At a star-studded ceremony on Monday 20 January 2014, the winners of the 2013 Sydney Theatre Awards were announced. Over 340 members of the Sydney theatre community packed the auditorium at Paddington RSL to celebrate the best of Sydney theatre throughout 2013.
Best Mainstage Production was awarded to Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Waiting for Godot, which also won Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Mainstage Production (Luke Mullins).
Best Independent Production went to Cyrano de Bergerac, produced by Sport for Jove, which also garnered Best Director of an Independent Production (Damien Ryan) and Best Actor in a Leading Role in an Independent Production (Yalin Ozucelik).
Best Direction of a Mainstage Production went to Sam Strong for Griffin’s The Floating World, for which Peter Kowitz was awarded Best Actor in a Leading Role of a Mainstage Production.
Harriet Dyer won Best Actress in a Leading Role of a Mainstage Production for her role in STC’s Machinal, which was also awarded Best Lighting Design (Verity Hampson). Toni Scanlan won Best Actress in a Leading Role in an Independent Production for All My Sons, while Susan Prior won Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Mainstage Production for Small and Tired.
Best New Australian Work was awarded to The Secret River by Andrew Bovell, based on the novel by Kate Grenville, and the Best Newcomer Award was given to Elizabeth Debicki (The Maids).
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels scooped the pool in the musical awards, winning Best Production of a Musical, the Judith Johnson Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical (Matt Hetherington) and the Judith Johnson Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical (Katrina Retallick).
The 2013 Sydney Theatre Award for Lifetime Achievement was presented to one of Australia’s greatest political playwrights, John Romeril, writer of over 80 plays as well as works for television and film, and one of the creators of the New Wave that revitalised Australian theatre in the 1970’s.
A special award was presented to the creators of the iconic annual Sydney theatre “institution” The Wharf Revue, Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott, for “services to laughter, satire and sanity, above and beyond the call of duty”.
The theme of the Awards ceremony was “the theatre community is a family” and this was reflected in the choice of presenters and performances. 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), Deborah Jones (The Australian), Jo Litson (Sunday Telegraph), John McCallum (The Australian), John Shand (Sydney Morning Herald), Diana Simmonds (Stagenoise website). Polly Simons (Daily Telegraph) and Brad Syke (Crikey).
For more information and the full list of winners , visit: www.sydneytheatreawards.com for details.
Image: Hugo Weaving, Luke Mullins and Richard Roxburgh in Waiting For Godot – by Lisa Tomasetti