Elliott & Harper Productions’ Company and Shakespeare’s Globe’s production of Emilia are among the recipients of the third annual Tonic Awards which have been announced at a ceremony held at The May Fair Hotel, hosted by Tracy Ann Oberman.
The awards celebrate the achievements of game-changing women, significant organisations, projects and productions that redefine the role of women in the performing arts, both on and off stage. The recipients of this year’s awards also include: Jude Kelly, Alison Tickell, Open Clasp Theatre Company, Paula Garfield, The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and Dance Umbrella.
Lucy Kerbel, director of Tonic Theatre, said:
“It is absolutely vital there is a platform to celebrate the integral part women play in this industry and we couldn’t be prouder that the Tonic Awards return this year to recognise and champion the work of these women, both on and off stage. We’ve seen great strides forward for women in our industry and wider society over the last few years and we hope to continue to support these positive changes.”
This year’s recipients were:
Elliott & Harper Productions for Company, an outstanding production and ground-breaking example of cross-gender casting in commercial musical theatre, breathing new life into a classic and paving the way for more cross-gender casting and reimagining of the musical theatre canon.
Shakespeare’s Globe’s production of Emilia for bringing visibility to Emilia Bassano, a female artist who had been obscured in history, in an articulate, witty and intelligent production that highlighted the situation for women in theatre and wider society.
Jude Kelly for her inspirational leadership of the Southbank Centre, in particular, the creation of the Women of the World Festival – utilising the resources, creativity and expertise of an arts organisations to empower and provide a platform to women and girls.
Alison Tickell for her commitment to increasing awareness of the performing arts’ carbon footprint and implementing practical and imaginative changes to better the industry through her pioneering work for Julie’s Bicycle.
Open Clasp Theatre Company for their efforts to engage and provide opportunity to marginalised women to engage with theatre and present stories that might otherwise go unheard.
Paula Garfield for her energy and unwavering commitment to opening theatre up and the artistic quality of the work she produces as artistic director of Deafinitely Theatre.
The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for the impact it has had in supporting women writers over the last 40 years. Its recognition and financial support has aided generations of women pursuing careers in writing.
Dance Umbrella for shaping the landscape of modern and contemporary dance in the UK. Under the leadership of three outstanding women Dance Umbrella is a creative force that develops artists, audiences and the artform itself.
Attending the ceremony tonight were senior figures from across the UK theatre industry including Nadia Fall, Haydn Gwynne, Robert Hastie, Karena Johnson, Brigid Larmour, Lynette Linton, Britannia Morton, Rosemary Squire and Meera Syal. Tonic Awards will return in March 2020.