Header image © Jojo

David Prescott

David is a theatre-maker, dramaturg, director and studio theatre programmer who has worked professionally in theatre for over thirty-five years. He is currently leading an Arts Council funded development project, in partnership with The Box and Plymouth Synagogue, called Hart of Plymouth, about the Plymouth born, first Jewish member of the Royal Academy of Arts, Solomon Hart, working with South West artists including Nina Raines, Derek Frood, Luke Jeffery and Ruth Mitchell. He is an Associate Lecturer at Plymouth University where he teaches Solo Performance on the MA Acting course. In 2021 he will also be working as dramaturg on the Arts Council project, The Icelandic Adventures of Pike Ward by Katherine Findlay, collaborating with both South West and Icelandic artists. For Theatre West's Zooming Ahead new play initiative he is working with Exeter playwright Micha Colombo on her stage play, Branded.

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Current Projects

Hart of Plymouth

The Project - Solomon Hart R&D

Funded by the Arts Council England in partnership with The Box and Plymouth Synagogue.

David Prescott and South West artists, Nina Raines, Derek Frood, Luke Jeffery and Ruth Mitchell are exploring the life and work of the Plymouth born Jewish artist, Solomon Hart.

In partnership with The Box and working across art forms, the project will research a museum-based performance about the artist, the first Jewish member of the Royal Academy of Arts, and his massive painting, 'Lady Jane Grey at the Place of her Execution', which is stored in its archives in the basement of the building, unseen for over a century. Benefiting from the insights and knowledge of Senior Curator Emma Philip and Community Development Producer, Fiona Evans, the team will consider Solomon Hart’s place in the mid-nineteenth century art establishment of England as probably the most important and influential Jewish artist working in Britain at that time. The project will also consider his resonance with themes found in The Box, such as the permanent 100 Journeys exhibition which explores immigration and emigration from and into the city over the centuries.

The project is also partnering with the Plymouth Synagogue and will look at the long established community and heritage of Jews in a city that is home to the oldest Ashkenazi Synagogue in continuous use in the English speaking world, built in 1762. Jerry Sibley, the custodian, has kindly lent, for research, a rare copy of Solomon Hart’s ‘Reminiscences’, published in 1882, that is kept at the Synagogue.

The aim of the project is to create the roadmap of a performance that could be shown in a gallery space in The Box at a future date.

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© National Portrait Gallery


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The Icelandic Adventures of Pike Ward 

In 2016 Katherine Findlay discovered the lost photographic and archive collections of a Devon man from Teignmouth, Pike Ward, who became a hugely important figure in Icelandic history during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her research has led to a book based on his diaries and a series of events and exhibitions in the UK and Iceland. These included a major exhibition in 2019 at Þjóðminjasafn Íslands (the National Museum of Iceland) called Með Ísland í farteskinu. Arts Council England has awarded her a project grant in 2021 to develop the story into an audio drama.

The project is led by researcher Katherine Findlay, in collaboration with an international creative team: Edward Rowe (writer), Guðmundur Ingi Þorvaldsson (writer), Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir (sound artist), David Prescott (dramaturg), Jo Loosemore (audio drama).

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Zooming Ahead

With theatres being dark for a long time due to Covid, this new play project from Bristol-based Theatre West offers some light and support for women writers based in the South West. Zooming Ahead offers a package of Arts Council funded script development support for 10 writers, so as theatres start to consider producing again, there will be oven-baked scripts ready to go. Working as one of the dramaturgs on the project, David will be supporting Exeter playwright, Micha Colombo, in the development of her new play, Branded.

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