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Sonia Friedman, Young Vic and Southampton’s Nuffield triumph at Stage Awards 2015

Sonia Friedman was named producer of the year at the Stage Award 2015. Photo: Eliza Power
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Sonia Friedman has been crowned producer of the year at The Stage Awards 2015, where the Young Vic and Park Theatre were honoured, alongside the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton.

Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre also recorded a double win following its reopening season.

Following a year that saw the ongoing success of both The Book of Mormon and Ghosts in the West End, complemented by openings of Charles III, 1984, Shakespeare in Love and Sunny Afternoon, Friedman collected her award during a ceremony held today at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Her company Sonia Friedman Productions beat both Danielle Tarento and Playful Productions to the title.

Last April, SFP picked up a total of 13 Olivier awards – the biggest haul ever received at the Oliviers by any production house.

Elsewhere, the Young Vic Theatre triumphed over the Unicorn and the Almeida to be named London theatre of the year – highlighting a year for the venue that has included a critically lauded staging of A View from the Bridge, and a star turn from Gillian Anderson in A Streetcar Named Desire.

The Nuffield in Southampton scooped the prize for regional theatre of the year, fending off competition from the Ustinov Studio at Bath Theatre Royal and Leicester’s Curve.

The fringe theatre of the year award went to the Park Theatre in north London, honouring a range of work both old and new that attracted the likes of Maureen Lipman and Matthew Kelly to the venue.

The Liverpool Everyman and Paines Plough jointly won the prize for theatre building of the year: the former for the total rebuild of its venue and the latter for its pop-up Roundabout Theatre that tours around the country.

The Everyman also took home the school of the year prize for its Young Everyman Playhouse scheme, which helps 11-25 year-olds engage with and work in theatre.

The international award went to Shakespeare’s Globe for its ambitious two-year tour of Hamlet, which is attempting to visit every single country in the world.

Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s head of wardrobe Sue Nightingale won the Unsung Hero award, celebrating an extensive career and commitment to theatre outside the limelight.

Alistair Smith, editor of The Stage and chair of the judging panel, said: “After another hard-fought year, the judges were hugely impressed by the quality on show across all eight categories. The excellent work produced by our shortlisted organisations took place across the UK and around the world, covering genres ranging from musical theatre to Shakespeare to circus. Any of our shortlisted organisations would have made worthy winners, but the panel’s choice were the best of the best and represent another superlative 12 months for theatre (and theatres) created in the UK.”

The full list of winners is as follows:

London Theatre of the Year
Young Vic Theatre

Fringe Theatre of the Year
Park Theatre

Regional Theatre of the Year
Nuffield, Southampton

Theatre Building of the Year
Liverpool Everyman
Roundabout Theatre, Paines Plough

Producer of the Year
Sonia Friedman

School of the Year
Young Everyman Playhouse, Liverpool

International Award
Shakespeare’s Globe

Unsung Hero Award
Sue Nightingale

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