Your winners for the 2015 Also Recognised Awards are very appreciative – and very game. The ethos of these awards is to recognise talent for the sake of it, rather than splashing out on expensive trophies or ceremonies – which is another way of saying we have no sponsors, no money and no armies of volunteers! But, while low-key, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to make a high-profile online fuss…
We asked your winners to snap “certificate selfies” of themselves. We love how much fun some of them have had with this – please share each and every one of them to your heart’s content. And, if anyone else connected with any of this year’s winning shows wants to contribute a certificate selfie, please do email us. We’d love to add you to the gallery of game Also Recognised winners below.
>> Scroll down for all Also Recognised certificate selfies.
For more on the 2015 Also Recognised Awards, follow these links:
- News release story
- Winners’ acceptance remarks and “certificate selfies”
- Full list of winners and voting percentages
- Photos of all nominees
- Awards organisers’ comments
- About the Awards and why we founded them
- What Is Musical Direction? feature series
- Press coverage of the #AlsoRecognised Awards
Menier Chocolate Factory does a double
Best Ensemble Performance
The Menier Chocolate Factory converted two of its Also Recognised nominations, in two of the Awards’ most fiercely contested categories: Alan Williams collected the UK’s first-ever Award for Best Musical Direction for Jamie Lloyd’s acclaimed revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins at the Chocolate Factory, while the four-strong cast of satirical revue Forbidden Broadway beat out competition including The Play That Goes Wrong for Best Ensemble Performance.
For the latter, Damian Humbley started a dangerous trend by daring to go bare in a series of certificate selfies in accepting the Best Ensemble recognition – and in the perfect spirit of this hilarious send-up show!
The latest London off-shoot of the long-running New York institution first ran at the Menier Chocolate Factory in 2009. It was updated for a new run in 2014, which ran at the Menier’s Southwark home base fom 1 July to 27 September 2014, starring Humbley, Anna-Jane Casey, Ben Lewis and Sophie-Louise Dann. The production then transferred to the West End’s Vaudeville Theatre, from 9 September to to 22 November 2014, with YouTube star impersonator Christina Bianco taking over from Dann.
After seeing Damian’s dare-to-go-bare certificate selfie, Anna-Jane Casey wanted to get in on the act. Anything you can do, this girl can do better, Damian – and in her kids’ bedroom, by the looks of it. Christina, Ben, Sophie, any more????
UPDATE: Damian, AJ and Forbidden Broadway fans far and wide, the saucy minx Christina Bianco, while romping around Europe on a cruise ship, has found a printer and answered your call. She’s sent us her own nearly #nakedselfies …. and we suspect this lovely lady and YouTube sensation may be following up with a little video for you too. Watch this space…
Best Musical Direction
Menier Chocolate Factory artistic director David Babani hasn’t said a peep about his actors stripping off, but he did have some other comments about the awards in general, Forbidden Broadway and Assassins, which ran from 21 November 2014 to 7 March 2015 at the Southwark venue.
“It’s great to see Alan Williams win for his brilliant work on Assassins, and I’m thrilled to see the role of Musical Director recognised in this way. We’re delighted to also see the cast of Forbidden Broadway win Best Ensemble – they were a fabulous and formidable team both at the Menier and in the West End.” – David Babani, Artistic director, Menier Chocolate Factory
“I am honoured to be the first recipient of this very special award. It’s fantastic that we now have an award which acknowledges the role of Musical Director. Thank you to all the voters, orchestrator Bruce Coughlin, director Jamie Lloyd, the wonderful orchestra and cast of Assassins, and everyone at the Menier Chocolate Factory.” – Alan Williams
Best Original Music
After the winner of the Laurence Olivier Awards were announced on 12 April, we saw a massive surge in voting, particularly in the categories of Best Musical Direction and this, Best Original Music. Did voters want to right some perceived wrongs? As much as we all adore homegrown British musical Sunny Afternoon, which tells the story of The Kinks, should it have been awarded Oliviers for Outstanding Achievement in Music and Best New Musical given that Ray Davies’ greatest hits were written some 50 years ago?
The Also Recognised Award for Best Original Music went resoundingly to David Bryan and Joe DiPietro for Memphis the Musical. Though Bryan can claim his own chart-topping credits as Bon Jovi keyboard player and songwriter, he and DiPietro 1960s soul-style numbers for Memphis are all-new. Post Oliviers, their Also Recognised acceptance comments are a little cheeky! We don’t mind!
“Thank you for the very first Also Recognised Award for…… BEST ORIGINAL MUSIC. Joe DiPietro and I are honoured that you reward original musicals with original music. Thank you again.” – David Bryan
“‘Twas certainly a sunny afternoon here in New York when David and I found out about this terrific honour! Much thanks to all who voted and a special shout out to our brilliant cast of Memphis, who rock the Shaftesbury with their hearts and souls eight times a week!” – Joe DiPietro
Best Shakespearean Production
Prior to Assassins, director Jamie Lloyd was busy in the West End masterminding his second Trafalgar Transformed season at Trafalgar Studios. He helmed the season’s sell-out production of Richard III, which was set in a 1970s office block and starred Martin Freeman, making his Shakespeare debut in the hunchbacked title role.
