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Winners announced for UK Theatre Awards 2019

Kitty Underwood

By Kitty Underwood First Published 27 October 2019, Last Updated 31 October 2019

Following the awards ceremony at London’s Guildhall this afternoon, we are delighted to confirm the winners of the 2019 UK Theatre Awards. The Awards were hosted by actor Jodie Prenger, and presenters included Denise Black, Lesley Joseph, Gary Wilmot, Ashley Zhangazha and Tracy Brabin MP.

The day proved huge for Sheffield Theatres, with their production of Life Of Pi sweeping up an impressive four wins; Best New Play, Best Director for Max Webster, Best Design and Best Performance in a Play for Hiran Abeysekera. Lolita Chaktrabarti’s adaptation of Yann Martel’s popular novel will transfer to Wyndham’s Theatre in summer 2020.

Sheffield Theatres’ new musical about Sheffield directed by Robert Hastie with songs by Richard Hawley was also recognised. Standing At The Sky’s Edge was awarded Best Musical Production.

Rebecca Trehearn won Best Performance in a Musical for her role in Nottingham Playhouse’s Sweet Charity, with Esh Alladi receiving the award for Best Supporting Performance for Hobson’s Choice at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.

Emma Rice was honoured with the Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre award this year in recognition of her 20-year career creating unique, innovative and socially relevant theatre all around the UK. She has had a significant influence on the landscape of contemporary theatre all over the country, including through her leadership positions at Kneehigh, Shakespeare’s Globe and now her own company, Wise Children.


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Collecting the award from designer and regular collaborator Vicki Mortimer, she said:

‘I am a theatre animal to my bones… Today feels like coming home; surrounded by theatre friends old & new, celebrating what it is to make work with, & for communities, & recognising our power as outsiders, as radicals & as rebels.’

This year’s UK Theatre awards also saw the introduction of five new ‘offstage’ categories, brought in to reflect the changing theatre industry and recognise a broad range of talent and work that goes into theatremaking. Northern Ballet was awarded for Digital Innovation; York’s Pilot Theatre won the Excellence in Touring award; Colchester’s Mercury Theatre gained the award for Excellence in Inclusivity; Derby Theatre was recognised for Excellence in Arts Education and Northern Stage won the Workforce Award.

The Storyhouse in Chester won the UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre award this year. The award is sponsored by Theatre Tokens, which can be used at more than 260 theatres nationwide’.

Below is a full list of all the winners of this year’s UK Theatre Awards:

Best New Play

Life Of Pi adapted by Lolita Chakrabarti from the novel by Yann Martel – a Sheffield Theatres production

Best Musical Production

Standing At The Sky’s Edge directed by Robert Hastie – a Sheffield Theatres production

Best Play Revival

Equus directed by Ned Bennett – an English Touring Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East production

Best Show for Children and Young People

Billionaire Boy The Musical directed by Luke Sheppard – a Nuffield Southampton Theatres production in association with Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Best Director

Max Webster for Life Of Pi – a Sheffield Theatres production

Best Design

Nick Barnes, Finn Caldwell, Carolyn Downing, Andrzej Goulding, Tim Hatley and Tim Lutkin for Life Of Pi – a Sheffield Theatres production

Best Performance in a Play

Hiran Abeysekera for Life Of Pi – a Sheffield Theatres production

Best Performance in a Musical

Rebecca Trehearn for Sweet Charity – a Nottingham Playhouse production

Best Supporting Performance

Esh Alladi for Hobson’s Choice – a Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester production

Achievement in Dance

Scottish Ballet – for the world premiere of Helen Pickett’s outstanding dance-theatre adaptation of The Crucible

Achievement in Opera

Buxton International Festival at Buxton Opera House – for the world premiere of Georgiana

Digital Innovation

Northern Ballet

Workforce Award sponsored by Integro Entertainment & Sport

Northern Stage

Excellence in Touring

Pilot Theatre

Excellence in Inclusivity

Mercury Theatre

Excellence in Arts Education

Derby Theatre

UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre sponsored by Theatre Tokens

Storyhouse – Chester


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