The director of Anne Boleyn, which won the best touring production award at this year’s Theatre Awards UK, has paid tribute to English Touring Theatre for taking a “risk” on the show.
John Dove picked up the award along with playwright Howard Brenton for the winning show – originally produced by Shakespeare’s Globe in London – which visited nine venues, from Edinburgh to Cornwall, in eight weeks with a cast of 19 earlier this year.
He said: “The thing that made one so proud was Dominic Dromgoole [artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe] and the ETT taking the risk to tour it, Howard writing this script and the people of Britain being hugely involved – that was heartening.”
“It was a very large company so there was an enormous range of performances that created a champagne for the evening and audiences just responded to it,” he added.
This year the touring category of the awards was held in association with The Stage and voted for by the public for the first time via thestage.co.uk. Thousands of votes were cast, with Anne Boleyn chosen over tours of The King and I, Reasons to be Cheerful, Swallows and Amazons and We Are Three Sisters.
Rachel Tackley, director of ETT, said the award was significant because of the thousands who took time to choose their favourite show.
“What was really fabulous was the number of people who voted and how close it was, and that different people were front runners at different times.
“That means they [other productions in the category] were all brilliant and it got people talking about it,” she said.