Samuel Bailey and Uncle Vanya win South Bank Sky Arts Awards

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The winners of the 2021 South Bank Sky Arts Awards were announced last night (Monday 19 July), with Samuel Bailey, and Conor McPherson's new version of Chekhov classic Uncle Vanya, amongst those honoured.

Samuel Bailey was named as the recipient of the Times Breakthrough Award for his acclaimed debut play Shook. This tender and honest drama, set in a young-offender institution, won the Papatango New Writing Prize in 2019, and was premiered by Papatango at Southwark Playhouse in October 2019, followed by a UK tour. Its planned West End transfer in 2020 was cancelled by the COVID pandemic. However, Shook was subsequently filmed in collaboration with BAFTA-winning filmmaker James Bobin, with the filmed version currently available to watch online here until 31 July.

Elsewhere, Conor McPherson's acclaimed new version of Anton Chekhov's classic play Uncle Vanya took home the Theatre Award. Praised by WhatsOnStage as 'a feat of magical reinvention', the production opened at the Harold Pinter Theatre, in London's West End, in January 2020, before being forced to close due to the pandemic. A film of the production was later shot on the Harold Pinter stage, before being released in cinemas and broadcast on BBC Four. It is currently available to view on BBC iPlayer.

Marking 25 years in 2021, the South Bank Sky Arts Awards is the only Awards ceremony in the world to celebrate every genre of the Arts, including Dance, Theatre, Pop, TV Drama, Film, Classical Music, Literature, Opera, Comedy and Visual Art. The winners of the 2021 Awards were announced at a ceremony at the Savoy Hotel, London, which will be broadcast on Sky Arts at 9pm on Thursday 22 July.

Samuel Bailey and <em>Uncle Vanya</em> win South Bank Sky Arts Awards
  • Shook
  • Uncle Vanya (Chekhov / McPherson)