Camden People's Theatre Award

3 April 2017

 Artistic Director of CPT talks about new award at NSDF 

For the last three years, CPT has worked in partnership with the National Student Drama Festival to bring the most adventurous new NSDF shows to London. We haven’t made a big noise about it - but loud trumpets have been blown about the shows in question, and rightly so. In 2014, the partnership brought Barrel Organ’s debut show Nothing to CPT. Many of you will know what a splash that show, and that company – now CPT associate artists – went on to make. (Look out for their new show at CPT this autumn…) The following year, we gave NSDF graduate Walrus Theatre’s 140-character dystopia Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons its debut London run, and that show became one of the big indie theatre hits of the decade so far.

Last autumn, Footprint Theatre’s extraordinary Daniel journeyed from the NSDF to Camden, and now we’re braced for that company to make just such great waves in the world. This has, in short, been a really fruitful collaboration – allowing CPT to develop supportive new relationships with some of the country’s most exciting new artists, and enabling NSDF to offer a prominent week-long London run to the most innovative and engaged work at its festival.

This year, we’re going more public with the relationship – and the opportunity. When NSDF opens in Hull this week, there will be a new award on offer to the participating artists and companies: the Camden People’s Theatre Award. On offer is just what Barrel Organ, Walrus and Footprint have (hopefully) enjoyed in previous years: a run at CPT in the autumn, a foot in the door of professional theatre, a chance to develop a relationship with a venue that exists to invest in creative young artists.

Over the NSDF week, myself, festival supremo Michael Brazier and the great Chris Thorpe (amazing artist, long-time NSDF selector and CPT board member) will discuss the best candidates for the opportunity, then – instead of doing so post-festival – select the appropriate artist or company before the event’s closing weekend. And so the CPT/NSDF partnership ceases to be a below-the-radar opportunity, and starts its new life as an out-and-proud award.

I like to imagine the recipient holding the imaginary trophy aloft in a cloud of ticker tape, dousing their collaborators in bubbly and thanking their mum in a tearful acceptance speech. We certainly thank the NSDF for bringing us such terrific artists over the last three years, and – in this new award era – look forward to welcoming many more.

Brian Logan  |  Artistic Director  |  Camden People's Theatre