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NEWS: Nominations announced for UK Theatre Awards 2016


UK Theatre has today [15 September 2016] announced the nominations for the UK Theatre Awards 2016, published below and available online at uktheatre.org

These nominations demonstrate the breadth and depth of outstanding talent and achievement in theatre and the performing arts throughout the United Kingdom, on and off stage.

This year’s recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre will be Sir Ian McKellen (pictured)in recognition of his work both in championing diversity and for his commitment to theatre, including touring productions, across the country. During a career that has spanned more than six decades, McKellen has performed to wide acclaim at theatres throughout the United Kingdom. McKellen recently completed a UK tour of No Man’s Land alongside Sir Patrick Stewart, which will open in London on 20 September. Past recipients of the award include Sir Matthew Bourne, Timothy West and Prunella Scales.

The Awards will be presented on Sunday, 9 October at a ceremony at London’s Guildhall. Multi-award-winning actor Lesley Manvillewill compère this year’s event. In 2016 Manville starred in Long Day’s Journey Into Night at Bristol Old Vic.

Commenting, Manville said:“It is hugely important that we recognise the incredible work that is performed onstage and backstage at theatres across the country, and so I am honoured to be hosting the UK Theatre Awards 2016. Theatre is one of our country’s most vibrant industries, and I look forward to celebrating a year of artistic achievement.”

Manville’s sentiments were echoed by Julian Bird, Chief Executive of UK Theatre, who added: “This year’s nominations demonstrate that theatres in the UK are continuing to thrive artistically. Night after night, incredible work can be seen on stages up and down the country. From thought-provoking drama to musical revivals, our industry is a world-leader. We also recognise the hard work of the dedicated teams backstage and front of house, without which there would be no theatre.”

As well as established awards for both performance and management achievement, which is decided by expert panels, in 2013 the Clothworkers’ Foundation launched its five-year Theatre Award programme worth £750,000. A single award of up to £150,000 will be presented each year to a regional producing theatre in England as part of a broader £1.25 million programme to support the dramatic arts. A different region in England is selected each year; this year’s recipient will be a venue in the North East or North West.

The nominations are:

Best New Play

  • Folk by Tom Wells, a Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Hull Truck Theatre and Watford Palace Theatre production
  • Cuttin’ It by Charlene James, a Young Vic/Royal Court Theatre co-production with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Sheffield Theatre and The Yard Theatre
  • This Restless House by Zinnie Harris, a Citizens Theatre and National Theatre of Scotland production

Best Musical Production

  • Flowers For Mrs Harris directed by Daniel Evans, a Sheffield Theatres Production
  • Half A Sixpence directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, a Chichester Festival Theatre and Cameron Mackintosh production
  • Show Boat directed by Daniel Evans, a Sheffield Theatres production

Best Touring Production

  • A Raisin In The Sun directed by Dawn Walton an Eclipse Theatre Company, Belgrade Theatre Coventry and Sheffield Theatres production
  • The Herbal Bed directed by James Dacre, an English Touring Theatre, Royal &Derngate Northampton and Rose Theatre Kingston production
  • Toast directed by Eleanor Rhode, a Snapdragon Production

Best Show For Children And Young People

  • Gangsta Granny, a Birmingham Stage Company production
  • The Hobbit, a The Dukes production
  • Little Red And The Wolf, a Dundee Rep Ensemble production

Best Director

  • Robert Hastie for Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, a Theatr Clwyd production
  • Samuel Hodges for The Glass Menagerie, a Nuffield Theatre production
  • Raz Shaw for Wit, a Royal Exchange Theatre production

Best Performance In A Play

  • Paapa Essiedu for Hamlet, a Royal Shakespeare Company production
  • Julie Hesmondhalgh for Wit, a Royal Exchange Theatre production
  • James McArdle for Young Chekhov: Platonov and Ivanov, a Chichester Festival Theatre production

Best Performance In A Musical

  • Clare Burt for Flowers For Mrs Harris, a Sheffield Theatres Production
  • Charlie Stemp for Half A Sixpence, a Chichester Festival Theatre and Cameron Mackintosh production
  • Allyson Ava-Brown, Jennifer Saayeng and Nina Toussaint-White for The Etienne Sisters, a Theatre Royal Stratford East production

Best Supporting Performance

  • Emmanuel Kojo for Show Boat, a Sheffield Theatres production
  • Rebecca Trehearn for Show Boat, a Sheffield Theatres production
  • Olivia Vinall for Young Chekhov: The Seagull, a Chichester Festival Theatre production

Best Design

  • Lez Brotherston for Flowers For Mrs Harris and Show Boat, a Sheffield Theatres productions
  • Max Dorey and Sally Ferguson for And Then Come The Nightjars, a Theatre503 and Bristol Old Vic production in association with Tara Finney Productions
  • Robert Jones for Strife, a Chichester Festival Theatre production

Achievement In Opera

  • The Royal Opera and Guildhall School Of Music and Drama for48 Psychosis in association with the Lyric Hammersmith
  • Scottish Opera and Music Theatre Wales forThe Devil Inside
  • Welsh National Opera forFigaro Gets A Divorce andIn Parenthesis

Achievement In Dance

  • Dance Consortium for bringing back the exceptional dancers of Nederlands Dans Theater 2 for a UK tour
  • Gary Clarke for his vital, heartfelt and socially relevant dance-theatre production Coal
  • Northern Ballet for commissioning two striking new contemporary ballets: Jonathan Watkins’ 1984 and Cathy Marston’s Jane Eyre

Promotion of Diversity

  • Belgrade Theatre
  • Eclipse Theatre Company
  • Oldham Coliseum

UK Theatre Insurance Award For Theatre Employee Or Manager Of The Year

  • Kevin Shaw, Oldham Coliseum
  • Diane Belding, Liverpool Empire Theatre
  • Neil Chandler, New Wimbledon Theatre

Achievement In Marketing

  • Birmingham Hippodrome
  • York Theatre Royal
  • Northern Ballet

The Renee Stepham Award For Best Presentation Of Touring Theatre

  • Curve On Tour
  • Northern Stage
  • Northern Ballet

The public vote for UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre will close at 12 noon on Monday 19 September 2016. For more information visituktheatre.org/vote

Further details about UK Theatre and the UK Theatre Awards can be found at:uktheatre.org/awards


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The Reviews Hub - Features
Our Features team is under the editorship of Nicole Craft. The team is responsible for sourcing interviews, articles, competitions from across the country. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.