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Eileen Atkins named best actress at 2013 Offies

Simon Callow looks on as Eileen Atkins collects her award. Photo: Anthony Ofoegbu
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This year’s Off West End Theatre Awards saw Eileen Atkins take home the prize for best female performance for her role in Samuel Beckett’s All That Fall at Jermyn Street Theatre.

At a ceremony held at Battersea Arts Centre this evening (February 24), which was hosted by Simon Callow, a total of 20 Offies awards were presented to winners.

Fringe venue Southwark Playhouse was recognised across five categories, including best musical production for Floyd Collins, best choreographer for Lee Proud’s work on Mack and Mabel and most promising new playwright for Nicholas Pierpan’s You Can Still Make a Killing.

The London venue also received a nod in the best lighting category for The Hairy Ape, which had lighting design by Richard Howell, and was given a special achievement award from the panel of judges.

Accepting this last award, Chris Smyrnios, artistic director of Southwark Playhouse, said: “It’s a great honour to be recognised with this special award. We’ve had a really successful past year at our premises under the arches at London Bridge station. We’ve had some incredibly talented individuals putting on great shows.

“The new building is shaping up to be just as exciting… I’d also like to thank all those who wrote objections to Southwark Council. Not only did it secure a long term future for the theatre under the arches at the new London Bridge station from 2018, but without it the transition to the new temporary premises would not have been possible.”

Touring theatre company Paines Plough was singled out in two categories. It won best new play for Duncan Macmillan’s Lungs and best artistic director for George Perrin and James Grieve’s leadership – fighting off competition from Chris Smyrnios at Southwark Playhouse, Gene David Kirk at Jermyn Street Theatre
Neil McPherson at the Finborough Theatre.

Meanwhile, Thomas Coombes won the best male performance title for Barbarians at Tooting Arts Club.

Toby Jones, Sean Holmes (winner of the best director award), Nicola Merrifield (The Stage) and Simon Callow. Photo: Anthony Ofoegbu
Toby Jones, Sean Holmes (winner of the best director award), Nicola Merrifield (The Stage) and Simon Callow. Photo: Anthony Ofoegbu

Elsewhere at the awards, the best director category – which is sponsored by The Stage – went to Sean Holmes for Desire Under The Elms and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Lyric Hammersmith, while Uncle Vanya at The Print Room was named best production.

This year’s panel of judges included theatre critics Mark Shenton from The Stage, Daisy Bowie-Sell from The Telegraph and Ian Shuttleworth of the Financial Times.

The winners in full are:

Best production – Uncle Vanya at The Print Room

Best new musical – A Winter’s Tale at the Landor

Best musical production – Floyd Collins at Southwark Playhouse

Best opera production – Cosi fan Tutte by Hampstead Garden Opera at Upstairs at The Gatehouse

Best production for young people – Something Very Far Away at Unicorn Theatre

Best director – Sean Holmes for Desire Under The Elms and Midsummer Night’s Dream at Lyric Hammersmith

Best artistic director – George Perrin and James Grieve at Paines Plough

Best choreographer – Lee Proud for Mack and Mabel at Southwark Playhouse

Best ensemble – Faction season at New Diorama Theatre

Best producer – Fuel

Best lighting – Richard Howell for The Hairy Ape at Southwark Playhouse

Best sound – Melanie Wilson for Autobiographer at Toynbee Studios

Best set – James Turner for Mercury Fur at Old Red Lion Theatre

Best costume – Kingsley Hall for Goodnight Mrs Calabash at Upstairs At The Gatehouse

Best new play – Lungs by Duncan Macmillan by Paines Plough (Shoreditch Town Hall)

Most promising new playwright – Nicholas Pierpan for You Can Still Make a Killing at Southwark Playhouse

Best TBC production – Brand New Ancients at BAC

Best female performance – Eileen Atkins in All That Fall at Jermyn Street Theatre

Best male performance – Thomas Coombes in Barbarians at Tooting Arts Club

Special panel award – Southwark Playhouse

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