This year’s Theatre Awards UK will move into new surrounds at the historic Guildhall when the annual event which will include a public-voted award for the first time is held on 28 October.
Run by TMA (Theatrical Management Association), Theatre Awards UK was re-launched last year to replace both the TMA’s Theatre and Theatre Management Awards and is the only national awards ceremony to honour creative excellence and the outstanding achievement seen on and off the stage throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
This year, alongside awards for both performance and management achievement decided by expert panels, the public will have the opportunity to get involved and vote for who will take home the Best Touring Production Award. Nominees will be announced in September with the public then invited to vote through the website of Theatre Awards UK’s media partner The Stage.
Speaking about her excitement for this year’s awards, TMA President Rachel Tackley said: “We had tremendous feedback for the Awards in 2011 which really began to provide an accurate reflection of the excitement, quality and diversity of the best in regional theatre up and down the UK today.” The organisation’s President added her thanks to sponsors The Stage, W&P Longreach, Harbottle & Lewis, Theatre Tokens and White Light, saying: “We are delighted that so many organisations have been generous in helping us take the Awards to another level in 2012.”
Julian Bird, Chief Executive of the TMA and the Society of London Theatre, explained the decision to let the public have their say, commenting: “Regional theatre is weathering the current economic storm remarkably well, thanks to the support of the public. 2012 will be the first time their voice is heard as part of the Awards. We are delighted to be working with The Stage on the Best Touring Production and we hope there will be other ways of the public becoming more involved in the Awards, both through The Stage and as supporters of over 250 TMA Member venues throughout the UK.”
Last year’s ceremony saw a host of stars and theatrical greats gather at the lunchtime ceremony, with director Sir Peter Hall, actors Michael Sheen, Gina McKee and Joanne Froggatt, and playwright Mike Bartlett in attendance at the event’s previous home at Banqueting House.
While the awards recognise work from theatres all over the country there was plenty of success for London theatres with Derek Jacobi decorated for his role in the Donmar Warehouse’s King Lear and the Lyric Hammersmith, Shakespeare’s Globe and Theatre Royal Stratford East recognised in the management categories.
Full details of the event, including special guests and the all-important compere, will be announced nearer the date. For more information about the awards www.tmauk.org/theatreawardsuk