Imelda Staunton has been awarded a UK Theatre Award for her highly acclaimed starring role in Chichester Festival Theatre’s Gypsy.
One of the UK’s best loved actors for her hugely celebrated career both on stage and screen, Stauton was honoured with the prize at today’s 2015 UK Theatre Awards, the only awards to celebrate creative excellence on and off the stage across the whole of Britain.
Three time Olivier Award-winning actor Staunton triumphed in the Best Performance in a Musical category for the show that proved so successful at Chichester’s renowned theatre it transferred to the West End’s Savoy Theatre, where it continues its run to 28 November.
It was not the only cause for celebration for the Jonathan Kent-directed show, with the production also taking home the much coveted Best Musical Production Award, triumphing over regional hits Anything Goes and the soon-to-be-seen-in-the-West End Mrs Henderson Presents.
Joining Gypsy in its success was fellow London production Pomona, which earned director Ned Benett the Best Director Award. The prize was awarded jointly for his work on the surrealist drama Pomona, which won critical and public acclaim both at the Orange Tree and National Theatres, and his Royal Exchange Theatre production Yen.
London audiences will also have the chance to enjoy another 2015 UK Theatre Award winner, when this year’s Best New Play Iphigenia In Splott plays at the National Theatre’s Temporary Theatre next January.
The prizes were presented at a glamorous ceremony held at London’s stunning Guildhall. Musical theatre star Michael Xavier oversaw proceedings, with presenters including Sir Patrick Stewart, Barbara Windsor, Richard Wilson and Lee Mead on hand to announce the winners.
Commenting on the year’s crop of winners, Rachel Tackley, President of UK Theatre, commented: “The winners of this year’s awards clearly demonstrate the creative strength and vibrancy of theatre across the whole of the United Kingdom. Theatres are an integral part of our local communities and these awards not only celebrate performers and theatremakers but also the venues and the teams that run them. At a time when national and local arts funding is under severe threat it is more important than ever that we celebrate the incredible work our theatres are producing.”
This year’s UK Theatre Awards also paid tribute to two of the theatre industry’s most respected leading lights: choreographer Matthew Bourne, who received The Stage Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre, and the much-loved actor Dame Eileen Atkins, who was honoured with the prestigious Gielgud Award for Excellence in the Dramatic Arts.
Full list of UK Theatre Award 2015 Winners:
Best New Play
IPHIGENIA IN SPLOTT by Gary Owen, a Sherman Cymru production
Best Performance in a Play
Joel MacCormack for EACH HIS OWN WILDERNESS, an Orange Tree Theatre production
Polly Lister for ABIGAIL’S PARTY, a Theatre By The Lake production
Best Supporting Performance
Justine Mitchell for FOR SERVICES RENDERED, a Chichester Festival Theatre production
Best Musical Production
GYPSY directed by Jonathan Kent, a Chichester Festival Theatre production
Best Performance in a Musical
Imelda Staunton for GYPSY, a Chichester Festival Theatre production
Best Show for Children and Young People
RUNNING WILD, a Chichester Festival Youth Theatre production
Ned Bennett for POMONA, an Orange Tree Theatre production and for YEN a Royal Exchange Theatre production
Dick Bird, Timothy Bird and Paul Keogan for THE HUDSUCKER PROXY, a Nuffield Theatre, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse in association with Complicite production
Best Touring Production
TWELFTH NIGHT, an English Touring Theatre and Sheffield Theatres production
Achievement in Dance
Candoco Dance Company for a terrifically entertaining revival of Jérôme Bel’s postmodern classic THE SHOW MUST GO ON
Achievement in Opera
Glyndebourne for an outstandingly well planned and performed season
The Renee Stepham Award for Best Presentation of Touring Theatre
Royal & Derngate for their tours of six high profile productions MADE IN NORTHAMPTON
Achievement in Marketing
Rambert for its work in attracting new audiences to contemporary dance, which has led to record breaking attendances in 2014/15
UK Theatre Insurance Award for Theatre Employee or Manager of the Year
Gaby Paradis, West Yorkshire Playhouse
Dorothy Wilson, mac birmingham
Promotion of Diversity
Curve Theatre for its diversity action plan and strategy targeted at the age-profile and multiculturalism of the city
Watford Palace Theatre for its initiatives to ensure it offers and develops services for the widest range of the population
My Theatre Matters! UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre in association with Smooth Radio
Newcastle Theatre Royal
The Stage Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre
Matthew Bourne OBE
Clothworkers’ Theatre Award
York Theatre Royal
The Gielgud Award for Excellence in the Dramatic Arts
Dame Eileen Atkins
"At a time when national and local arts funding is under severe threat it is more important than ever that we celebrate the incredible work our theatres are producing.”