“Without youth theatre, I would never have won the Booker prize” – Bernardine Evaristo

Bernardine Evaristo won the 2019 Booker prize for her novel Girl, Woman, Other. Evaristo is a British author and a longstanding advocate for the inclusion of writers and artists of colour. Upon winning the Booker Prize, she wrote an opinion piece for The Guardian, recognizing youth theatre’s importance in her own life as a writer.

“At the youth theatre, we learned to think independently and imaginatively while participating collaboratively in drama activities that developed our confidence and honed our performance skills. (…) It was the incubator of my early creativity, a safe space to spend my childhood. I would never have won the Booker prize last week, alongside Margaret Atwood, if the youth theatre had not nurtured what would become a lifelong career in the arts. ”

Bernardine Evaristo: ‘I came to love acting so much, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.’ Photograph: Karen Robinson/The Observer