● Leeds Playhouse leads nominations with nods in five categories, whilst The
Crucible Theatre, Sheffield receives two Best Director nominations
● This year’s Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre award will go to Sarah
Holmes, former Chief Executive of The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich
● Legally Blonde and Six star, Courtney Bowman will host the ceremony, taking
place on Sunday 23rd October
Wednesday 28th September: Today, UK Theatre announces the nominees for this
year’s UK Theatre Awards, the only nationwide awards to honour and celebrate
outstanding achievements in theatre throughout England, Scotland, Wales and
Northern Ireland by UK Theatre members.
With nominees from across the length and breadth of the UK, this year’s shortlist
showcases the creativity, originality and resilience of theatre. Leading the
nominations with five nominations across categories including Best Performance in
a Play, Best Play Revival and Director is Leeds Playhouse.
Meanwhile, The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield has received two nominations in the
Best Director category, for Rock/Paper/Scissors (Elin Schofield, Robert Hastie,
Anthony Lau) and Typical Girls (Róisín McBrinn), with four female directors
nominated for this award.
Elsewhere, actors Giles Terera and Henry Goodman go head to head in the Best
Performance in a Play category, for The Meaning of Zong and Murder on the Orient
Express respectively, with Eithne Browne (Maggie May) and Leah St Luce (Black
Love) also offering strong competition in the category.
The exceptional work created by each of this year’s nominees demonstrates that
there is no better time to support local theatre.
Following a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the winners will be announced
on Sunday 23rd October, during a lunchtime ceremony at London’s Guildhall. The
event will be hosted by star of the stage, Courtney Bowman (Everyone’s Talking
About Jamie, Six, Legally Blonde).
UK Theatre Joint Presidents, Stephanie Sirr and Jon Gilchrist said,
“Following an incredibly challenging few years due to the pandemic, theatres across
the UK have had to work harder than ever to continue to provide for their local
communities: to keep their doors open and to keep making the inspiring work they
present. Theatres provide so much more than just entertainment. In towns across
the UK they are often a central hub; a space for people to feel welcome and
included. That’s why it’s more important than ever that we come together on the 23rd
October to recognise and celebrate everything that they do.
This year’s nominations reflect a multifaceted variety of voices, highlighting the
diversity and quality of shows presented across the UK. It is brilliant to see so much
upcoming talent among the nominees as well as all four nations being represented.”
Nominations are split into new ‘On Stage’ and ‘Off Stage’ categories, as part of a
refresh of the Awards in 2019 instated to reflect the contemporary priorities of the
UK’s theatre industry. As part of this, UK Theatre members now have more
involvement in the nomination process, can put forward shows and individuals for
nomination and can submit an application for an Off Stage award.
Nominations for the UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre were announced last month with
Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre, Leeds Playhouse and New Wolsey
Theatre in Ipswich making the shortlist. The winner will be revealed on the 23rd
October as part of the ceremony.
The recipient of this year’s Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre Award has
been revealed as Sarah Holmes, former CEO of the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich.
Sarah was selected by the board for constantly championing access and inclusion,
spear-heading the post of Agent for Change and applying challenging criteria to her
own programming policy with a “nothing about us, without us” policy around
inclusion. Sarah’s tenure saw the New Wolsey become a founding partner on
Black-led theatre initiative Eclipse, and D/deaf and disabled collective Ramps on the
Moon, which has now been running for over 7 years.
The UK Theatre Awards are sponsored by: Harbottle and Lewis, John Good Ltd,
Nyman Libson Paul, Settingline Production Management, Spektrix, Theatre Tokens,
Tysers in association with Ecclesiastical, Unusual Rigging, and White Light
The full list of nominations is available here