Emma de Souza at the Tonic Awards

SOLT and UK Theatre’s Emma de Souza amongst 2018 Tonic Award winners

By Robin Johnson, Published March 21, 2018

Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre’s Emma de Souza was amongst the recipients of the second annual Tonic Awards, which celebrate the achievements of game-changing women in theatre and the performing arts.

Our very own Emma was acclaimed for her tireless commitment to bringing new audiences into London’s West End through Kids Week, the brilliant ticketing scheme that encourages families to experience London theatre together at an affordable price. The award was presented to Emma by Caro Newling, Vice President of SOLT.

Kids Week has been running for 20 years, and continually proves a popular avenue for family theatregoers in the West End. It returns for 2018 this summer.

The other individual recipients honoured in this evenings event were: Steffi Holtz and Gina Abolins, for giving voice to the often unseen and unheard experiences of those working behind the scenes; Kully Thiarai, for her achievements and ethos as an artistic director of National Theatre Wales; Lyn Gardner, for her dedication to showcasing new voices and productions as a theatre critic; Caryl Churchill, for her extraordinary career, leading the way for a new generation of female playwrights; and Katie Mitchell, for her dedication to foregrounding feminism on stage.

There were also several organisations and projects honoured for redefining the role of women in the performing arts: Clean Break theatre company, for forty years of work on the theme of women and the criminal justice system; Walking the Feminists, for a brave and creative campaign to effect positive change in regard to representation of women in Irish theatre; and The Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester, for the consistency with which the theatre has programmed and foregrounded work about women.

The Awards were presented earlier this week at a ceremony held at the May Fair Theatre, hosted by Dame Jenni Murray. In attendance were senior figures from across the UK theatre industry including Gemma Arterton, Haydn Gwynn, Tracy Ann Oberman, Dame Rosemary Squire and Timberlake Wertenbaker.

The Tonic Awards will return in March 2019 with another cohort of recipients.

caryl churchill dame jenni murray emma de souza gina abolins katie mitchell kids week kully thiarai lyn gardner steffi holtz tonic awards