In accepting the Also Recognised Award for Best Shakespearean Production, we love the flash of fore-arm flesh in Jamie’s “certificate selfie” that gives us a glimpse of what must be the Best Shakespearean Tattoo. (Did he get it specially for his Also Recognised pic?!) Martin Freeman wanted to get in on the selfie action too, but he didn’t have a printer to hand – so he improvised. Nice work!
“Martin Freeman and the entire company of Trafalgar Transformed’s Richard III are delighted to receive the very first Also Recognised award for Best Shakespearean Production, and we thank everyone that voted. As we celebrate his 451st birthday, Shakespeare’s work continues to be reinterpreted for new audiences, and I am thrilled that this award recognises the particular demands of staging his remarkable plays.” – Director Jamie Lloyd
Cameron Mackintosh knows about Marketing
Best Twitter Engagement
With decades’ worth of international blockbusters to his credit, there’s no denying that Cameron Mackintosh knows a thing or two about how to market a show. As does his head of sales and marketing David Dolman, whose team helped organise the magnificent mega-cast certificate selfies for Miss Saigon – which is Also Recognised for Best Show Trailer – and Les Miserables – Also Recognised for Best Twitter Engagement.
The sorry picture story of 3 actors trying to get one decent picture….. pic.twitter.com/bPnxJv0qsd
— Les Misérables (@lesmisofficial) April 25, 2015
As Twitter addicts ourselves, the Mates are just a little jealous of the success of @lesmisofficial, which entertains over 110,000 Twitter followers with all sorts of backstage fun and special treats. The cast are highly involved, and Cameron’s marketing team works closely with social media executive Jon Kennedy (pictured centre above with the Les Mis cast) at the show’s marketing and advertising agency Dewynters. “He is absolutely brilliant,” says Dolman.
Best Show Trailer
And how do you put together an award-winning show trailer (also known in the biz as an EPK – an Electronic Press Kit – or sizzle reel)? David Dolman explains:
“First, we produce a shotlist with Brett Sullivan from Steam Motion and Sound, who directs the shoot, which lasts two full days in the theatre. This also requires meticulous planning by the production team, led by Thomas Schonberg, to ensure the shooting schedule is sensible and absolutely everyone is where they should be artistically and technically. It’s like a military operation. Not to mention Miss Saigon‘s amazing music team of Stephen Metcalfe and Lee McCutcheon.
“After the shoot, the post-production is a very collaborative process between Cameron, myself and Steam’s team of editors. From start to finish, it’s a big team effort. We all put a lot of passion into trying to capture the essence of the show in a three-minute trailer.”
What’s the result? Here’s a reminder. Kinda makes you wanna see the show again, doesn’t it?
Best Solo Performance
Juliet Stevenson was buried up to her waist – and then her neck – in sand to play the ever-chirpy if occasionally suicidal Winnie in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days, directed by Natalie Abrahami at the Young Vic. Critically acclaimed when it first opened in January 2014, the production had a return season at the Young Vic this year, for another limited run from 19 February to 21 March.
Stevenson beat off stiff competition to win the award, with the fiercest coming from down the road at the Old Vic, where outgoing artistic director Kevin Spacey was nominated for his swansong performance in Clarence Darrow.
Dear Terri, Mark and all of you who follow MyTheatreMates.com,
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all of you for my Award for Best Solo Performance, for Winnie in Happy Days. I am thrilled to bits – and so grateful to all those of you who voted for me. Natalie Abrahami , the play’s director, and I so wanted for Winnie to reach out to people. Samuel Beckett’s writing is brilliant, but not always easily accessible – we wanted to bring her predicament to as wide an audience as possible, and to enable everyone who saw the show to connect with her, and with Willie. This award serves as wonderful affirmation of that – and we are really delighted. Thanks again!
Newcomer of the Year
A recent graduate of Arts Ed, Damian Buhagiar made his professional debut playing sassy Sonny in the London premiere of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s New York-set musical In the Heights, which had a sell-out season at Southwark Playhouse, directed by Luke Sheppard, from 9 May to 7 June 2014. Damian is now playing Joe Pesci in the UK tour of Jersey Boys – but when he found out about his Also Recognised win, he was on holiday with his family in Malta. Thus the Mediterranean feel of his certificate selfie! The Mates have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of this exceptional young performer.
“I am so thrilled to win this award. I cannot believe it. Thanks to all those who supported me and voted for me. Well done to all those who were nominated for all these amazing awards. Thanks to all.” – Damian Buhagiar
Best Show Poster
Have you been keeping track of how many Jamie Lloyd productions have figured in the 2015 Also Recognised winners? In case you need a hint: this is the third. The man obviously has, attracts and inspires quality, right? Lloyd directed the UK premiere of another Off-Broadway hit, Urinetown, which had a sell-out run at Victoria’s St James’ Theatre from 22 February to 3 May 2015, and later transferred to the West End’s Apollo Theatre, where it ran from 21 September 2014 to 5 January 2015. The show’s poster was updated, still around a central couple reaching for precious water in the dystopian piss-free future, for the transfer to Shaftesbury Avenue. And the name of the agency that designed this signature motif? It’s Creative, natch.
“On behalf of Urinetown The Musical, thank you for voting us the winner of Best Show Poster. It’s great to see that the talented teams who work so hard creating poster designs are being acknowledged here in the UK. Well done to all the winners in the first year of these new awards!” – Producer Julian Stoneman