Derek Jacobi’s King Lear and Bertie Carvel’s performance as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda the Musical have picked up the top performance prizes at this year’s inaugural Theatre Awards UK.
The newly relaunched awards for regional theatre in the UK – formerly known as the TMA Theatre Awards – were given out at a lunchtime ceremony at Banqueting House in Whitehall, London on Sunday, October 30.
They also saw director Peter Hall recognised with The Stage Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre. Hall has been artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre, as well as founding the Rose Theatre in Kingston. Meanwhile, his Peter Hall Company has staged an annual season at the Theatre Royal Bath as well as touring extensively.
Elsewhere in the awards, it was a good year for touring theatre. As well as Jacobi’s prize for Best Performance in a Play for the Donmar’s touring production of King Lear, touring productions won Best New Play (Love, Love, Love) and Best Show for Children and Young People (White) in addition to the Best Touring Production award (Propeller’s Richard III and The Comedy of Errors).
As well as Carvel’s award for Best Performance in a Musical, Matilda the Musical also picked up the Best Musical Production Award, making it the only show to pick up multiple prizes.
Best Director was presented to Michael Sheen and Bill Mitchell, for their shared direction of the National Theatre of Wales and Wild Works’ production of The Passion, an event which ran for 72 hours over the Easter weekend in Port Talbot.
Meanwhile, Sheffield Theatres picked up two awards – with Claire Price winning 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 TMA also gave out its former management awards at the event, where there were awards for Shakespeare’s Globe, Lyric Hammersmith, Theatre Royal Stratford East and the recently reopened Lyric Theatre in Belfast. John Titcombe of Salisbury Playhouse and Nick Jones from the New Vic Theatre shared the Theatre Employee / Manager of the Year Award.
Theatre Awards UK are presented by the Theatrical Management Association and sponsored by The Stage, W&P Longreach, Harbottle and Lewis, Dewynters and Theatre Tokens. TMA president Rachel Tackley said: “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.”
For further coverage, including a full interview with Peter Hall, winner of the The Stage’s Special Award, see this week’s print edition of The Stage.
The awards in full are:
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 PlayLove, 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
Best Design Happy Days designed by Lizzie Clachan, lighting design by Natasha Chivers: A Sheffield Theatres production at Sheffield Studio
Best Director 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 Shakespeare’s Globe
Achievement in Marketing Lyric Hammersmith
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 & Nick Jones of New Vic Theatre
The Stage Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre Sir Peter Hall