UK Theatre has announced the winners of the UK Theatre Awards 2017 – the only awards to honour outstanding achievement in performing, producing and management in theatres throughout the UK. The awards ceremony, held on Sunday 15 October 2017, was hosted by Sharon D Clarke.
Sheffield Theatres’ production of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, which will open at London’s Apollo Theatre in November, was named Best Musical Production. John McCrea, who plays the eponymous role of Jamie, won the award for Best Performance in a Musical. Jon Bausor received the prize for Best Design for his work on Bristol Old Vic’s musical The Grinning Man, which is also about to transfer to the West End, opening at Trafalgar Studios in December.
In the play categories, Lizzie Nunnery’s Narvik was named Best New Play, while artistic director Gemma Bodinetz collected the prize for Best Director for the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse repertory season. Joseph Millson won Best Performance in a Play for his portrayal of Willmore in The Rover, while Sharon Duncan-Brewster received Best Supporting Performance for A Streetcar Named Desire at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre.
Best Touring Production went to The Who’s Tommy, which was co-produced by New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich and Ramps on the Moon. The two organisations also received the award for Promotion of Diversity for their groundbreaking work in the inclusion and integration of deaf and disabled individuals. New Vic Theatre’s production The Snow Queen was named Best Show for Children and Young People.
In the opera and dance categories, Scottish Ballet won Achievement in Dance for the European premiere of Crystal Pite’s Emergence. The Achievement in Opera Award went to Scottish Opera for their production of Pelléas And Mélisande.
In the awards for off-stage excellence, Achievement in Marketing/Audience Development went to Scottish Ballet for its Digital Season in April 2017. The Renee Stepham Award for Best Presentation of Touring Theatre went to Nuffield Southampton Theatres and the award for Theatre Employee Of The Year was shared by Liz Leck from Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust and Jane Claire from English Touring Theatre.
Arts journalist Lyn Gardner collected the Outstanding Contribution To British Theatre Award; Lyn was the first critic to receive the prestigious prize. Playwright David Hare received the Gielgud Award for Excellence in the Dramatic Arts from The Shakespeare Guild.
The Mill at Sonning was announced as the overall winner of the public vote for UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre 2017 with Smooth Radio for the second year running. Most Welcoming Theatre, which is the only award voted for by the public, is an unparalleled opportunity for audiences to celebrate their local theatre. This year more than 40,000 votes were cast, a new record.
The £150,000 Clothworkers’ Theatre Award was given to Derby Theatre, as part of the Foundation’s five-year £1.25 million programme to support the dramatic arts. The award can be used for anything from capital works to sponsoring a touring production, but it must be used for a specific purpose and may not be added to the theatre’s general funds. A different region in England is selected each year.
Speaking at the Awards, UK Theatre President Fiona Allan announced the inaugural AK Bennett-Hunter Award for Backstage Journalism. Established in memory of former TMA / UK Theatre President, Ken Bennett-Hunter, the AK Bennett-Hunter Award for Backstage Journalism will help meet the need for more journalists who can tell the story of backstage and technical theatre. The Award is a partnership between The Stage, the Association of British Theatre Technicians, Stage Management Association, Skillscene, the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre. The Award consists of £2,000 of financial support, a year of mentoring from established journalists and expert backstage practitioners, behind-the-scenes access, introductions and networking opportunities, and publication in The Stage, UK Theatre and Society of London Theatre websites, ABTT’s Sightline and the SMA’s Cueline magazine and website.
Full list of winners
The Renee Stepham Award For Best Presentation Of Touring Theatre
Nuffield Southampton Theatres for the world premiere touring musical production of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox
Best Show for Children and Young People
The Snow Queen, New Vic Theatre
Gemma Bodinetz, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse new repertory season
Best Touring Production
The Who’s Tommy, New Wolsey Theatre and Ramps on the Moon
Best Supporting Performance
Sharon Duncan-Brewster, A Streetcar Named Desire, Royal Exchange Theatre
Best Performance in a Play
Joseph Millson, The Rover, Royal Shakespeare Company
Best New Play
Narvik by Lizzie Nunnery
Theatre Employee Of The Year
Jane Claire, English Touring Theatre and Liz Leck, Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust
Clothworkers’ Theatre Award
Jon Bausor, The Grinning Man, Bristol Old Vic
Achievement in Dance
Scottish Ballet for the European premiere of Crystal Pite’s striking one-act ballet Emergence
Promotion of Diversity
New Wolsey Theatre and Ramps on the Moon for their groundbreaking work in the inclusion and integration of deaf and disabled individuals
Achievement in Opera
Scottish Opera, Pelléas And Mélisande
Best Performance in a Musical
John McCrea, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Sheffield Theatres
Best Musical Production
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Sheffield Theatres
UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre 2017 with Smooth Radio
The Mill at Sonning
Achievement in Marketing/Audience Development
Scottish Ballet for its Digital Season in April 2017
Outstanding Contribution To British Theatre 2017