Winners announced for UK Theatre Awards 2023 

  • Lyric Theatre Belfast dominated with two winning productions 
  • Performance accolades for Antony Eden, Lena Hall, and Daniel Rigby 
  • Mark Gatiss honoured with Outstanding Contribution Award 
  • Nottingham Playhouse crowned UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre 

The 2023 UK Theatre Awards winners were revealed today (Sunday 8 October) in a ceremony at London’s Guildhall, hosted by Musical Theatre star Zoe Birkett. 

Lyric Theatre Belfast enjoyed double celebrations with The Beauty Queen Of Leenane, a collaborative production between Lyric Theatre Belfast and Prime Cut winning Best Play revival and Garry Hynes winning Best Director for the Druid Theatre production Druid O’Casey, a trilogy of stories written by Irish dramatist Sean O’Casey. In total, Irish theatres and production companies had four nods in the winners list. 

Scotland also celebrated a wonderful year of theatre, winning in three categories. National Theatre of Scotland and Pitlochry Festival Theatre won Best New Play for their production Enough Of Him, the story of a slave who made Scottish legal history in 1778, written by playwright May Sumbwanyambe. Scotland also dominated the Achievement in Dance category, as Scottish Ballet took home the prize for their contemporary reworking of the comedic ballet Coppélia. Scotland’s final nod was for Excellence in Inclusivity; Capital Theatres, who operate three key Edinburgh venues, took home this accolade. 

Best Musical Production was awarded to The Mill at Sonning for their revival of Gypsy, a musical based on the book by Arthur Laurents, with lyrics by the esteemed Stephen Sondheim.  

Best Performance in a Musical was awarded to Lena Hall for her starring role in David Read West’s new musical, In Dreams, featuring the music of Roy Orbison. The production premiered at Leeds Playhouse this year.  

Best Performance in a Play was snapped up by Daniel Rigby for his starring role in Accidental Death Of An Anarchist. After runs at Sheffield Theatres and the Lyric Hammersmith, the play transferred to London’s West End for a limited season at Theatre Royal Haymarket.  

Best Supporting Performance (in a Musical or Play) was won by Antony Eden for his performance in Family Album, a Stephen Joseph Theatre production of English playwright Alan Ayckbourn’s new play. 

Nottingham Playhouse was announced as the winner of the UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre Award, after being shortlisted against Curve, Leicester and National Youth Theatre. 

Tara Theatre won the Digital Innovation Award, a poignant moment of the event, following the sad and unexpected passing of their Artistic Director Abdul Shayek earlier this year.  

Accepting the award on behalf of the theatre, his wife Nicole said of Abdul: 

‘I want to say thank you for honouring my beautiful husband – what a creative force, what a beautiful man. He worked tirelessly to make change in our creative industries and the communities we live in. He championed equity, diversity and equality.’ 

Writer, director, producer, author, and actor Mark Gatiss was honoured with this year’s award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre, in recognition of the incredible contribution he has made to regional theatre throughout his career in the arts. 

Presenting the award to Mark, artistic director of the Nottingham Playhouse, said: 

‘Mark excels at everything that he turns his hand to. I’ve worked with Mark five times, and his love of theatre is infectious. Whether that’s in London, or out of London, in the West End, or on the Fringe.’ 

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer, who spoke at the event, said: 

“The UK Theatre Awards are a fantastic opportunity to come together and celebrate the incredible creative and technical talent that we have here in the UK. We are proudly home to world-renowned actors, visionary directors, breathtaking sets, wonderful theatres and a mission to entertain, educate and challenge through performance art. The Government will continue to back theatre through tax reliefs to maximise the potential of theatre across the country. I would like to congratulate all of the winners on their fantastic achievements.” 

The UK Theatre Awards 2023 are sponsored by Birra Moretti, Harbottle and Lewis, Howard Park Wines, John Good Ltd, Marshfield Farm Ice Cream, Music Theatre International, Setting Line Production Management, Spektrix, Theatre Tokens, Trafalgar Theatres, Tysers in association with Ecclesiastical, Unusual Rigging and White Light. 


Best Design 

Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey & ULTZ for Tambo & Bones, a Theatre Royal Stratford East, and Actors Touring Company co-production 

Best Director 

Garry Hynes for Druid O’Casey, a Druid Theatre production at Lyric Theatre Belfast 

Best Musical Production Sponsored by Tysers in association with Ecclesiastical 

Gypsy, a The Mill at Sonning production 

Best New Play 

Enough Of Him, a National Theatre of Scotland and Pitlochry Festival Theatre co-production 

Best Play Revival Sponsored by Trafalgar Theatres 

The Beauty Queen Of Leenane, a Lyric Theatre Belfast and Prime Cut co-production 

Achievement in Dance 

Scottish Ballet for Coppélia 

Achievement in Opera  

Opera North for Orpheus 

Best Supporting Performance (in a Musical or Play)  

Antony Eden for Family Album, a Stephen Joseph Theatre production 

Best Performance in a Musical  

Lena Hall for In Dreams, a Leeds Playhouse production 

Best Performance in a Play 

Daniel Rigby for Accidental Death Of An Anarchist, a Sheffield Theatres and Lyric Hammersmith Theatre co-production in association with Playful Productions 

Best Show for Children and Young People 

The SpongeBob Musical, a Showpath Entertainment production 

Excellence in Arts Education 

Blackpool Grand Theatre 

Excellence in Touring 

Northern Stage, Birmingham Rep, ETT, Oldham Coliseum, tiny dragon Productions and Cardboard Citizens 

Excellence in Inclusivity 

Capital Theatres 

Digital Innovation Sponsored by Spektrix 

Tara Theatre 

Workforce Award 

Ambassador Theatre Group 

Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre 

Mark Gatiss 

UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre Sponsored by Theatre Tokens 

Nottingham Playhouse 

@UK_Theatre #UKTAwards 

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