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The Stage Awards winners 2018, in their own words

Samuel Thomas and Miriam-Teak Lee, hosts at The Stage awards
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Theatre companies and individuals across the UK and globally are celebrated annually in The Stage Awards. The 2018 event took place at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London on January 26.

Photographs by Alex Brenner.

Executive director at the Sherman Theatre Julia Barry, artistic director at the Sherman theatre Rachel O’Riordan, and producer at Evolution productions Emily Wood

Sherman Theatre, Cardiff, regional theatre of the year

(Award sponsored by Evolution Productions)

“One can’t expect recognition as a matter of course or of right, you have to earn it. We’ve got to do our part to to make the kind of work that excites,” – Julia Barry, executive director at the Sherman Theatre


Artistic director at the Almeida Rupert Goold

Almeida Theatre, London theatre of the year

(Award sponsored by Managed Networks)

“It’s great – we were up against the National and the Barbican and they are huge and have both also had inspirational years. We won this award a couple of years ago, but you never get complacent about it,” – Rupert Goold, artistic director at the Almeida Theatre


Artistic director at the Hope Mill Joseph Houston, director at Aria entertainment Katy Lipson, principal – international theatre development at the Hope Mill Bev Hewes, and executive producer at the Hope Mill William Whelton (left to right)

Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester, fringe theatre of the year

(Award sponsored by encoreinsure.com)

“This feels incredible. We were nominated last year as well so it’s totally overwhelming to win. We could have been so easily forgotten, a fringe theatre in Manchester, but the support of The Stage has allowed us to get a profile out there,” – Joseph Houston, artistic director at the Hope Mill Theatre


Royal Exchange Young Company member Yandass Ndlovu, director Matt Hassall, Young Company graduate Justina Aina

Royal Exchange Young Company, Manchester, school of the year

(Award sponsored by TodayTix)

“The young company are a huge part of what we do at the Exchange, and to be recognised for offering this level of training in a theatre building as opposed to a school feels like a really, really fantastic thing,” – Matt Hassall, Royal Exchange Young Company director


Executive producer Niccy Hallifax, creative director Katy Fuller and executive producer Sam Hunt; Hull City of Culture

Hull City of Culture, producer of the year

(Award sponsored by PRG XL Video)

“It’s an amazing honour to be recognised. It’s a massively diverse category, but for us to be recognised for a programme of work across the year with loads of different artistic partners that has engaged residents, that’s great,” – Katy Fuller, creative director at Hull City of Culture


Producer at Imaginate Pamela Walker and head of marketing at Imaginate Marion Bourbouze

Imaginate for the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival, international award

(Sponsored by Ambassador Theatre Group)

“It’s absolutely amazing to have this award and to be recognised internationally for what we do. Edinburgh International Children’s Festival is so important to our industry, we were so happy just to be nominated.”
Pamela Walker, producer at Imaginate


Chris Wardle, press and PR manager, and Deborah Aydon, executive director, at the Liverpool Everyman

The Everyman Company, Liverpool, innovation award

(Sponsored by Charcoalblue)

“It feels particularly great to win the innovation award for something that is so completely analogue, which is about taking an old model of theatre and bringing it into the 21st century. A lot of people have been looking over our shoulder to see if this experiment would work, so it’s wonderful to be recognised for it,” – Deborah Aydon, executive director at the Liverpool Everyman


Head of communications Jack Gamble and executive director Ben Todd at the Arcola Theatre in London

Arcola Theatre, London, sustainability award

“We have been doing this for 10 years at the Arcola, and while it was a huge amount of work at the beginning, the really hard work is just keeping it going, so we are really chuffed. The next thing is thinking more about how we can get this more on the agenda, more widely, and how theatre can find a way to integrate sustainability. We should all be doing more, but I am really aware that there are a lot of theatres doing really good work [around sustainability] and we should definitely recognise that,” – Ben Todd, executive director, at the Arcola Theatre


Nick Starr with architect Steve Tompkins. Photo: Eliza Power

Bridge Theatre, London, theatre building of the year

“This is the first award the Bridge has won, and it feels great. We know that live entertainment is really popular and it’s no surprise that theatre would be very popular in London, and I think London needs new theatres. So we are planning more, they are in the works,” Nick Starr, chief executive, Bridge Theatre


Interior designer Clare Ferraby

Clare Ferraby, unsung Hero

(Sponsored by White Light)

“It’s strange really, after nearly 50 years working in the industry, it feels very strange to have recognition now, so I think its about time […] Every theatre I’ve worked with is different, it has a different soul, I feel very strongly about it, one has to pull out the character of it,” – Clare Ferraby

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