As we head in to a brand new year, and a whole new decade, we take a look at the people in the arts industry who are worth keeping an eye on in this year. Our Rising Stars of 2020 list features writers, directors, performers and theatre makers who have a big year ahead.
A multi-award winning writer and actor, 2019 saw Charlotte’s latest work Pops play at the Edinburgh Festival 2019 and then High Tide Festival, and take part in the Old Vic 12. 2020 will see a new play Moon Licks for Paines Plough and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama performed at the Gate Theatre in London, and another new commission Flies at Shoreditch Town Hall, produced by Boundless Theatre.
Co-Artistic Director of Gyre & Gimble, Finn is one of the UK’s preeminent puppetry designer/directors of productions including The Lorax (Old Vic), Life Of Pi (Crucible/West End) and Angels In America (National Theatre). As co-Director his work has recently been seen on tour throughout the UK with The Hartlepool Monkey and at The Globe Theatre with The Four Seasons.
Winner of The Stage Debut Award for The Country Girls at Chichester, Grace has also starred in Lady Windemere’s Fan at the Vaudeville Theatre, and for film, Artemis Fowl and Mary Queen of Scots. Grace will appear in the West End transfer of Laura wade’s The Watsons at The Harold Pinter Theatre from 8th May.
Having been nominated for the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright at the Evening Standard Awards 2019 for her most recent play Out Of Water, Zoe is under commission to West Yorkshire Playhouse, Northern Stage, Chichester Festival Theatres and Farnham Maltings. She also wrote an episode of Call The Midwife for its next series in association with the ScreenSkills Initiative.
A founding member of award-winning company The Wardrobe Ensemble, Jesse co-directed their first West End show Education Education Education at the Trafalgar Studios. This year he brought a beautiful production of Maggot Moon to the Unicorn and has also directed the new Pippi Longstocking musical.
Testament is a rapper, beatboxer and theatre maker currently based in West Yorkshire. He is the Ch4 Writer in Residence at the Manchester Royal Exchange. His first play Black Men Walking was produced by Eclipse Theatre Company last year and has just finished its second successful tour of the UK. He is currently under commission at the Royal Exchange and is developing several original projects for television.
Ellie Keel, is the founder and executive producer of EKP (Ellie Keel Productions), an award-winning new company producing new plays in London, Edinburgh, and on tour in the UK and internationally, including Hotter and Fitter.
Jade has been focused on theatre directing for the last few years; most recently Jade directed Superhoe by Nicole Lecky at the Royal Court, and was very actively involved in the development of the piece. She was also Resident Director of the award-winning Nine Night. She has always given great dramaturgical support when working in a directing capacity and has a great eye for new talent but has also quietly been developing a really special writing voice of her own. She is currently creating a Radio 4 series with Yolanda Mercy and is keen to continue exploring writing alongside her directing work. She’s currently working as a director with the Young Vic on their Twenty Twenty programme as well as LAMDA on an Audible production and student production of Nine Night, and has just been engaged as a director on an NT Connections play.
Currently starring in Three Sisters at the National Theatre, 2020 will see Racheal reprise her hit one-woman show So Many Reasons at the Soho Theatre, in March.
One of the UK’s brightest up and coming theatre directors Max was the inaugural Baylis Director at the Old Vic where he directed the world premiere productions of Dr Seuss’ The Lorax and Fanny And Alexander. Most recently he took the helm of the 5 star reviewed Life Of Pi at Sheffield Crucible, which will transfer to London’s West End in 2020. He recently directed The Merry Widow at the English National Opera and is currently in Sweden at the Gotesborg Operan, directing La Boheme.