The Maverick Award

Maverick Award 2020

To celebrate 10 years of the Tom McGrath Trust, the Trust is delighted to announce the recipients of its final round of awards – two Maverick awards and a ‘Wild’ award to celebrate Ella Wildridge who has championed artists tirelessly over the decades.

Artists Ross MacKay and Bibo Keeley will each receive a £2,000 Maverick Award. Ross, based in Fife, plans to create a large-scale participatory writing project; a series of poetic chain letters inspired by what he has learned about R numbers in the last year. Bibo, based in Aberdeen will revisit letters she wrote to her husband while he was in a coma 8 years ago and incorporate her words with moving image into a short film.

Edinburgh-based artist, Angus Reid, who connected with Tom over several years, will receive the one-off Wild Award of £2,000, to celebrate Ella Wildridge’s unique contribution to the Trust and Scotland’s creative community. The Wild Award will support the next stages of Angus’ project: The History of Art in 100 Limericks.

The Trust has also decided to give an additional award to dramaturg Katherine Mendelsohn for a translation of a Molière play that has never been staged in the UK. The play, a 12-hander and one that would appear as a seemingly crazy project in British theatre and impossible to stage with current funding levels, is exactly the sort of project that Tom and Ella would love.

Alice McGrath, Trustee said: “Congratulations to all the awardees and thanks to everyone who applied. Reading the applications has shown us again the wonderful talent and creativity that is alive in Scotland today and the lifeblood of all artists. We are hugely grateful to Morven McLean from Original Editions who has supported two of the awards. The Awardees have been recognised for their applications that are most in keeping with the Trust’s values and my dad and Ella’s love of inquiry, collaboration, and adventure. It will be fantastic to hear how these ideas are developed with the small awards we can make. The trust has supported 80 artists in the last ten years and I know my dad would have taken great pleasure in being part of the conversation with everyone we have supported.”

Morven McLean, Founder, Original Editions said: “Tom and Ella were instrumental in nurturing a culture of innovation and originality in the arts in Scotland. The combination of their unorthodox creativity, intellectual rigour, generosity of spirit plus let’s not forget, sense of humour, truly set them apart. By supporting these awards, I hope their legacy extends onwards to new audiences. Heartfelt congratulations to the Mavericks and the Wild winners. Be bold!”

Bibo Keeley said: “I feel very honoured to be a recipient of the Tom McGrath Trust’s Maverick Award. This is particularly inspiring at this time because I have been co-shielding for nearly a year with my husband and fellow artist, who is in the highest at risk group. This award will allow me the opportunity to work on an exciting new project as lead artist, and I am  looking forward to sharing this creative venture with my collaborators Brian Keeley and theatre director Susan Worsfold. I very much appreciate having been selected for the Tom McGrath Trust Maverick Award.”

Ross MacKay said: “Tom McGrath was my favourite playwright to study at uni, so I’m really thrilled to get the award and I’m excited to get started on the project.”

Angus Reid said: “I am absolutely chuffed, thrilled, tickled, saved, ruffled, aghast, and delighted to have been awarded this grant in the name Tom McGrath, one of my heroes”

Katherine Mendelsohn said “I feel quite tearful at receiving the Tom McGrath Trust’s last small grant award, as Tom and Ella meant/mean so much to me. It’s a real honour to receive this – and I am so grateful for the support.”


Previous Maverick Award winners:  2016 – Claire Duffy, The Big Data Show;  2013 – Caitlin Skinner / The Village Pub Theatre; 2011 – Mary Paulson Ellis and Audrey Grant, Ruffled Russell

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