Black Watch, the RSC’s Histories cycle and The Pitmen Painters were among several shows seen in London recently which were honoured at the Theatrical Management Association Awards held at Hampstead theatre yesterday. Manchester’s Royal Exchange, Chichester Festival Theatre and the Liverpool Playhouse also received awards in the annual ceremony which recognises the best in UK regional theatre.
Michael Boyd, Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, received the Best Director award for his staging of Shakespeare’s Histories cycle, which came to the Roundhouse in April. Best New Play went to Lee Hall’s play The Pitmen Painters, which premiered at Live Theatre, Newcastle, before playing at the National Theatre, where it will return next year. The National Theatre of Scotland’s production of Gregory Burke’s Black Watch, which played at the Barbican this June, collected Best Touring Production.
Also among the winners were Marcus Romer’s stage adaptation of Anne Cassidy’s novel Looking For JJ (Best Show for Children and Young People), which played at the Unicorn in the autumn of 2007, and Mischief (Achievement in Dance), a production commissioned by Sadler’s Wells from Theatre Rites and Arthur Pita.
In the performance categories, Brenda Blethyn received Best Performance in a Play for the Royal Exchange’s production of The Glass Menagerie; while Kate O’Flynn picked up Best Supporting Performance in a Play for another Royal Exchange production, The Children’s Hour, which also won Best Lighting Design. Brian Conley collected Best Performance in a Musical for The Music Man at Chichester Festival Theatre, and Martin Ball received Best Supporting Performance in a Musical for the national tour of Mary Poppins.
Theatre impresario Bill Kenwright was honoured with the association’s Special Award for Individual Achievement.
The TMA Awards kick off an awards season that will also include the Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle, Theatregoers’ Choice and Laurence Olivier Awards.
Full list of TMA Award winners:
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A PLAY
Brenda Blethyn for the Royal Exchange Theatre Company’s The Glass Menagerie
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE IN A PLAY
Kate O’Flynn for the Royal Exchange Theatre Company’s The Children’s Hour
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL
Brian Conley for The Music Man at Chichester Festival Theatre
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL
Martin Ball for Mary Poppins on tour
Michael Boyd for The Histories at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon
BEST TOURING PRODUCTION
National Theatre of Scotland’s Black Watch
BEST MUSICAL PRODUCTION
Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi at the Playhouse, Liverpool
BEST NEW PLAY
The Pitmen Painters by Lee Hall at Live Theatre, Newcastle
BEST SET DESIGN
Mike Britton for Lady From The Sea at Birmingham Rep
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN
The Royal Exchange Theatre Company’s The Children’s Hour designed by Mick Hughes
BEST SHOW FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
Looking For JJ, adapted from Anne Cassidy’s novel by Marcus Romer, Pilot Theatre in association with York Theatre Royal and Unicorn Theatre on tour
ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE
Theatre-Rites & Arthur Pita for Mischief, an enormously playful collage of movement, music and visual arts designed to delight the whole family.
ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA
Opera North for its summer Shakespeare season of Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo Et Juliette
THE STAGE AWARD FOR SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN REGIONAL THEATRE
THE SPECIAL AWARD FOR INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT