Sheridan Morley Prize for Theatre Biography Awarded to Michael Blakemore for "Stage Blood"

News   Sheridan Morley Prize for Theatre Biography Awarded to Michael Blakemore for "Stage Blood"
 
The Sheridan Morley Prize for Theatre Biography 2014 has been awarded to Michael Blakemore for "Stage Blood," his account of his years at the National Theatre first under Laurence Olivier, then his successor Peter Hall, until he dramatically departed from the company in 1976. He would not return for another 15 years.

Also nominated were actor Michael Simkins for "The Rules of Acting" and author Philip Zeigler for "Olivier."

The prize, established in 2008 to honor the late critic (and former Playbill correspondent), who wrote 37 books in his lifetime, the majority of which were biographies, is awarded for the best biography, autobiography or diary in theatre or show business published in the preceding calendar year.

This year's jury comprised literary agent Alan Brodie, independent producer Jenny Topper (who formerly jointly ran the Bush and ran Hampstead Theatre) and director Stephen Unwin (formerly of the Rose Theatre, Kingston). It was chaired by Ruth Leon, Morley's widow, who in a press statement commented, "In another strong year for theatre biographies, any of the shortlisted books would have been worthy winners. Michael Blakemore’s 'Stage Blood' was the stand out for us, as it has the immediacy of a thriller, combined with the first person account of an extraordinary moment in theatre history.”

The winner, who was announced in a ceremony at London's Garrick Club March 5, received a £2,000 cash prize.

Blakemore is currently represented in the West End by his production of Blithe Spirit, now previewing at the Gielgud Theatre. For further details, visit http://thesheridanmorleyprize.org.

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