Derek Jacobi, Michael Sheen, Sir Peter Hall and Matilda Among Winners for Theatre Awards UK 2011

News   Derek Jacobi, Michael Sheen, Sir Peter Hall and Matilda Among Winners for Theatre Awards UK 2011
The winners for this year's Theatre Awards UK 2011, formerly the TMA Theatre Awards which since 1991 have recognized work seen in regional UK theatres, include Sir Derek Jacobi, Michael Sheen and the RSC's Matilda - the musical, with Sir Peter Hall receiving a specail award for outstanding contribution to British theatre.

The winners were announced in a lunchtime ceremony held Oct. 30 at London's Banqueting House in Whitehall, with touring productions at the forefront of those also honored. Edward Hall's Propeller Shakespeare company productions of Richard III and The Comedy of Errors were named Best Touring Production, and Shakespeare's Globe's touring seasons won the Rennee Stepham Award for Best Presentation of Touring Theatre. Mike Bartlett's Love, Love, Love, presented on tour by Paines Plough in a co-production with Theatre Royal, Plymouth, was named Best New Play.

The RSC's production of Matilda - the Musical, which premiered at Stratford-upon-Avon and is now previewing at the West End's Cambridge Theatre, won both Best Musical Production and Best Performance in a Musical for Bertie Carvel for his performance as headmistress Miss Trunchbull. Derek Jacobi was named Best Actor for his performance in the title role of the Donmar Warehouse's King Lear, which underwent an extensive UK national tour; Gina McKee, who played Goneril in the production, collected the award on his behalf. Michael Sheen was named Best Director with Bill Mitchell for their shared direction of The Passion, a National Theatre of Wales and Wild Works co-production which ran for 72 hours over the Easter weekend in Port Talbot, in which Michael Sheen played Jesus Christ.

Productions seen at Sheffield Theatres saw two wins, both for productions seen in the Crucible Studio: Claire Price won the award for Best Supporting Performance for The Pride, and designers Lizzie Clachan (sets) and Natasha Chivers (lighting) shared the Best Design Award for Happy Days.

The Best Show for Children and Young People went to White, produced by Catherine Wheels, which toured the UK extensively. The Outstanding Achievement in Dance award was given to New Adventures, for their revision of Cinderella, and Music Theatre Wales received the Outstanding Achievement in Opera for its production of Mark-Anthony Turnage's Greek. Sir Peter Hall was also honored with the Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre, presented by industry newspaper, The Stage. He collected the award in person from actor Dan Stevens, a Hall protégé, and Managing Director of The Stage, Catherine Comerford.

The Theatre Management Awards recognize the professional excellence of theatres, companies or individuals among member organizations of the Theatrical Management Association. Achievement in Marketing was given to the Lyric Hammersmith; Most Welcoming Theatre was awarded to Theatre Royal Stratford East; Lyric Theatre, Belfast was recognized for its Promotion of Cultural Diversity and awards for Theatre Employee/Manager of the Year were given to John Titcombe at Salisbury Playhouse and Nick Jones at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme. In a press statement, Rachel Tackley, president of the Theatrical Management Association, commented, "The Theatre Awards UK reflect a year of outstanding creativity and production excellence. British theatre is a shining light in the continuing recessionary gloom – something we can all be proud of.  Congratulations to all the winners and the huge theatre community who collaborated in creating our wonderful productions."

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