2016 Manchester Theatre Awards - the nominations
PUBLISHED: 13:16 27 February 2017 | UPDATED: 13:16 27 February 2017
It’s the time of the year for opening gold envelopes while nervous thespians look on, writes David Upton.
One of Manchester’s landmark theatres now has even more reason to celebrate.
In the midst of its 40th anniversary year the Royal Exchange has picked up nearly 20 nominations in the annual Manchester Theatre Awards.
It’s an achievement that crowns a year of success with many of its productions receiving national acclaim or breaking box office records.
Now attention focuses on the awards event itself, when the winners in 21 categories will be announced live on stage in a glittering event at Manchester’s HOME venue on Friday March 17. Nearly 90 performers or productions have been nominated by a panel of 10 judges, all leading regional theatre critics.
After watching more than 200 theatre performances throughout 2016 the MTA Panel has narrowed down a shortlist that honours everyone from established star names in main house productions, to complete newcomers, several of them featuring in the city’s burgeoning studio and fringe venues.
In the past Manchester theatre awards have often gone to actors and actresses who go on to become household or even Hollywood names - Kate Winslet, Andy Serkis and Andrew Garfield amongst them. Many performers feature the awards in their theatrical CV.
This year’s categories for Best Actress and the coveted Best Production proved particularly difficult to narrow down and in the event it is the Royal Exchange and the city’s shiny new HOME venue that go head to head for the trophies.
Likewise Best Musical has been a crowded category with, eventually, five nominations ranging from the brand-new Wind in the Willows at the Lowry, and the city’s first glimpse of West End hit Billy Elliot at the Palace, to spirited revivals of Singin’ in the Rain at Bolton’s Octagon and Sweet Charity at the Exchange. Manchester’s emergent Hope Mill Theatre muscles in with its regional premiere production of Parade. This brand new fringe venue, in an old mill in Ancoats, has staged several ambitious productions this year.
For the Best Newcomer award five new faces will be up against two teams of juvenile actors and actresses who performed, respectively, the part of ‘Michael’ in Billy Elliot, or ‘Scout’ in To Kill a Mockingbird, at the Octagon in Bolton.
All nominees are invited to the awards event. Visit the awards website to see the full list of nominees and public tickets are also available at www.homemcr.org
Cheshire Life and Lancashire Life magazines are the media sponsor for the awards and will feature coverage of the event in a subsequent issue.
For the full list of nominees visit: www.manchestertheatreawards.com
THE 2016 SHORTLISTS
Rob Edwards, To Kill A Mockingbird, Octagon Theatre Bolton
David Nielson, Endgame, HOME, Manchester
Daniel Rigby, Breaking The Code, Royal Exchange, Manchester
Don Warrington, King Lear, Royal Exchange
Niamh Cusack, Ghosts, HOME
Kaisa Hammarlund, Sweet Charity, Royal Exchange
Julie Hesmondhalgh, Wit, Royal Exchange
Kathryn Hunter, The Emperor, HOME
Breaking The Code, Royal Exchange
The Emperor, HOME
Wit, Royal Exchange
Best Supporting Actor
Daniel Crossley, Sweet Charity, Royal Exchange
Raad Rawi, Breaking The Code, Royal Exchange
Marc Small, To Kill A Mockingbird, Octagon Theatre
Miltos Yerolemou, King Lear, Royal Exchange
Best Supporting Actress
Natalie Dew, Breaking The Code, Royal Exchange
Sharon Duncan-Brewster,A Streetcar Named Desire, Royal Exchange
Natalie Grady, Martha Josie and the Chinese Elvis, Octagon Theatre
Amy Nuttall, The Winter’s Tale, Octagon Theatre
Best Visiting Production
946 – The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tipps, HOME
A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, Lowry, Salford
Love’s Labour’s Lost / Much Ado About Nothing, Opera House
The Encounter, HOME
The James Plays, Lowry
Best Actor in a Visiting Production
Edward Bennett, Love’s Labour’s Lost / Much Ado About Nothing, Opera House
Rufus Hound, The Wind in the Willows, The Lowry
Simon McBurney, The Encounter, HOME
Michael Pennington, King Lear, Opera House
Best Actress in a Visiting Production
Lisa Dillon, Love’s Labour’s Lost / Much Ado About Nothing, Opera House
Aoife Duffin, A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing, Lowry
Lisa Maxwell, End Of The Rainbow, Opera House
Zizi Strallen, Mary Poppins, Palace
Daisy Badger, Look Back In Anger, Octagon Theatre
Ben Hunter, The Girls, Lowry
Norah Lopez Holden, Ghosts, HOME
Kirsty Rider, Pride And Prejudice, Lowry
Holly Willock, The Wind In The Willows, Lowry
Young “Michael” cast, Billy Elliot, Palace
Young “Scout” cast, To Kill A Mockingbird, Octagon Theatre
Billy Elliot, Palace
Parade, Hope Mill Theatre
Singin’ in the Rain, Octagon Theatre
Sweet Charity, Royal Exchange
The Wind in the Willows, Lowry
Andrea Chénier, Opera North, Lowry
Billy Budd, Opera North, Lowry
Don Giovanni, ETO, Buxton Opera House
Tamerlano, Buxton Festival, Buxton Opera House
The Robert Robson Award for Best Dance
Akram Khan’s Giselle, Palace
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Lowry
Nederlands Dans Theater 2, Lowry
The Red Shoes, Lowry
Best Fringe Production
Boomtown Gals, Various venues
Die Diana, Bandit, Mugger and Thief, Manchester
Multi Story, Monkeywood, Various venues
The Trial, Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester
Best Fringe Performance
Joyce Branagh, Boomtown Gals, Various venues
Sam Grogan, Waiting Room, King’s Arms, Salford
William J Holstead, The Trial, Hope Mill Theatre
Leanne Martin, The Brink, King’s Arms
Best New Play
A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer, HOME
Bird, Royal Exchange Studio
The Emperor, HOME
Wish List, Royal Exchange Studio