DANCING LEDGE PRODUCTIONS LAUNCHES THE DAWN STURGESS BURSARY IN ASSOCIATION WITH WILTSHIRE CREATIVE
DANCING LEDGE PRODUCTIONS LAUNCHES
THE DAWN STURGESS BURSARY IN ASSOCIATION WITH WILTSHIRE CREATIVE
Leading London based production company, Dancing Ledge Productions (Wedding Season, The Salisbury Poisonings) in partnership with Wiltshire Creative and Dawn’s parents, today announced the launch of The Dawn Sturgess Bursary. The eponymous bursary has been set up in memory of the Wiltshire resident to help young creative people from the area achieve their full potential.
The bursary, open to permanent Wiltshire residents aged 18-25 year olds with an accepted offer for a full-time acting course being taught within a UK drama school in Spring 2022 and will provide one budding Drama School acting student with funding of up to £30,000 towards their living costs while studying. Applications for the bursary will open in March 2022.
Dawn Sturgess died aged 44 on July 8, 2018 after coming into contact with the nerve agent Novichok, which had been used to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on March 4, 2018. The public health crisis and criminal investigation following the poisonings was the subject of the highly acclaimed drama series The Salisbury Poisonings, Dancing Ledge’s first drama based on first-hand accounts and interviews with people caught up in tragedy.
Dancing Ledge Productions has an on going commitment and successful proven track- record for supporting emerging talent launching the UK‘s first TV Writer in Residence bursary scheme in 2016. From holding regular creative writing workshops with local school Kensington Aldridge Academy, mentoring students, providing work placements and fund-raising to running the High End TV Mentoring Programme with ITV, the BBC and Screen Skills. The company mentors more talent than any other production company in the UK.
When approached by Dawn’s father, Stan Sturgess to set up the bursary alongside Wiltshire Creative, the company was honoured.
Stan Sturgess says, “We want to help young people achieve their hopes and dreams. Dawn always said to her kids to dream big. When me and Gracie visited the set of The Salisbury Poisonings and met the little girl [Sophia Alley] who played her, it was a really moving moment. You could see how hard Sophia and her family were working to achieve her acting dreams – young people need all the help they can get. And in a few years’ time it’ll be wonderful to see how Dawn’s bursary has allowed young people to achieve their dreams.”
Laurence Bowen, CEO & Chris Carey, MD, Dancing Ledge Productions say, “Nurturing emerging talent is at the core of what we do at Dancing Ledge and it is a huge honour to be able to launch this bursary alongside Wiltshire Creative in Dawn’s name. We are hugely grateful to Dawn’s family for working with us in order to champion talent from her home county and hope this helps the memory of her live on. ”
The bursary, open to permanent Wiltshire residents aged 18-25 year olds with an accepted offer for a full-time acting course being taught within a UK drama school in Spring 2022 and will provide one budding Drama School acting student with funding of up to £30,000 towards their living costs while studying. Applications for the bursary will open in March 2022. This marks the first year of the Bursary which will like run for several years to come.
Louise Dancy, Take Part Director says, ‘Wiltshire Creative are delighted to be working with Dancing Ledge Productions in the creation of a bursary for young people to be able to access high quality drama training. We are passionate about championing local talent, and equal access to opportunities which are sadly unattainable for so many. The events surrounding the Novichok attack in 2018 are still very much present in the hearts and minds of those in Salisbury and across Wiltshire so most fitting we are able to honour the memory of Dawn Sturgess in this way.’
For more information and to apply visit
NOTES TO EDITORS
ABOUT DANCING LEDGE PRODUCTIONS
Founded in 2016 to produce popular, bold, authored, high-end drama and nurture future generations of creative talent Dancing Ledge Production is run by multi BAFTA Award-winning CEO Laurence Bowen and Emmy Award winning Managing Director Chris Carey.
This month the company announced a green-light on Wedding Season a romantic comedy action thriller Star Original for Disney+. Production will begin in autumn 2021.
The eight-episode series is produced by Dancing Ledge Productions with Chris Carey (Les Miserables, Apple Tree Yard), Laurence Bowen (The Eichmann Show, Delhi Crime) and Toby Bruce (The Salisbury Poisonings), serving as Executive Producers in association with Jax Media (Russian Doll) with Lilly Burns (Russian Doll, Search Party), Brooke Posche (Russian Doll, Search Party) and Tony Hernandez also taking Executive Producer responsibilities. The series is penned by up-and-coming screenwriting talent (and former Writer in Residence at Dancing Ledge) Oliver Lyttelton (Cheaters) also an executive producer and will be directed by George Kane (Timewasters, Flack, Crashing).
The company s currently in post-production for Tony Schumacher’s The Responder, a distinctive new 5x60 series set in Liverpool starring; Martin Freeman, Ian Hart, Adelayo Adedayo, MyAnna Buring, Kerrie Hayes and Warren Brown. David Bradley and Rita Tushingham alongside newcomers Josh Finan and Emily Fairn. Directed by Tim Mielants (Peaky Blinders) and produced by Rebecca Ferguson (The Trial of Christien Keeler). The show will air on BBC ONE in the UK.
