At a star-studded ceremony on Monday 21 January, the winners of the 2018 Sydney Theatre Awards were announced, with 34 Awards presented, shared between 16 productions which played in Sydney during the calendar year of 2018. Over 450 members of the Sydney theatre community packed the York Theatre at the Seymour Centre to celebrate.
Best Mainstage Production was awarded to Sydney Theatre Company’s The Harp in the South: Part One and Part Two – which also won Best Direction of a Mainstage Production (Kip Williams) and Best New Australian Work (Kate Mulvany). Best Independent Production went to New Theatre’s Stupid Fucking Bird – which also won Best Female Supporting Actor in an Independent Production (Annie Stafford).
Best Direction of an Independent Production went to Dino Dimitriadis for Apocalypse Theatre Company and Red Line Productions’ Metamorphoses – which was also awarded Best Costume Design (Jonathan Hindmarsh), Best Lighting Design (Benjamin Brockman) and Best Sound Design (Benjamin Brockman).
STC’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui also won four awards, Best Male Actor in a Leading Role (Hugo Weaving), Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role (Mitchell Butel), Best Stage Design (Robert Cousins) and Best Sound Design (Stefan Gregory) in the mainstage categories.
In the Musical categories, Best Musical went to Cry-Baby, produced by LPD in association with Hayes Theatre Co – which also got nods for Best Direction of a Musical (Alexander Berlage), Best Stage Design of an Independent Production (Isabel Hudson) and Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Musical (Ashleigh Rubenach). Best Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical was awarded to Ryan Gonzalez (In the Heights). The Best Newcomer Award went to Justin Amankwah (The Flick).
The Sydney Theatre Award for Lifetime Achievement was presented to Riverside Theatres, Parramatta Director Robert Love, a champion of the arts in Western Sydney. Robert’s 45-year career began as trainee director for the Old Tote and ATYP before he founded theatre-in-education company Toe Truck Theatre in 1976. Since then he has been General Manager of the Seymour Centre, the State Theatre Company of South Australia and Sydney Theatre Company, before being appointed to his position at Riverside Theatres in 2000.
Presenters at the Awards Ceremony – which this year included actors and people who work in various roles behind the scenes – were Johanna Allen, Stephen Anderson, Olivia Ansell, Jim Burch, Luke Byrne, Guy Edmonds, Rarriwuy Hick, Sarah Lantry-Griffith, Carly Leonard, Jonathan Llewellyn, Shell McKenzie, Chris Mercer, Fiona Press, Susan Prior, Brett Russell and Garry Scale; and there were performances by Casey Donovan, and cast members of the musicals Muriel’s Wedding and The Book of Mormon.
The Sydney Theatre Awards are presented annually by a group of leading theatre critics to celebrate the strength, quality and diversity of theatre in Sydney. The Sydney Theatre Reviewers consist of Elissa Blake (Audrey Journal), Jason Blake (Audrey Journal), Deborah Jones (The Australian), Jo Litson (Limelight), John McCallum (The Australian), Joyce Morgan (Sydney Morning Herald), Ben Neutze (Time Out), John Shand (Sydney Morning Herald), Diana Simmonds (Stagenoise), Cassie Tongue (Time Out) and Suzy Wrong (Suzy Goes See).
For more information and complete list of Winners, visit: www.sydneytheatreawards.com for details.
Image: Stupid Fucking Bird – photo by Bob Seary