Sheridan Smith and Danny Mac were among the winners at the Manchester Theatre Awards – which were announced today at The Lowry.
Presented by comedian Justin Moorhouse, the annual awards – the most important theatrical prize-giving outside London – honoured productions seen in Greater Manchester during 2017.
HOME led the way with five awards, with the rest of the honours largely even among the area’s other venues including two for Oldham Coliseum, two for the Royal Exchange Theatre and other awards going to productions and performers at The Lowry, the Palace Theatre and Opera House, Hope Mill Theatre, Contact, Royal Northern College of Music and Greater Manchester Fringe festival.
Janet Suzman was named Best Actress for Rose at HOME while Kenneth Alan Taylor won Best Actor for The Father at Oldham Coliseum – which also won the Best Production prize.
Best New Play was won by Rosie Fleeshman for Narcissist in the Mirror, part of Greater Manchester Fringe.
The big shows on the touring circuit visiting Manchester in 2017 were also honoured, with Michael Harrison, David Ian and Curve’s production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard winning Best Musical, and its star Danny Mac scooping Best Actor in a Visiting Production for his role as Joe Gillis. Sheridan Smith was named Best Actress in a Visiting Production for her star turn as Fanny Brice in the West End-turned touring production of Funny Girl.
The star-studded pantomime Dick Whittington, produced by Qdos and which featured John Barrowman and The Krankies, scooped the Best Special Entertainment prize.
The Robert Robson Award for Dance was taken by English National Ballet for their Double Bill at the Palace Theatre while Opera North’s The Snow Maiden at The Lowry won the opera prize, renamed this year The Philip Radcliffe Award for Best Opera, in memory of the late arts journalist and one of the founders of the Awards
Scott Hunter won Best Newcomer for his performance in Yank! at Hope Mill Theatre, a role he also reprised in the West End when the show transferred there last year.
The MTA judging panel includes a group of enthusiastic young critics who contribute to deliberations and reviews and have their own dedicated award for youth performances. This prize was won by Singin' in the Rain by the Royal Northern College of Music Young Company.
Also presented on the day was the Stage Door Foundation award that was given to JB Shorts, the Reallife Theatre company platform for playlets written and performed by industry professionals, which started life at the Joshua Brooks pub in the city and are now performed at the 53Two fringe venue.
Special Achievement Awards were given to Barrie Rutter, founder and former artistic director of Northern Broadsides, and Anne Hornsby of Mind’s Eye audio describers which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year.
Presenters of the awards included BBC Breakfast hosts Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty, former Coronation Street cast including Tupele Dorgu and Eric Potts, television and stage actress Roxanne Pallet and Dinnerladies star Sue Devaney.
Guests were also treated to performances during the ceremony by comic singer songwriter Daniel Cainer, performance poetry by Alex Slater and Rosie Fleeshman and Opera North’s Marie Claire Breen and Dean Robinson who performed arias from Don Giovanni.
The list of winners in full can be found below.
The 2018 Manchester Theatre Awards are in association with Target Live, who managed the PR for the awards. With offices in London and Manchester, Target Live is the UK’s only full service live events marketing agency offering Marketing, Media, Social Media, PR, Design and Digital.
