Best of Brisbane theatre as Matilda Awards announced

Tequila MockingbirdA trio of veteran female artists noted for thriving in an industry that can overlook mature women has spearheaded the Matilda Awards honouring Brisbane most outstanding theatrical achievements of 2013.

Actors Barbara Lowing and Christen O’Leary and director Andrea Moor took home three of the five prestigious Gold Matildas. Lighting designer Jason Glenwright and independent company, shake & stir theatre received the other top gongs in the 27th annual ceremony.

Nominated for six Silver Matilda best achievement category awards, shake & stir’s premiere play produced in conjunction with QPAC, Tequila Mockingbird, also took out the coveted prize for Best Mainstage Production.

However, it was an adaptation of the legendary 1001 Nights that claimed the biggest haul of Silver Matildas, which were presented by special guest, Brisbane actor-turned-TV star, James Stewart (Packed to the Rafters).

The collaboration among Queensland Theatre Company, Queensland Music Festival, Brisbane City Council and Zen Zen Zo won four Bests: New Australian Work (for script adapters Michael Futcher and Helen Howard), Director (Michael Futcher), Actor (Dan Crestani) and Technical Design, a new category encompassing lighting, multimedia and sound design (won by musical director Phil Slade).

In 2011, Futcher was an inaugural inductee to the Matildas’ Hall of Fame honouring recipients of three or more major Matilda Awards, and exempting them from eligibility for future Golds to be determined by the judging committee of industry professionals.

In a flashback to the surprise hit of 2012, four-time Silver Matilda-winner A Tribute of Sorts, Dash Kruck and Emily Burton reprised their eccentric but endearing roles as “kissing cousins” to host the proceedings.

A full house of 300-plus industry and public supporters were also treated to a spectacular production number by Michelle Xen & the Neon Wild.

The Matilda Awards are presented with the assistance of major supporters the Queensland Government (through Arts Queensland) and Brisbane City Council, which were represented by Queensland Arts Minister, the Honourable Ian Walker, who bestowed the Gold Awards, and Councillor Krista Adams.

For more information, visit: www.matildaawards.com.au for details.

Image: shake & stir theatre co’s Tequila Mockingbird – image by Dylan Evans

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