2016 Manchester Theatre Awards - the winners revealed
- Credit: Archant
The curtain was raised on the Manchester Theatre Awards at HOME but who were the winners? Janet Reeder reveals all
‘Competition by its very nature creates more losers than winners – and that’s capitalism,’ joked compère Justin Moorhouse at the sixth annual Manchester Theatre Awards.
The comedian was speaking to an auditorium filled with the cream of the theatrical world as the 2017 award ceremony got underway at the city’s state of the art venue, HOME.
And while there were some who missed out on a gong at the event, plenty of others walked away with a well-deserved trophy.
Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre reaped a bumper haul, including a Best Actress award for Broadbottom-based Julie Hesmondhalgh, who is best known for portraying transgender Hayley Cropper in Coronation Street. She was warmly applauded for her role as a cancer patient in the American play Wit.
Daniel Rigby was chosen Best Actor for his part as the Wilmslow computer scientist Alan Turing in Breaking The Code, which was also at the Exchange, and which was also chosen as Best Production and won supporting actress honours for Natalie Dew.
The Royal Exchange also won Best Musical for its re-staging of Sweet Charity, while its commitment to the Bruntwood prize for playwriting paid dividends with three trophies for the studio production of Wish List, including awards to its two lead players Joseph Quinn and Erin Doherty.
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Rufus Hound was chosen Best Actor in a Visiting Production for his part as Toad in the new musical version of The Wind in The Willows, which premiered at the Lowry.
HOME itself won a best newcomer prize for Norah Lopez Holden in Ghosts, as well as Best New Play for The Emperor, starring Kathryn Hunter.
The Newcomer choice was a particularly crowded category this year and the judges, for the first time, also recognised the special contribution made by two teams of young performers in Billy Elliot at Manchester Palace, and To Kill A Mockingbird at Bolton Octagon.
Joyce Branagh, sister of Kenneth, won Best Fringe Performance for her production of Boomtown Gals.
The Robert Robson Award for Best Dance – named in honour of the late artistic director of The Lowry – was won by Akram Khan’s re-styling of Giselle at Manchester Palace Theatre.
Bolton Octagon Theatre’s spirited revival of the classic musical Singin’ In The Rain won both the Design and Ensemble awards.
One of the city’s newest venues, the Hope Mill Theatre, won Best Fringe production for The Trial, beside nominations in other categories. It was also given a Special Achievement award by the 10-strong panel of regional theatre critics who choose the Manchester Theatre Awards.
As media partners, Cheshire Life and Lancashire Life magazines were proud to be able to present the Best Opera award to Opera North for their production of Umberto Giordano’s Andrea Chénier.
Organiser Kevin Bourke said: ‘One of the things I really love about the Manchester Theatre Awards is how we can get on the same stage vibrant new theatre makers who are sometimes challenging but really deserve the recognition, along with more established companies or venues that still bring relevant, entertaining work to the discerning, theatre-loving audiences around Manchester.
‘And we try to actually make it fun to be there.’
For further information go to www.manchestertheatreawards.com
MANCHESTER THEATRE AWARDS 2016 WINNERS
Actor in a leading role
Daniel Rigby, Breaking The Code, Royal Exchange, Manchester
Actress in a leading role
Julie Hesmondhalgh, Wit, Royal Exchange, Manchester
Breaking The Code, Royal Exchange, Manchester
Actor in a supporting role
Daniel Crossley, Sweet Charity, Royal Exchange, Manchester
Actress in a supporting role
Natalie Dew, Breaking The Code, Royal Exchange, Manchester
The James Plays, Lowry, Salford
Actor in a Visiting Production
Rufus Hound, The Wind in the Willows, The Lowry, Salford
Actress in a Visiting Production
Aoife Duffin, A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing, Lowry, Salford
Norah Lopez Holden, Ghosts, HOME, Manchester
Young Michael cast, Billy Elliot, Palace, Manchester
Young Scout cast, To Kill A Mockingbird, Octagon Theatre Bolton
Jasmine de Goede and Lucy Doyle Ryder
Andrea Chénier, Opera North, Lowry, Salford
The Robert Robson Award for Dance
Akram Khan’s Giselle, Palace, Manchester
Sweet Charity, Royal Exchange, Manchester
The Trial, Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester
Joyce Branagh, Boomtown Gals, Various venues
Wish List, Royal Exchange, Manchester
Actor in a Studio Production
Joseph Quinn, Wish List, Royal Exchange
Actress in a Studio Production
Erin Doherty, Wish List, Royal Exchange Studio, Manchester
The Emperor, HOME, Manchester
Singin’ In The Rain, Octagon Theatre, Bolton. Design: Ciaran Bagnall
Singin’ In The Rain, Octagon Theatre, Bolton
The Peony Pavillion, Lowry, Salford
Youth panel award
NOTHING, The Royal Exchange Theatre Young Company
Hope Mill Theatre
Philip Radcliffe, long-time member of the MTA Panel
Stage Door Foundation Award For Excellence
Take Back Theatre, Manchester-based theatre co-operative