Manchester Theatre Awards – Winners in Bold
Actress in a Leading Role
Karen Henthorn, Spring and Port Wine, Oldham Coliseum
Lisa Dwyer Hogg, People, Places & Things, HOME
Nina Hoss, Returning to Reims, Manchester International Festival
Janet Suzman, Rose, HOME
Actor in a Leading Role
Cliff Burnett, Hard Times, Oldham Coliseum
Jason Merrells, Uncle Vanya, HOME
Kenneth Alan Taylor, The Father, Oldham Coliseum
Ashley Zhangazha, Guys And Dolls, Royal Exchange
Actress in a Supporting Role
Alison Halstead, The House of Bernarda Alba, Royal Exchange
Kate Kennedy, Twelfth Night, Royal Exchange
Kerry Peers, The Father, Oldham Coliseum
Katie West, Uncle Vanya, HOME
Actor in a Supporting Role
Tom Michael Blyth, Hard Times, Oldham Coliseum
David Fleeshman, Uncle Vanya, HOME
Andrew Sheridan, People, Places & Things, HOME
Actress in a Visiting Production
Ria Jones, Sunset Boulevard, Palace Theatre
Laura Pitt-Pulford, Nell Gwynn, The Lowry
Natalie Radmall-Quirke, The Weir, Oldham Coliseum
Sheridan Smith, Funny Girl, Palace Theatre
Actor in a Visiting Production
Danny Mac, Sunset Boulevard, Palace Theatre
Graham McDuff, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Palace Theatre
Sean Murray, The Weir, Oldham Coliseum
Oh What A Lovely War, Oldham Coliseum
Operation Black Antler, HOME
The Suppliant Women, Royal Exchange
Performance in a Fringe Production
Rosie Fleeshman, Narcissist in the Mirror, Greater Manchester Fringe
Amie Giselle-Ward, Little Women – The Musical, Hope Mill Theatre
Alexandra Maxwell, The Loves of Others / Freak, Greater Manchester Fringe
Danny Solomon, Days Of Wine And Roses, 53TWO
Performance in a Studio Production
Rhodri Meilir How My Light Is Spent, Royal Exchange
Lucy Jane Parkinson, Joan, Contact
Keisha Thompson, Man On The Moon, Contact
Alex Walton, From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads, The Lowry
Robert Robson Award for Dance
Debut, Acosta Danza, The Lowry
English National Ballet double bill, Palace Theatre
Ghost Dances, Rambert Dance, The Lowry
Leviathan, James Wilton Dance, Contact
Jenny Melville (set) and Lysander Ashton (video), Paul Auster’s City of Glass, HOME
Bunny Christie, People, Places & Things, HOME
Alex Lowde, Persuasion, Royal Exchange
Yael Bartana, What If Women Ruled the World?, Manchester International Festival
Bad Advice, Greater Manchester Fringe
Gypsy Queen, Hope Mill Theatre
The Marriage of Kim K, Greater Manchester Fringe
Moth, Hope Mill Theatre
Funny Girl, Palace Theatre
Jim Steinman’s Bat out of Hell the Musical, Opera House
Sunset Boulevard, Palace Theatre
Yank!, Hope Mill Theatre
Gypsy Queen, writer Rob Ward, Hope Mill Theatre
How My Light Is Spent, writer Alan Harris, Royal Exchange
Narcissist in the Mirror, writer Rosie Fleeshman, Greater Manchester Fringe
Narvik, writer Lizzie Nunnery, HOME
Gemma Dobson, Rita, Sue and Bob Too, Octagon Theatre Bolton
Scott Hunter, Yank!, Hope Mill Theatre
Vinay Lad, The Railway Children, The Lowry
The Philip Radcliffe Award for Opera
Cendrillon, Royal Northern College of Music, RNCM
La Cenerentola, Opera North, The Lowry
Opera North Little Greats, Opera North, The Lowry
The Snow Maiden, Opera North, The Lowry
The Father, Oldham Coliseum
People, Places & Things, HOME
The Suppliant Women, Royal Exchange
Dick Whittington, Opera House
Running Wild, The Lowry
The Toad Knew, The Lowry
Under Glass, Clod Ensemble,The Lowry
From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads, The Lowry
Man On The Moon, Contact
Swansong, The Lowry
Target Live Award for Best Visiting Production
La Strada, The Lowry
My Country; a Work in Progress, HOME
Nell Gwynn, The Lowry
The Weir, Oldham Coliseum
Youth Panel Award
There is a Light/BRIGHTLIGHT, Contact Young Company
Singin' in the Rain, RNCM Young Company
Tis Written in the Stars, Oldham Theatre Workshop, Oldham Coliseum