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The countdown is on to the 2020 Black British Theatre Awards

Jess Young

By Jess Young First Published 21 October 2020, Last Updated 21 October 2020

The countdown is on to the 2020 Black British Theatre Awards on Sky Arts this Sunday 25 October at 9pm! The awards will uplift and inspire audiences nationwide when it airs on free-to-view Sky Arts and Freeview Play channel 11.

Set to a live music soundtrack by house band Shezar and the Soul Sirens, the vibrant 2020 Black British Theatre Awards will feature an unforgettable line-up of theatre talent gracing the stage to present and accept awards in recognition of Black artistic excellence.

The awards will honour the exceptional work by Black professionals across all aspects of theatre-making. Performers, directors, writers, producers, sound, music, lighting and design talent will be awarded for the performances and productions that have captivated audiences over the past year. Read the full list of nominees here.

2020 has been a landmark year for the theatre community, with unprecedented challenges presented by the impact of Covid-19 and the global call for racial justice, equity, and inclusion across all aspects of society.

In its first televised year, the Black British Theatre Awards will champion intersectional representation with two new award categories— ‘The Disability Champion Award’ presented by Dr Sharon Watson (Principal, Northern School of Contemporary Dance) and ‘LGBTQ+ Champion Award’ presented by the performer and trans activist Mzz Kimberley Tatum (Pride Power List 2020).

In a year where we’ve seen theatres and artists utilise technology to engage global audiences in the magic of theatre, this year’s ceremony features the new ‘Best Use Of Innovation And Technology Award’ presented by Hakeem Onibudo (Artistic Director, Impact Dance).

The event will be hosted by Eddie Nestor, the BBC Radio London Presenter and comedic actor known for starring in trailblazing Black UK TV programmes The Real McCoy and Desmonds. Special guest presenters include: Dawn Hope (Equity Councillor & Follies), Obioma Ugoala (Hamilton), Jason Pennycooke (Hamilton), Danny Sapani (The Crown & Black Panther) and Akosua Boakye (AkomaAsa Arts, BBTA Youth Outreach & The Lion King London children’s casting director).

BBTA Co-Directors Solange Urdang and Omar F Okai said, “This is an important year, with UK theatre coming to a standstill and the Black Lives Matter protests. We feel it is important now more than ever to highlight the wonderful Black British talent we have in abundance and hope to bring positivity to such a difficult time.”

The 2020 Black British Theatre Awards is presented in partnership with headline sponsor Sky Arts. Phillip Edgar-Jones, Director, Sky Arts, said, “We are pleased to be able to provide a platform at Sky Arts to showcase the very best of Black British theatre talent – particularly at a time of such crisis for the theatre industry. Art and culture is even more vital at this point and we know the incredible talent on display here will point the way to a brighter future when the recovery begins.”


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