The winners of the Off West End Awards 2021, encompassing the Offies, OffFest, OnComm and OneOff Awards, have been announced in an online ceremony on 21 February 2021 via Scenesaver.
In this ‘special circumstances’ year, the Offies 2021 Awards Ceremony celebrated the creativity and resilience of artists in fringe, alternative and independent theatre in a time of crisis “who have found new ways to produce fresh and inventive work for thousands of stay-at-home audiences”.
Presented by OffWestEnd director Geoffrey Brown, the event included many specially recorded messages of love and support from friends from the industry and beyond, including Brian Blessed, Sharon D Clarke, Judi Dench, Sonia Friedman, Stephen Fry, Sadiq Khan and Michelle Terry.
The Offies are OffWestEnd’s main awards, for shows with at least 10 performances, and awards were given to the best of the shows presented before lockdown and the few who managed to go ahead in the summer months.
The OnComm is the new award for online shows from across the UK (and beyond) and was introduced in May 2020. Additionally, the winner of the OffFest award for theatre shows in festivals was also announced, alongside extra OneOff awards for innovative work and initiatives in 2020, especially in the light of the Covid lockdown.
The recipients of the OffComm for short run shows in 2020 were acknowledged, along with the input of the many theatre reviewers and bloggers who acted as OffComm assessors, including 2nd from Bottom, Broadway World, The Play’s The Thing, There Ought to be Clowns and View from the Cheap Seats. The activities of Off-West End venues which carried on in some way during lockdown were also recognised and celebrated.
Geoffrey Brown, director of OffWestEnd, said:
“What a wonderful night! So exciting to be able to celebrate all that has been happening in 2020, from live theatre through to innovative and imaginative new work online and to recognise the outstanding work of 2020.
“I am also thrilled that so many individuals from the theatre sector were willing to give their time to send messages of support and congratulations – it just shows the importance of independent, alternative and fringe theatre, whether it is live or online.”
Recorded shows – pre lockdown/minimum edits
The House Of Bernarda Alba, Graeae/Royal Exchange Theatre
Recorded shows – pre lockdown/significant edits
The Encounter, Complicité
Recorded shows – post lockdown/minimum edits
Breathe, Bread & Roses Theatre
Recorded shows – post lockdown/significant edits
Rose, Ginger Quiff Media/Hope Mill Theatre/Julian Stoneman MPSI
The Poltergeist, Tramp/Southwark Playhouse/Jack Silver
Rockets and Blue Lights, Royal Exchange/BBC Lockdown Theatre Festival
15 Heroines: The Desert/The Labyrinth/The War, Jermyn Street Theatre
Alice, A Virtual Theme Park, Creation Theatre/Big Telly Theatre
Viper Squad, Sid Phoenix/CtrlAltRepeat
What A Carve Up!, Lawrence Batley Theatre/New Wolsey Theatre/The Barn Theatre
Young People 12+
I, Cinna (the poet), Tim Crouch / Unicorn Theatre
The Twits, Unicorn Theatre
The Legend of Moby Dick Whittington, Sleeping Trees
OffFEST for the Voila Europe Festival
Farewell Concert, K2 Theater/supported by Hungarian Cultural Centre
Wait for Me, Sam Cassidy & Ainsley Ricketts
DreamCatcher, Blue Moon Zoom
Traverse 3, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
Tom White, Macbeth, Wiltons Music Hall
Patrick Connellan, The Incident Room, New Diorama / Greenwich Theatre
Yaiza Varona, The Incident Room, New Diorama / Greenwich Theatre
Musicals: Musical Director
Joe Bunker, Rags, Park Theatre
Jonathan O’Boyle, The Last 5 Years, Southwark Playhouse
Musicals: Supporting Performance
Dave Willetts, Rags, Park Theatre
Musicals: Lead Performance
Frances Barber, Musik, Leicester Square Theatre
The Last 5 Years, Aria Entertainment, Southwark Playhouse
The Canary and The Crow, Arcola
(I Could Go on Singing) Over the Rainbow, Southbank Centre
Sound Cistem, Plaster Cast Theatre / Vault Festival
Plays: New Play (Joint Winners)
Athena Stevens, Scrounger, Finborough
Sergio Blanco, The Rage of Narcissus, Pleasance
Plays: Performance Piece
Daniel Ward, The Canary and The Crow, Arcola
Plays: Supporting Performance
Leigh Quinn, Scrounger, Finborough
Plays: Lead Performance
Jessica Rhodes, The Sugar Syndrome, Orange Tree Theatre
Phoebe Barran, Tryst, Chiswick Playhouse