The Drum Theatre Plymouth was yesterday awarded The Empty Space…Peter Brook 2007 Award, in recognition of the quality and consistency of its programme.
The Empty Space…Peter Brook Award was founded by theatre critic and publisher Blanche Marvin and has a judging panel of both leading theatre critics and producers. The award is described by Blanche Marvin as being designed “to recognise the work, pioneering concepts and innovations in the spirit of Peter Brook, achieved by venues performing in smaller theatre spaces.” The two other nominees for the award were The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond and the Finborough Theatre in London.
The Drum Theatre was nominated by theatre critic for the Guardian, Lyn Gardner, who, in her nomination speech said: “…I’ve never seen a show [at the Drum Theatre] that doesn’t intrigue, interest and provoke me…artistic director Simon Stokes and his team…have created a model for co production in the Drum that is one of the most successful in the country and which other buildings could learn a great deal from.” She continued: “Many of the most interesting companies and individuals working in British theatre today will have passed through [Plymouth] and been given a helping hand along the way. Look around British theatre and the Drum’s fingerprints are everywhere.”
At the award ceremony which took place at the Young Vic in London, theatre producer, Thelma Holt, one of the judges for The Empty Space…Peter Brook Award presented the award to Simon Stokes, artistic director, and commented: “This is a most appropriate award. Simon Stokes has stuck with it. He hasn’t compromised and the result is there for all to see. The Drum Theatre is second to none in the country and has now reaped the award it rightly deserves.”
Simon Stokes, on accepting the award, said: “It is, of course, wonderfully gratifying for the Drum Theatre to have received this prestigious Studio Theatre Award and against stiff competition from two well established London theatres, too.
It shows the Drum as a very forward-looking theatre and Plymouth as a very forward-looking city and I hope many more people will be tempted to try an adventurous night out in the alternative space to the Theatre Royal.”
Currently playing at the Drum Theatre is Life After Scandal, a co production with Hampstead Theatre. Written by Robin Soans, one of the UK’s leading exponents of verbatim theatre, Life After Scandal takes you behind the closed curtains, and beyond the reach of the telephoto lenses to explore our paparazzi-infested world from the other side, as those implicated in some of the most notorious scandals of the last fifty years talk frankly about the events which transformed their lives. Life After Scandal runs until Saturday 10 November.