Sydney Theatre Awards Announced

Matilda The Musical photo by James MorganAt a star-studded ceremony last night, the winners of the 2015 Sydney Theatre Awards were announced, with a record 36 Awards presented, shared between 19 productions which played in Sydney during the calendar year of 2015. Over 350 members of the Sydney theatre community packed the auditorium at Paddington RSL to celebrate the best of Sydney theatre.

Best Mainstage Production was awarded to Belvoir’s Ivanov, which also won Mainstage awards for Best Director (Eamon Flack), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Blazey Best) and Best Actor in a Supporting Role (John Howard). Best Independent Production went to Sport for Jove’s Of Mice and Men, which also took Independent gongs for Best Director (Iain Sinclair) and Best Stage Design (Michael Hankin).

Best Actor and Actress in a Leading Role in a Mainstage Production went to Hugo Weaving (Endgame) and Eryn Jean Norvill (Suddenly Last Summer). Best Actor in a Leading Role in an Independent Production was awarded to Thomas Campbell (Misterman), while Kate Cole was named Best Actress in a Leading Role in an Independent Production (Grounded).

In the Musical area, more categories were awarded this year, reflecting the growth in independent musical productions. Matilda was presented with four awards, Best Mainstream Musical, Best Performance by an Actor and Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical (James Millar, Elise McCann) and a Special Achievement Award to the four young actresses who share the title role (Molly Barwick, Sasha Rose, Georgia Taplin, Bella Thomas).

Violet took out Best Independent Musical, Best Direction of a Musical (Mitchell Butel) and Best Musical Direction (Lucy Bermingham). Amy Lehpamer (The Sound of Music) was announced as Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical while Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical went to Hayden Tee (Les Miserables).

The Sydney Theatre Award for Lifetime Achievement was presented to one of the doyennes of Australian theatre, Christine Dunstan. Over an extraordinary 50-year career behind the scenes, Dunstan has been “the first female” to undertake significant production roles for most major Australian theatre companies. In 1993, Dunstan set up her own company, CDP, an award-winning and nationally recognised theatre production house which tours shows of the highest quality all over the country.

Presenters at the Awards ceremony were Kelley Abbey, Simon Burke, Philip Dodd, Daniel Edmonds, Wesley Enoch, Kate Fitzpatrick, Geraldine Hakewill, Damon Herriman, Maggie Kirkpatrick, Stephen Mahy, Katrina Retallick, Tess Schofield, Sal Sharah, Yael Stone, Helen Tonkin and Matthew Whittet; with performances from Esther Hannaford, Dash Kruck and cast members of The Sound of Music.

The Sydney Theatre Awards are run by a group of leading theatre critics to celebrate the strength, quality and diversity of theatre in Sydney. The Sydney Theatre Reviewers are: Elissa Blake (Sun Herald), Jason Blake (Sydney Morning Herald), Dee Jefferson (Time Out), Deborah Jones (The Australian), Jo Litson (Sunday Telegraph), John McCallum (The Australian), Ben Neutze (Crikey/Daily Review), Diana Simmonds (stagenoise.com), Polly Simons (Daily Telegraph) and Cassie Tongue (AussieTheatre).

2015 SYDNEY THEATRE AWARD WINNERS

BEST MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Ivanov (Belvoir)

BEST INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Of Mice and Men (Sport for Jove and Seymour Centre)

BEST DIRECTION OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Eamon Flack (Ivanov)

BEST DIRECTION OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Iain Sinclair (Of Mice and Men)

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Eryn Jean Norvill (Suddenly Last Summer)

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Hugo Weaving (Endgame)

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Kate Cole (Grounded)

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Thomas Campbell (Misterman)

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Blazey Best (Ivanov)

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
John Howard (Ivanov)

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Taylor Ferguson (Good Works)

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
James Bell (The Aliens)

BEST STAGE DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Nick Schlieper (Endgame)

BEST STAGE DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Michael Hankin (Of Mice and Men)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Alice Babidge (Suddenly Last Summer)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Angela White (Heathers)

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Paul Jackson (Love and Information)

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Hartley TA Kemp (Misterman)

BEST SCORE OR SOUND DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
The Sweats (Love and Information)

BEST SCORE OR SOUND DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Nate Edmondson (Misterman)

BEST NEW AUSTRALIAN WORK
The Bleeding Tree (Angus Cerini)

BEST NEWCOMER
Lauren McKenna (Heathers)

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST
After Dinner (Sydney Theatre Company)

BEST PRODUCTION OF A MAINSTREAM MUSICAL
Matilda (The Royal Shakespeare Company, Louise Withers, Michael Coppel and Michael Watt)

BEST PRODUCTION OF AN INDEPENDENT MUSICAL
Violet (Blue Saint Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co)

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Mitchell Butel (Violet)

JUDITH JOHNSON AWARD FOR BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Amy Lehpamer (The Sound of Music)

JUDITH JOHNSON AWARD FOR BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Hayden Tee (Les Miserables)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Elise McCann (Matilda)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
James Millar (Matilda)

BEST MUSICAL DIRECTION
Lucy Bermingham (Violet)

BEST CABARET PRODUCTION
Josie Lane (Asian Provocateur)

BEST PRODUCTION FOR CHILDREN
The 52-Storey Treehouse (CDP)

BEST PRODUCTION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
War Crimes (ATYP)

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Molly Barwick, Sasha Rose, Georgia Taplin, Bella Thomas (Matilda)

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Christine Dunstan

For more information, visit: www.sydneytheatreawards.com for details.

Image: Matilda – photo by James Morgan

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