The Salisbury Poisonings, Dancing Ledge’s first high-end drama, landed on BBC ONE in 2020 and became an international, critically acclaimed ratings hit. Written by Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn, the factual drama starred four-time BAFTA nominated actor Anne-Marie Duff, Annabel Scholey and Rafe Spall. Executive Produced by Laurence Bowen and Chris Carey, Saul Dibb’s direction, delivered a nuanced, moving drama based on first-hand accounts and interviews with people caught up in the public health crisis and criminal investigation following the poisoning of M16 agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. The three part drama received record-breaking ratings with episode one receiving a seven-day consolidated figure of 10 million viewers (43.7% share) and the all screen 28 day data showing over 11.7 million viewers,it became the biggest new drama across all channels since Bodyguard. Following its launch on BBC One in the UK June 2020, The Salisbury Poisonings became one of the most talked about drama series of the year and rated as the number 1 UK drama of 2020 and received a nomination for Best Drama Series 1-4 episodes at this year’s UK’s Broadcasting Press Guild Awards.
With distribution handled by Fremantle, (who owns a minority share of the company), the show has been sold in 101 territories with AMC securing the US rights in order to launch their new SVOD service AMC+. The limited series premiered in the US in its entirety October 1, on SVOD streaming service AMC+ and on AMC linear Jan 25 2021. Other territories secured worldwide include; HOT (Israel), BBCWW Benelux (Flemish speaking Belgium and Netherlands), Czech TV (Czech Republic), DR (Denmark), Pickbox (Croatia, Slovenia, Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro), Telia (Estonia), Eesti Rahvusringhaaling (Estonia), YLE (Finland), ARTE (France), COSMOTE (Greece), SYN (Iceland), Lattelecom (Latvia), GO (Malta), Manoto TV (MENA), Starzplay (MENA), TV2 (Norway), Canal+ (Poland), Disney+ (Portugal), Movistar+ (Spain), SVT (Sweden), Teleclub (German speaking Switzerland), Blu TV (Turkey), Netflix (India) and SBS (Australia).
Shortlisted for the Broadcast Awards Emerging Indie of the Year in 2021, Dancing Ledge’s output is wide reaching embracing drama and comedy, co-producing the UK episodes of the HBO/Sky/Wildside international hit The New Pope starring Jude Law and John Malkovich, and two series of Rutger Haeur starring comedy Porters for UKTV/Dave.
The company’s passion project Delhi Crime (Netflix) won this year’s International Emmy Award for Best Drama, making history by being the first ever win for India. Dancing Ledge, with Golden Karavan and Ivanhoe Productions, developed the web-series written and directed by Richie Mehta. Dancing Ledge is currently working with Mehta on his next series.
Bowen won a BAFTA for My Life as a Popat and a BAFTA nomination for Suburban Shootout together with RTS, Broadcast and Chicago Film Festival awards, Prix Jeunesse, Rose D'or, Emmy and BANFF nominations and most recently won The Japan Prize and
Monte Carlo Golden Nymph for Best International Producer of the Year. His other productions include The Eichmann Show and Gates.
MD Chris Carey has a formidable reputation for delivering high-end drama, Carey’s producing CV includes: Les Miserables, Apple Tree Yard, River and Run. He also executive produced the world’s first
Arabic web drama Shankaboot helping to create the Emmy award winning 50+ episode Beirut based short form series.
The commitment to nurturing creative talent is always at the forefront of the company’s work, launching the UK‘s first TV Writer in Residence bursary scheme in 2016. From holding quarterly Writers Workshops and meeting emerging screenwriters to working closely with local school Kensington Aldridge Academy; mentoring students, providing work placements and fund-raising. The company’s current writer in residence is Dillon Mapletoft, taking over from Georgia Christou (2019), Tristan Bernays (2018), Lauren Sequeira (2017), and Caroline Bartleet (2016).
Running the High End TV Mentoring Programme with ITV, the BBC and Screen Skills. A-list writers including: Jimmy McGovern, Jesse Armstrong, Abby Ajayi, Jack Thorne, Sally Wainwright, Levi David Addai, Kay Mellor, Paul Abbott, Jed Mercurio, Lucy Prebble and Amanda Coe are all mentoring new writers. The company mentors more talent than any other production company in the UK and has secured a further two years’ funding from ITV and BBC.
The company is currently developing new projects with a diverse range of writers for HBO, BBC, Netflix, UKTV, Channel 4, AMC and Sonar Entertainment.
Dancing Ledge Productions work internationally with Fremantle, which has a minority stake in the company.
ABOUT WILTSHIRE CREATIVE
Wiltshire Creative is a pan-arts organisation that brings together the energy and ambition of Salisbury Arts Centre, Salisbury International Arts Festival and Salisbury Playhouse. It is an ambitious and innovative joint arts offer that secures a bright future for audiences, artists and participants.
Wiltshire Creative is rooted in, and draws inspiration from, the city of Salisbury and works beyond its boundaries and draws audiences from across the county and further afield. The creation of new work is at the heart of its programme, as it builds new relationships with audiences, artists and participants.
Wiltshire Creative is part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio of Organisations and also receives regular funding from Wiltshire Council and Salisbury City Council.
An extensive Take Part programme engages with thousands of people of all ages throughout the year through a wide range of creative learning, schools, community and youth activities. This includes a Youth Theatre (Stage 65), Further Education in Performing and Production Arts, community groups Dance Six-O and Mind the Gap, and Zone Club for young people aged 16+ with learning difficulties.
Wiltshire Creative has two venues: Salisbury Playhouse, which comprises a 517-seat auditorium and the 149-seat Salberg, and Salisbury Arts Centre, a beautiful, deconsecrated church. Wiltshire Creative also organises the annual Salisbury International Arts Festival at the end of May and beginning of June.