Kat Rose Martin is the inaugural winner of the £10,000 Kay Mellor Fellowship, giving her the opportunity to develop the first draft of a stage play at Leeds Playhouse.
Writers who had at least one professionally produced play, as well as an idea for a new,full-length production,were invited to apply for the Fellowship.
Bradford-born Kat will also be given a TV pitch at Rollem Productions, Kay Mellor’s production company, and will spend a year with both organisations, attending meetings and rehearsals, read-throughs, reading TV scripts and visiting sets.
Kat said “I am totally thrilled to have been given this unique opportunity to work with both Kay Mellor and Leeds Playhouse. The theatre world is so different to my everyday life and I’m really excited to learn how I can blend these worlds. I also can’t wait to learn how to create and develop work across TV and theatre while, hopefully, speaking to an audience like me. I’m really keen to get started now – I’m ready for the hard work to begin.”
Kay Mellor OBE, Bafta award-winner, said: “It’s important that people feel that theatre is relevant to them and, from the moment we met Kat, we knew she could write for the world we live in now. She has a real warmth and energy to her that I find inspiring, and I’m excited by the way she talks about infusing her work with elements of her own experiences. She has a really clear voice and her passion for writing comes through on the page. She’s obviously hungry to get started and I personally cannot wait to work with Leeds Playhouse to develop this new Yorkshire voice.”
James Brining, Leeds Playhouse’s Artistic Director said: “It’s a real honour to partner with Rollem, given our dual expertise in developing local artists. It was inspiring to receive so many brilliant scripts as part of the submissions process, but the energy and chemistry generated when Kat spoke about her work meant that we saw a huge future for her in both TV and theatre. Rollem and the Playhouse share similar values when it comes to encouraging and supporting artists for both stage and screen and I really hope this partnership will continue to grow and develop. We can’t wait to start working with Kat as she creates new work from a fresh new perspective.”
The Fellowship is just part of Leeds Playhouse’s Artist Development Programme, set up to help artists in all theatre disciplines. There is also the FUSE Programme, which offers three playwrights a bursary, mentoring and support to see work and build sustainable relationships. The three artists from the Leeds City Region chosen for this year are Ruth Kelner, Gemma Bedeau and Chris O’Connor.
Feature photograph provided by Leeds Playhouse.