Fiona Mountford, Andrzej Lukowski and Playbill.com's London correspondent Mark Shenton, joined by Blanche Marvin, founder of the awards.
The same panel also awarded the Dan Crawford Innovation Award to south London's BAC, which comes with a cheque for £2,000.
Further awards were also made by separate judging panels, with the Mark Marvin Rent Subsidy Award of £1,500 (to cover two weeks rental of a fringe venue at £750 per week) to Southwark Playhouse, and The Peter Brook/Equity Ensemble Award of £2,000 to the Simple8 Theatre Company. In addition, the Peter Brook/Mobius Award, with a cheque for £1,000, was presented to the Yard in Hackney Wick, and the Peter Brook Special Achievement Awards presented to the late Robert Robson of Salford's The Lowry, and Sam Walters, artistic director and founder of Richmond's Orange Tree Theatre, who is stepping down from the theatre after running it for 42 years.