Alan Fielden, an Associate Lecturer in the department of Theatre and Film at the University of Worcester, together with the performance collective JAMS, are recipients of this year's prestigious Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award.
The purpose of the award is to support the development of a new generation of creative practitioners engaged in bold, challenging and innovative performance. " As part of the award, their play, Marathon, will receive its world premiere at London's Barbican Centre in September this year.
In Autumn 2016, Mr Fielden and his collaborators were invited to undertake an artist's residency at the University of Worcester. " The residency took place in a theatre marquee constructed on site for the popular Beeline Storytelling Festival, run by the University of Worcester. The ideas they began developing in that time have grown into a project that has been recognised by one of the country's most significant theatre awards." Dr Daniel Somerville, Lecturer in Drama and Performance at the University of Worcester, who arranged the residency, said: "What theatre artists need most of all when starting a project, is time and space to develop ideas." It's a great pleasure to welcome a theatre company to the University and provide that opportunity and even better when the work goes on to get a production at a significant venue for contemporary work."
Mr Fielden has been an Associate Lecturer at the University since 2016 teaching, playwriting and writing for performance. Dr Jane George, Head of Department, said: "Many of our staff have significant careers as practitioners in their fields, which means that our students are being taught by artists familiar with the sector and able to offer valuable insights into the latest artistic practices and careers in the performing arts."
Mr Fielden said: "The support from Worcester in 2016 was absolutely instrumental in beginning this project, which may not have come into being otherwise. Many artists exist precariously, unable to secure space and time to be creative - in this context the residency at Worcester was an exceptional privilege."
Marathon will be shown at The Pit, Barbican Centre, London from 20th " 29th September 2018.
To find out more or to purchase tickets visit: https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2018/event/alan-fielden-with-jams-marathon
Picture credit: Helen Murray