The full list of winners are announced today in the inaugural Also Recognised Awards, the new audience-voted, industry accolade set up by us My Theatre Mates co-founders Mark Shenton and Terri Paddock to celebrate lesser-known but equally worthy talent in fields overlooked by other awards bodies. Over a month’s voting, more than 15,000 people took part. How cool is that?!
One of the mostly hotly contested fields, the inaugural Also Recognised Award for Best Musical Direction, went to Alan Williams for his work on Jamie Lloyd’s revival of Sondheim’s Assassins at the Menier Chocolate Factory. This is the UK’s first-ever recognition for Best Musical Direction, backed by Mike Dixon and Andrew Keates, who previously waged a high-profile lobbying campaign urging awards organisers to grant musical direction creative parity with the work of directors, choreographers, set, lighting and sound designers.
Satirical revue Forbidden Broadway, the second Menier production to win an Also Recognised Award, won Best Ensemble Performance having transferred to the West End’s Vaudeville Theatre with its four-strong cast: Damian Humbley, Anna-Jane Casey, Ben Lewis and Christina Bianco.
A second Jamie Lloyd production, Richard III starring Martin Freeman as part of Lloyd’s Trafalgar Transformed seasons at the West End’s Trafalgar Studios, was Also Recognised for Best Shakespearean Production.
The first annual Also Recognised Awards comprise ten categories in total, including six recently dropped by the WhatsOnStage Awards, founded in 2001 by Paddock with the close involvement of Shenton. In addition to Best Ensemble and Best Shakespeare, the former WhatsOnStage categories and their new Also Recognised winners are:
- Theatre Event of the Year – awarded to Nimax Theatres for its successful “Reopening of the Apollo Theatre just three months after its partial ceiling collapse”
- Best Original Music – awarded to Joe DiPietro and David Bryan for their original score and lyrics on Memphis The Musical at the West End’s Shaftesbury Theatre
- Best Solo Performance – awarded to Juliet Stevenson for her performance as Winnie in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days at the Young Vic
- London Newcomer of the Year – awarded to performer Damian Buhagiar, who made his debut in the London premiere of Lin Manuel-Miranda musical In the Heights at Southwark Playhouse
The three other new categories in the first annual Also Recognised Awards put the spotlight on the creativity of digital marketing and advertising in theatre. And the winners are:
- Best Show Poster – Urinetown at the St James and Apollo Theatres
- Best Show Trailer – Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre
- Best Twitter Engagement – Les Miserables (@lesmisofficial) at the Queen’s Theatre
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