Queensland Theatre has dominated the 2016 Matilda Awards to be Queensland’s most lauded company for the second year running, associated with eleven of the 16 category winners through four of its productions.
Dead Puppets Society received the local industry’s ultimate honour, the Gold Matilda, for its body of work including QT’s The Wider Earth – which also claimed Silver Matildas for Best Director (David Morton) alongside three design bests: Costume (David Morton and Aaron Barton) and the two new categories of Sound Design/Composition (Tony Brumpton) and Audio Visual Design (Justin Harrison), Anna Straker (Illustration).
The two-hander Switzerland took out Best Mainstage Production, and its stars Andrea Moor and Matthew Backer – the lead acting honours. Recent graduate Emily Weir scored a winning double for her comedic professional debut in Tartuffe, taking out not only the Bille Brown Award for Best Emerging Artist, but also Best Supporting Actress. Playwright Stephen Carleton’s Bastard Territory was declared Best New Australian Work, closing out QT’s record haul.
Three productions staged at the Awards’ new host venue Brisbane Powerhouse figured in the remaining gongs. Carrie: The Musical, Brisbane Powerhouse’s co-production with Wax Lyrical Productions won best musical or cabaret, and best lighting (Jason Glenwright), while Leah Shelton received best set design for her self-devised one-woman cabaret show Terror Australis, with True West’s Julian Curtis voted best supporting actor.
Gold Coast-based Shock Therapy Productions made it back-to-back wins for Best Independent Production with its new self-devised work VIRAL.
Emphasising his commitment to the awards, Brisbane Powerhouse Artistic Director Chris Stewart helmed the ceremony co-hosted by double 2015 matilda award-winner Dash Kruck and former nominee, Melissa Western. Under the musical direction of fellow 2015 nominee Tnee Dyer, the evening’s entertainment showcased more leading local talent, with performances by The Voice alumnus Ellen Reid, and the cast of Boy&Girl, Women in Voice and acrobatic duo, Alex Weckes-Huck and Ellie Cox.
Record numbers of industry, affiliates and theatre fans attended the ceremony on Monday 20 February, swelling to meet the increased capacity provided by the Powerhouse Theatre. For more information, and to read the complete list of winners, visit: www.matildaawards.com.au for details.
Image: The Wider Earth – photo by Dylan Evans Photography