The Royal Theatrical Support Trust and Leicester’s Curve named Anthony Almeida the winner of the 2019 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award. Honoring the memory of RTST co-founder Sir Peter Hall, the award is given to an up-and-coming director demonstrating exceptional directing skills.
As the winner, Almeida will have the opportunity to direct a full-scale production to open in 2020 at the Curve, a co-production between Curve, Rose Theatre Kingston, and English Touring Theatre that will subsequently tour the U.K. The RTST will make a grant of £50,000 to Curve to be applied towards the costs of the production.
Maria Crocker was the the runner-up for the award.
Chairman of the RTST Sir Geoffrey Cass said in a statement, “The 2019 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award had eight finalists of the very highest quality, selected from a strong field of 53 candidates. Directing workshops—held over two full days, in which the finalists had to direct actors, observed by our immensely experienced panel of judges, and then be interviewed by the panel—constituted a unique and exacting test of their directing skills. The winner’s prize is the exceptional opportunity to direct a production that will premiere on the stage of Curve, Leicester, move on to the Rose Theatre, Kingston, then go on a main-stage national tour with English Touring Theatre.”
Almeida added, “Being named the 2019 winner of the mighty RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award is a gift. I'm feeling moved. I’m feeling ecstatic. At a time of ever increasing financial uncertainty, when up-and-coming directors can be seen as unnecessary risks, this opportunity is a true lifeline. The process encouraged and challenged all of me. It offers genuine warmth and demands utmost rigour.”
The judging panel included Nikolai Foster (artistic director of Curve) as chair, and judges Jerry Gunn (executive producer at Rose Theatre Kingston), Carol Leeming (poet and playwright, resident assistant Director of Curve), Richard Twyman (artistic director of English Touring Theatre), Lindsay Posner (director), Grace Smart (set and costume designer), Cathy Tyson (actor), Erica Whyman (deputy artistic director, Royal Shakespeare Company).