Yesterday, the winners of this year’s UK Theatre Awards winners were revealed in a lunchtime ceremony at London’s Guildhall.
The awards were hosted by Olivier-nominated musical theatre performer Tyrone Huntley, and presenters included Wendi Peters, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Ria Jones, Matt Cardle, Emma Williams and Michael Ellis MP.
Actor and writer Maxine Peake was honoured with an Outstanding Contribution To British Theatre award, presented by producer Conrad Lynch and the Artistic Director of Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre, Sarah Frankcom. Director Richard Eyre received the Gielgud Award For Excellence In The Dramatic Arts, presented by Ian McKellen.
Accepting the Gielgud Award, Richard Eyre said: ‘I’m constantly bewildered by the fact that local authorities and government can’t see what an extraordinary, unique asset theatre is’. He also praised Ian McKellen, who presented the award, as ‘a wonderful actor and a very good friend and the natural artistic son of John Gielgud.’
Receiving her Outstanding Contribution Award, Maxine Peake said: ‘People keep saying to me, “you’ve given so much to regional theatre” – I haven’t given anything, it’s given it to me; it’s allowed me to do the work I want to do, and that is mainly down to Sarah Frankcom and her bravery and her belief in me.’
Maxine Peake also revealed that Richard Eyre had been instrumental in giving her an early start in the industry, as part of the panel which gave her a scholarship to drama school.
Full list of UK Theatre Awards 2018 winners
Best New Play
The Almighty Sometimes by Kendall Feaver, a Royal Exchange Theatre production
Best Musical Production
The Assassination Of Katie Hopkins directed by James Grieve, a Theatr Clwyd production
Best Touring Production
Three Sisters, a RashDash and Royal Exchange Theatre co-production
Best Show For Children And Young People
The Little Mermaid directed by Emma Earle and Cameron Carver, a The Egg – Theatre Royal Bath and Pins and Needles co-production
Sarah Frankcom for Our Town, a Royal Exchange Theatre production
Morgan Large for Wonderland, a Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company production
Best Performance In A Play
Denise Black for The Cherry Orchard, a Sherman Theatre production
Best Performance In A Musical
Ashley Zhangazha for Gugs And Dolls, a Royal Exchange Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company co-production
Best Supporting Performance
Gemma Dobson for Rita, Sue And Bob Too, a Royal Court, Out of Joint and Octagon Theatre, Bolton production
Achievement In Dance
Northern Ballet for its bold and varied programming, particularly The Little Mermaid and its Kenneth MacMillan tribute
Clothworkers’ Theatre Award
Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch
Outstanding Contribution To British Theatre
Achievement In Opera
David Pountney and Tomáš Hanus for their artistic leadership of Welsh National Opera
The Renee Stepham Award For Best Presentation Of Touring Theatre
Theatre Employee Of The Year sponsored by Integro in Association with Chubb
Clare Lindsay – The Watermill Theatre
Promotion Of Diversity
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Achievement In Marketing/Audience Development
The Old Vic
UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre
The Mill at Sonning
Gielgud Award For Excellence In The Dramatic Arts
For more information, visit the UK Theatre Awards website.