SYDNEY THEATRE AWARDS - 2018
SYDNEY THEATRE AWARDS 2018, York Theatre Seymour Centre, 21 January 2018. Photography by Daniel Boud (above – The Harp in the South); below: Robert Catto (Metamorphoses) and below again: Justin Amankwah by Marnya Rothe
The winners of the 2018 Sydney Theatre Awards were announced tonight (21 January) at the York Theatre of the Seymour Centre.
The STAwards are awarded to productions seen on Sydney stages during the calendar year and are specifically theatre, and Australian. Thirty-four Awards were presented, spread across 16 productions – independent and main stage, drama and musical. Some 450 members of the Sydney theatre community turned the auditorium into a celebration of that community. It was pretty bloody glorious to be in the room.
It was a glorious year for Sydney Theatre Company – scoring all nominations in the Best Mainstage Production category with the win going to The Harp in the South: Part One and Part Two. It 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 for Annie Stafford.
Dino Dimitriadis’s Metamorphoses – for Apocalypse Theatre Company and Red Line Productions – collected Best Direction of an Independent Production for him as well as Best Costume Design (Jonathan Hindmarsh), Best Lighting Design (Benjamin Brockman) and Best Sound Design (Ben Pierpoint).
STC’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui also won four awards in the Main Stage categories: 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).
Dino Dimitriadis and Kip Williams both made articulate and inspiring acceptance speeches. It was notable, on the night, that this was typical of all speakers.
In the Musical categories, Hayes Theatre Co dominated again with Best Musical going to Cry-Baby, produced by LPD in association with Hayes Theatre Co. It also won 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 Sydney Theatre Award for Lifetime Achievement was presented to Riverside Theatres, Parramatta Director Robert Love. He’s been a champion of the arts his entire working life. Robert’s 45-year career began as a trainee director for the Old Tote and ATYP before he founded theatre-in-education company Toe Truck Theatre in 1976. Since then he’s been integral to major companies before being appointed to Riverside Theatres in 2000. In his acceptance speech he noted that his first grandchild had been born an hour earlier – it was that kind of night.
The Best Newcomer Award went to Justin Amankwah (The Flick). He also won Best Male Actor in a Leading Role in an Independent Production for the role and was momentarilh stumped because of having only one speech prepared.
During the evening it was announced that the late Penny Cook will be remembered with the naming of the Stables Theatre bar for her. She was integral to the saving of the theatre building when it was threatened with sale and demolition in the 80s and the subsequent success of Griffin Theatre Company.
Presenters at the Awards ceremony – which this year included behind the scenes workers as well as actors – were Johanna Allen, Stephen Anderson, Olivia Ansell, Jim Burch, Luke Byrne, Guy Edmonds, Rarriwuy Hick, Sarah Lantry-Griffith, Carly Leonard, Jonathan Llewellyn, Shell McKenzie, Jono Perry, Fiona Press, Susan Prior, Brett Russell and Garry Scale.
Thrilling live performances were from 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. They are Elissa Blake and 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 (Suzygoessee).
The Sydney Theatre Awards gratefully thanks major sponsor, The Seaborn, Broughton and Walford Foundation, as well as other sponsors William Fletcher Foundation, Showcast, Currency Press, Ticketmaster, Hayes Theatre Co, Bellbird Cottages, Actors Benevolent Fund, ACMN, JPJ Audio and Helen Constance.
WINNERS OF 2018 SYDNEY THEATRE AWARDS
BEST MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
The Harp in the South (Sydney Theatre Company)
BEST INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Stupid Fucking Bird (New Theatre)
BEST DIRECTION OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Kip Williams (Harp in the South)
BEST DIRECTION OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Dino Dimitriadis (Metamorphoses)
BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Claire Lovering (The Feather in the Web)
BEST MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Hugo Weaving (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui)
BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Nikki Shiels (They Divided the Sky)
BEST MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Justin Amankwah (The Flick)
BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Kate Box (Top Girls)
BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Mitchell Butel (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui)
BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Annie Stafford (Stupid Fucking Bird)
BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Damon Manns (The Rolling Stone)
BEST STAGE DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Robert Cousins (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui)
BEST STAGE DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Isabel Hudson (Cry-Baby)
BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Renée Mulder (Top Girls)
BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Jonathan Hindmarsh (Metamorphoses)
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Verity Hampson (Blackie Blackie Brown)
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Benjamin Brockman (Metamorphoses)
BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Stefan Gregory (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui)
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
William Barton (The Long Forgotten Dream)
BEST SOUND DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Ben Pierpoint (Metamorphoses)
BEST NEW AUSTRALIAN WORK
The Harp in the South (Kate Mulvany)
Justin Amankwah (The Flick)
BEST PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL
Cry-Baby (LPD in association with Hayes Theatre Co)
BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Alexander Berlage (Cry-Baby)
JUDITH JOHNSON AWARD FOR BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Ashleigh Rubenach (Cry-Baby)
JUDITH JOHNSON AWARD FOR BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Ryan Gonzalez (In the Heights)
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Zahra Newman (The Book of Mormon)
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Rowan Witt (The Book of Mormon)
BEST MUSICAL DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Lucy Bermingham (In the Heights)
BEST CHOREOGRAPHY IN A MUSICAL
Amy Campbell (In the Heights)
BEST CABARET PRODUCTION
Since Ali Died (Omar Musa)
BEST PRODUCTION FOR CHILDREN OR YOUNG PEOPLE
Josephine Wants to Dance (Monkey Baa)
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD