MGCfutures Bursary Programme Opens Applications For The Third Year

Artistic Director of MGC, Michael Grandage today announces the third annual MGCfutures Bursary Programme is now open for applications; and in addition, a special gala performance of The Lieutenant of Inishmore.

MGCfutures is a charity, formed in 2012. The bursaries programme was launched in 2016 for arts practitioners who show a commitment to their chosen career and look to progress to the next stage of their development.

Applicants can apply for bursaries from £500-£5000, to support careers across the theatre industry. Bursaries in previous years have supported a range of projects including directors and producers who needed help towards funding a workshop, choreographers, a theatrical milliner who needed help to buy tools for his work and designers who needed to invest in computer assisted design programmes or workshop space.

This year, for the first time, the company has partnered with The Gate Theatre to offer a £2500 bursary for a BAME designer to work as design assistant on a show in the Gate's new season.

As well as working full time on a show at the Gate, the bursary recipient will receive mentoring and support from the Gate's Associate Director, Anthony Simpson-Pike and their Associate Artist Rosie Elnile. The bursary recipient will also receive support through a career clinic workshop and help in making connections with other designers whose work they admire. Finally, the design assistant will become a Gate Theatre Alumni Artist after the project, with access to all of the ensuing support that brings, as well as further mentorship from MGCfutures.

Michael Grandage said today, "I am delighted the MGCfutures Bursary programme goes from strength to strength. After only two years, we can already see the impact the bursaries are making amongst key practitioners, and how they have benefitted, not just from the financial aspect, but from the support and mentoring MGC provide alongside this. With the special Gala performance of The Lieutenant of Inishmore, we will be able to raise more money to continue to help theatre makers of the future."

Applications must be submitted via the MGCfutures website - - before 12 noon on 6 August. Please note, bursaries are not available to support training or as commercial investments in productions.

Also announced today is a charity gala performance of Michael Grandage's critically acclaimed production of Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore on 6 September with all proceeds going towards MGCfutures. Tickets start at just £20 and are on sale from 11am on 10 July via For corporate packages, please contact: Andrew Broadley

The future of theatre depends on young people. They are the theatre makers and theatre goers of tomorrow. MGCfutures reaches out to people of different ages and backgrounds, providing information, guidance and support through mentorship, the Bursary scheme, online resources, workshops and participatory activities. It is also committed to enabling young people to visit the theatre who might otherwise not be able to do so.

MGCfutures is a charitable organisation, governed by a Board of Trustees. MGCfutures Education Associates, Dominic Francis and Samantha Lane, develop workshops and online materials to support theatre-goers to get the most out of their experience, especially those visiting a theatre for the first time.

MGCfutures is also supported by the charity's patrons: Judi Dench, Dawn French, Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Daniel Radcliffe, Simon Russell Beale, Sheridan Smith, David Walliams and Ben Whishaw.

"MGCfutures understands that artists need practical support, as well as encouragement and mentorship, in order to be empowered to make good work. It's exactly the investment I need at this stage in my career to keep raising my ambitions."

Isley Lynn - MGCfutures Bursary recipient, 2016

To find out more about the charity's work, and how to get involved, please contact via the Education Associates at

  • The MGCfutures Bursaries are funded through money raised by the company itself. As the company continues to expand the scheme, individual donors and supporters are being sought.
  • The recipients of the awards are selected from an industry panel including Michael Grandage. After the panel, each recipient will be met with to discuss their bursary and the support MGCfutures will give each one moving forward.

The recipients of the first year's bursaries are Dean Burke - Theatrical Milliner, Camisado Club - Performance Company, Rob Casey - Lighting Designer, Shruti Chauhan - Performance Poet, Ashley Cook - Producer, Rebecca Frecknall - Director, Ella Grace - Singer & Songwriter, Dan Jones - Director, Anna Lewis - Designer, Isley Lynn - Playwright, David Ralf - Producer, Tara Robinson - Director, Rachel Stone - Designer, Selina Thompson - Performance Artist, Leigh Toney - Director, Claire Willoughby - Theatre Maker and Jingan Young - Playwright. Additionally directors Oliver Dawe and Oliver O'Shea, Producer Andrew Hughes and Sound Designer Michael Woods have been offered on-going mentoring relationships with MGCfutures. A selection of their stories can be seen here:

In the second year, bursaries were awarded to Samuel Bailey - Writer, Poonam Brah - Director, Oliver Dawe - Director, Ellie Dubois - Performance Maker, Rebecca Durbin - Producer, Sophie Gunn - BSL Advisor, Debbie Hannan - Director, Alexandrina Hemsley and Jamila Johnson-Small - Project O - Choreographers and Performance Makers, Polina Kalinina - Director, Lanre Malaolu - Choreographer, Eve Nicol - Director, Margaret Perry - Writer, Danny Prosser - Massive Owl Theatre Company, Frances Rafferty - Mercury Theatre, Colchester - Assistant Director, Oscar Toeman - Director, Alex Turner - Producer, Daniel Turner - Theatre Technician, and Ash J Woodward - Video Designer.

As part of the second year, the charity partnered with The Mercury Theatre, Colchester. Frances Rafferty, the recipient of this (£5,000) bursary, worked as Assistant Director on two Made in Colchester productions.

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