If you’ve not heard of Platform Presents, then read on. It’s a brilliant, as the name suggests, platform that nurtures and supports creativity.
Established in 2017 by actor Gala Gordon and producer Isabella Macpherson it gives a helping hand to rising talent from actors and writers to directors, and there’s a particular focus on female voices. The non-profit company aims to build a collaborative creative community working with up-and-coming and established artists on play readings and productions, to find a new voice for theater professionals.
And to celebrate all this, they’ve come up with the Platform Presents Playwright’s Prize, an open competition for playwrights to send in their plays. There are tons of esteemed judges associated with this prize including actor and poet Nicholas Pinnock, the casting director of the Soho Theater Nadine Rennie, as well as associate director of The Young Vic Nadia Latif (plus many more, to see the full list visit their website).
The funding for this prize will be raised at the third Platform Presents Poetry Gala, taking place on 20th January 2019 at the Playhouse Theater, London. The gala will be directed by Natalie Abrahami (‘Machinal’ – Almeida Theatre, ‘Wings’ – Young Vic, ‘Queen Anne’ – Haymarket) and the company includes familiar faces such as Juliet Stevenson, Rhys Ifans, Denise Gough, Jason Watkins, Romola Garai, the list goes on. As expected there are some pretty cool creative times on their committee to with Adwoa Aboah, Amanda Sheppard, Amy Gardner and Bella Freud all showing their support.
The deadline for entry to the Platform Presents Playwright’s Prize is 12pm on February 15 2019, with the winner announced in March 2019.
How did the idea come about for Platform Presents? After graduating from Guildhall School of Music and Drama, I landed the role of Irina in Benedict Andrews’s ‘Three Sisters’ at the Young Vic.
The production was life changing for me and made me recognize the importance of support needed in this unpredictable profession.
Isabella Macpherson (co-founder) and I met at a dinner for Oliver Stone. We clicked immediately. We’re both fascinated by the craft of theatre, television, and film, but also the need which exists in this incredibly competitive industry to give a platform to rising star talent – actors, writers and directors, and particularly female voices.
So we decided, without any blueprint, to set up a production company that did just this – Platform Presents. Our aim is to build a collaborative, creative community for the up-and-coming alongside established artists.
How has the platform evolved? We started out with a poetry evening and have now completed two play readings (Building The Wall by Robert Schenkkan at the Bush Theatre and This Is Our Youth by Kenneth Lonergan at the Playground Theatre). Last year, we produced and I starred in ‘Blueberry Toast’ by Mary Laws for six weeks at Soho Theatre (“Delivered with a forceful, dazzling punch to the gut.” The Times). She’s a genius with words and has now been snapped up to write on HBO’s ‘Succession’, alongside her own TV show.
We’re kicking off 2019 with our Poetry Gala on January 20th at the Playhouse Theatre.
For one night only, stars of the stage and screen will read the world’s favorite poems, to raise funds for our new Playwright’s Prize.
The incredible company, directed by the brilliant Natalie Abrahami, includes Juliet Stevenson, Rhys Ifans, Denise Gough, Jason Watkins, Romola Garai, Tobias Menzies, Kyle Soller, Jade Anouka, James Massiah, Phoebe Fox, Danny Kirrane, Fisayo Akinade, Adrianna Bertola, Dougray Scott, Andrew Burnap, Genevieve O’Reilly, John Standing, Jaime Winstone, Iwan Rheon, Paapa Essiedu, George Mackay, Emily Berrington, Sebastian de Souza, Harry Treadaway, myself and many more. 2019 is starting as we mean to go on.
What’s the most rewarding aspect? The whole process of producing, alongside acting, is an immensely creative, collaborative and rewarding process. I wanted to be part of the creative conversations from start to finish.
Women in the industry who have set up their own production companies such as Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Margot Robbie and Reese Witherspoon are a huge inspiration to me. They are championing female-led stories and financing projects that need to be told.