The awards recognize a body of work achieved by venues that perform in smaller studio theatre spaces, and typically receive little or no public funding.
The judging panel comprised critics Dominic Cavendish (Daily Telegraph), Lyn Gardner (Guardian), Fiona Mountford (Evening Standard), Sam Marlowe (The Times) and Mark Shenton (Sunday Express and Playbill.com London correspondent). The ceremony was held at the National Theatre's Studio for the first time.
The Royal Court won the award for established studio theatre, receiving a check for £2,000, in a category that also included the Arcola Theatre in Dalston, North London, and Liverpool's Everyman and Playhouse.
The Union Theatre, celebrating its tenth anniversary in December, took the award for up-and-coming theatre, given to newly created studios or artistic directors with new policies, in a category that also included Notting Hill's Gate Theatre and Battersea's Theatre 503. The prize includes a cheque for £1,500.
The Dan Crawford Pub Theatre Award, sponsored by Nica Burns and the Cameron Mackintosh Foundation, saw the £2,000 prize awarded to Earl's Court's Finborough Theatre. Also nominated was the Landor Theatre. A special citation was made for "Theatre Without Walls" — companies that produce without permanent indoor venues — to the National Theatre's annual Watch This Space outdoors theatre initiative, the National Theatre of Scotland, Paines Plough, the Forest Fringe at the Edinburgh Fringe, and Artichoke.
Two further awards, judged by a different panel of theatre professionals, were made to BAC (for the Peter Brook/Equity Ensemble Award), earning a cheque for £2,000, and to Angle Company (for the Mark Marvin Rent Subsidy Award for £1,500), to enable them to produce a season of one-acts, The Sea at Night, Migration and Khadija is 18, at Hackney Empire Studio.