Rich Wade, Joel Dean and Adam Ekin are the 2012 winners of the annual York Theatre Royal and York St John theatre graduate prize. The prize represents a commitment to assisting creative individuals in the post-graduation transition to professional arts practice from both the Theatre and the University and is presented to a final year student or group of students studying Theatre at York St John University.
This year the Prize was judged by Damian Cruden and Juliet Forster, the artistic director and associate director of York Theatre Royal. Rich Wade won the prize for Letters to Yséult, which is based upon the story of Tristan and Yséult. The performance uses dance, song, poetry and escapology to tell the story as a one man show. Joel Dean and Adam Ekin, who make up the theatre company Jamhed, were joint winners of the prize for their production entitled Journey to Karawane. Set in an enchanted woodland, the show contains absurdity, beauty and freakishness, rhinoceroses, cabbages and jam.
Juliet Forster, York Theatre Royal associate director, said: “The multi-faceted performance skills of Richard Wade stood out clearly as winning material, he has huge potential as a solo artist, and his piece, Letters to Yseult, is moving, lyrical, funny, inventive and playful. However, we couldn’t resist the genius comic creation that is Jamhed – aka Adam Ekin and Joel Dean – and their darkly humorous surreal piece of nonsense Journey to Karawane, which pays homage to the rich tradition of comedy acts we have in Britain, and yet has its own unique flavour. So we decided to have joint prize winners this year. Damian and I have really enjoyed mentoring them as they develop their pieces, and we are looking forward to hosting their work in the Studio on 8th October.”
Tickets for the winning double bill performance are priced £5 and are available from the York Theatre Royal box office on 01904 623 568 or www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk