· Touring theatre productions receive the most awards
· SIR DEREK JACOBI wins Best Performance in a Play for the UK tour of King Lear
· Michael Sheen and Bill Mitchell win Best Director for THE PASSION
· MATILDA THE MUSICAL wins musical titles for the Royal Shakespeare Company
· SIR PETER HALL honoured for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre
The winners of the Theatre Awards UK were announced on Sunday 30 October, at an elegant lunchtime ceremony held at Banqueting House, Whitehall, hosted by the brilliantly inventive ventriloquist Paul Zerdin. The re-launched annual Theatre and Theatre Management Awards are given to honour creative excellence and the outstanding work seen on stages throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The big success story of the day was the number of awards that went to productions of touring theatre. Edward Hall and his Propeller productions of Richard III and The Comedy of Errors won Best Touring Production, and Shakespeare’s Globe was recognised for its Shakespeare’s Globe On Tour seasons of national and international tours, winning the Renee Stepham Award for Best Presentation of Touring Theatre.
The calibre of the Donmar’s touring work continued to shine with Sir Derek Jacobi’s poignant portrayal in King Lear winning the Best Performance in a Play and Gina McKee, who played Goneril to his Lear, received the award on Sir Derek’s behalf. The excellence of new writing pioneered by Paines Plough was recognised for its touring co-production with Theatre Royal, Plymouth of Love, Love, Love which won the Best New Play award.
Best Director was presented to Michael Sheen and Bill Mitchell, for their shared direction of the phenomenal epic The Passion, a National Theatre of Wales and Wild Works production, an event which ran for 72 hours over the Easter weekend in Port Talbot, in which Michael Sheen played Jesus Christ.
Sheffield Theatres scored the first of its two successes, with Claire Price receiving the award for Best Supporting Performance for The Pride at the Crucible, while in the technical category, designer Lizzie Clachan and lighting designer Natasha Chivers shared the honours for Best Design for Happy Days at the Sheffield Studio.
The musical awards were picked up by the Royal Shakespeare Company for its sell-out triumph, Matilda The Musical directed by Matthew Warchus at the Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, winning both Best Musical Production and Best Performance in a Musical for Bertie Carvel for his stunning performance as headmistress Miss Trunchbull.
The Best Show for Children and Young People went to White, the charming Catherine Wheels which toured the UK extensively. The Outstanding Achievement in Dance award was given to New Adventures, for their outstanding revision of Cinderella, and Music Theatre Wales received the Outstanding Achievement in Opera for its production of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek.
Legendary theatre director Sir Peter Hall was also honoured with the Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre, presented by industry newspaper, The Stage. Hall’s influence on regional, British and international theatre is immense – from the founding of the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford and the expansion of the National Theatre’s regional presence, to the partnership between the Peter Hall Company and the Theatre Royal Bath in touring productions from its regional base across the UK, and his establishment of the Rose Theatre in Kingston, Sir Peter’s achievements across the UK have been highly influential. Sir Peter collected the award in person from actor Dan Stevens, a Hall protégé, and Managing Director of The Stage, Catherine Comerford.
The Theatre Management Awards recognise the professional excellence of theatres, companies or individuals among member organisations of the Theatrical Management Association. Achievement in Marketing was given to the Lyric Hammersmith; Most Welcoming Theatre was awarded to Theatre Royal Stratford East; Lyric Theatre, Belfast was recognised for its Promotion of Cultural Diversity and awards for Theatre Employee/Manager of the Year were given to John Titcombe at Salisbury Playhouse and Nick Jones at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme.
President of the Theatrical Management Association, Rachel Tackley, says of the winners: “The Theatre Awards UK reflect a year of outstanding creativity and production excellence. British theatre is a shining light in the continuing recessionary gloom – something we can all be proud of. Congratulations to all the winners and the huge theatre community who collaborated in creating our wonderful productions.”
The awards were attended by nominees including: Claire Price, Bertie Carvel, Anna Mackmin, Dennis Kelly, Michael Boyd, Jonathan Church, Tony Hasnath, Natasha Chivers, Lizzie Clachan, Mike Britton, Oliver Fenwick, Philip Gladwell, Ruth Sutcliffe, Simon Stokes, James Grieve, Vivienne Franzmann, Matthew Dunster, Michael McCarthy, Michael Rafferty, Richard Bean, Edward Hall, Matthew Bourne, Marianne Oldham, David Haig, Erica Whyman, Michael Sheen and Bill Mitchell.
Presenters of the 2011 awards included: Ryan Molloy, Joanne Froggatt, Gina McKee, Richard Wilson, Sergei Polunin, Josefina Gabrielle, Sally Ann Triplett, Dan Stevens and Michael Sheen.
Winners for the 2011 Theatre Awards UK
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A PLAY
Derek Jacobi for KING LEAR: A Donmar Warehouse production at the Grand Opera House, Belfast and on tour
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
Claire Price for THE PRIDE: A Sheffield Theatres production at the Crucible, Sheffield
BEST NEW PLAY
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE: a Theatre Royal, Plymouth and Paines Plough production at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth and on tour
BEST SHOW FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
WHITE: a Catherine Wheels production on tour
BEST MUSICAL PRODUCTION
MATILDA THE MUSICAL directed by Matthew Warchus: an RSC production at the Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
BEST TOURING PRODUCTION
RICHARD III and THE COMEDY OF ERRORS directed by Edward Hall: both Propeller productions, on tour
HAPPY DAYS designed by Lizzie Clachan, lighting design by Natasha Chivers: A Sheffield Theatres production at Sheffield Studio
Michael Sheen and Bill Mitchell for THE PASSION a National Theatre Wales/Wild Works co-production
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL
Bertie Carvel for MATILDA at the Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE
New Adventures for Matthew Bourne’s CINDERELLA
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA
MUSIC THEATRE WALES for its production of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek
RENEE STEPHAM AWARD FOR BEST PRESENTATION OF TOURING THEATRE
ACHIEVEMENT IN MARKETING
MOST WELCOMING THEATRE
Theatre Royal Stratford East
PROMOTION OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY
Lyric Theatre, Belfast
THEATRE EMPLOYEE/MANAGER OF THE YEAR
John Titcombe of Salisbury Playhouse
THEATRE EMPLOYEE/MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Nick Jones of New Vic Theatre
THE STAGE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO BRITISH THEATRE
Sir Peter Hall