The 2013 Maverick Award celebrates wildcards at the Groucho Club
Maverick is defined as “an unorthodox or independent-minded person”. Launched in 2010, the Groucho Maverick Award celebrates those who have “broken the mould in their own particular field”. Previous winners include Giffords Circus Mistress Nell Gifford, journalist Nick Davies, and last year’s winner Danny Boyle, who received the award for his direction of the London Olympic opening ceremony.
In the plush and intimate setting of the Groucho Club, guests were met with a warm welcome as they milled around with members and nominees alike. Friendly staff kept the champagne flowing, and the atmosphere was relaxed and fun as the room anticipated the all-important announcement.
Former Blue Peter presenter Richard Bacon announced the winner: “The Bush Theatre, under the artistic direction of Madani Younis”. Other nominees included artistic director of the English National Ballet Tamara Rojo, Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, anti-poverty campaigner and food blogger Jack Monroe, cartoonist Matilda Tristram, and Saudi film director Haifaa Al-Mansour.
The prize consists of a £10,000 cheque for the theatre, an award designed by artist Gavin Turk, and lifetime membership to the Groucho Club for whoever holds the position of artistic director at the time. A visibly surprised Younis said: “It’s been an amazing year for us…I’m really humbled, I really thought Haifaa was going to win this award so I’ve prepared nothing as you can see…Sincerely I love this city, I love the culture of our city and I hope our theatre goes some way to shortening that gap between art and life…Thank you all so much.”
Dotti Irving, CEO of Four Colman Getty and chair of the judging panel, commented: “Of course the prize is not going to a building but to the immensely talented group of playwrights who have, under Younis’ direction, produced a year-round line-up of brilliantly challenging dramas”. With a fantastic year for the West London theatre, producing plays such as Pulitzer Prize-winner Disgraced and acclaimed debut plays The Herd (by Rory Kinnear) and Cush Jumbo’s self-performed Josephine and I, the award was well-deserved, acknowledging the hard work of a successful artistic collective.
For further information about the Maverick Award and the Groucho Club visit the club’s website here.