New Face at the Mercury


Frances Rafferty announced as Assistant Director for Mercury Theatre, Colchester, supported by Michael Grandage bursary scheme. Frances joins Artistic Director Daniel Buckroyd to assist on the UK Tour of Spamalot and 2018’s Turn of the Screw. 

The Mercury Theatre announces Frances Rafferty as its new Assistant Director, supported by a £5000 MGCfutures bursary. Frances will work as Assistant Director on two Made in Colchester productions – the UK tour of Spamalot and Tim Luscombe’s Turn of the Screw. MGCfutures bursaries are awarded across a range of theatrical disciplines including directing, writing, producing, video design, choreography and performance makers. Offering both financial and ongoing mentoring support from the MGCfutures team, the bursaries are awarded to upcoming theatre professionals across the UK.

Frances Rafferty said:

“It’s used a lot, the phrase ‘life changing’ and maybe it isn’t always the case. But for me the placement with the Mercury, and receiving the bursary, are truly life changing! I took a leap and followed my passion for making theatre: MGCFutures, and Mercury Colchester caught me post leap and have ensured I have the means to continue pursuing my dream.

I’m so excited to be working with Daniel Buckroyd on the Made in Colchester productions of Spamalot, and the fantastic new adaptation of Turn of the Screw. The welcome I’ve already received from everyone at the Mercury has been so warm, I can’t wait to get stuck in!”

Artistic Director Michael Grandage said:

“We received more than double the number of applications for this year’s MGCfutures bursaries – from a range of disciplines across all areas of the theatre world. It’s testament to the health and vibrancy of the emerging talent in our industry, and of that we should be very proud. Supporting and nurturing this talent is central to the work of MGCfutures, and we’re genuinely thrilled to be able to award these bursaries to such an incredible group of people and we look forward to collaborating with them and supporting them in the coming years.

We are also delighted to partner this year with Mercury Theatre, Colchester in offering a Trainee Director role at their theatre. It was at this theatre I began my own directing career, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity.”

Michael Grandage founded MGCfutures in 2013 – a charity designed to encourage and support the next generation of theatre makers and theatregoers. The bursaries programme was launched in 2016, and this year, for the first time, the charity partnered with the Mercury Theatre, Colchester, providing a bursary for an Assistant Director role at the theatre. Reaching out across the UK, the charity seeks the very best creative talent showing a commitment to their chosen career and looking to progress to the next stage of their development. Applicants could apply for bursaries of up to £5000.

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