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Announcing the Linbury Prize 2023


Applications for the Linbury Prize for Stage Design 2023 will open 24 July 2023.

The Linbury Prize is the only nationwide prize for stage design in the UK, founded in 1987 by Anya Linden, former ballet dancer and patron of the arts.

12 emerging designers will be awarded a bursary prize and a design placement with an established industry partner. In addition, prize recipients will take part in an exhibition at the National Theatre in November 2023 – an unparalleled opportunity for designers to showcase their work before the public and industry professionals.

The Linbury Prize for Stage Design is funded by the Linbury Trust, a charitable trust founded in 1973 by Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover KG (John Sainsbury) and his wife, Lady Anya Sainsbury, CBE, the former ballerina Anya Linden. The name ‘Linbury’ is derived from the names Linden and Sainsbury.

The deadline for submissions is midnight, Sunday 27 August 2023.

Colourful and vibrant neon set, cast look up at papers falling from the sky.

National Theatre schools tour 2022: Shut Up, I’m Dreaming, created by The Pappy Show
Set Designer: Peter Butler
Photo by Marc Brenner

Being a part of the Linbury process in its new format allowed me the much needed space and financial support to concentrate on what is at the very heart of my practice, reminding me why I create work the way I do and how that sits in relation to my cohort, the wider design community and the performance world as a whole.
– Peter Butler, Linbury Prize recipient 2021


The Linbury Prize is open to graduates from Theatre Design degree or postgraduate courses graduating in 2022 and 2023. Applicants without a degree qualification who can demonstrate equivalent skills will also be considered.

Applications will be accepted from students of any nationality, providing they are officially a resident in the UK, have permission to remain and intend to base their practice in the UK.

For full details on how to apply, please visit the Linbury Prize website.

Portfolio mentoring sessions

We are offering mentoring days on the 13 and 14 July 2023 at the National Theatre. This is an opportunity for prospective candidates to discuss work that they might consider sharing at the submission stage.

Each attendee will have 15 minutes to talk through their portfolio with a variety of industry wide professionals. They will receive feedback on the clarity and quality of their presentation. This is an excellent opportunity for emerging designers to develop interview and portfolio technique in a supportive environment.

These are free to attend, although places are limited. To book your place, please email by 5 July 2023.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.