The Stage Awards 2016: winners announced
- Sonia Friedman crowned Producer of the Year for a second year running
- 44-seat theatre in Cardiff is first non-London winner of coveted Fringe Theatre of the Year
- Royal Exchange, Manchester, wins Regional Theatre of the Year; Almeida’s Greeks help secure London Theatre of the Year
- War Horse China rides away with International Award
The world’s oldest and best theatre publication, The Stage, has announced the winners of its annual The Stage Awards at a ceremony at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
Plaudits include a second Producer of the Year win for Sonia Friedman, who continues to dominate commercial theatre production with shows such as Hamlet at the Barbican, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and the forthcoming Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
War Horse China was given the International Award for its collaborative effort and exchange of skills between the British and Chinese national theatres, while Manchester’s Royal Exchange and London’s Almeida walked away with silverware as top theatres regionally and in the capital respectively.
For the first time in the history of The Stage Awards, the Fringe Theatre of the Year category was taken by a non-London theatre, Cardiff’s 44-seat the Other Room. At the other end of the scale, the National Theatre’s juggernaut regeneration project, NT Future, secured it Theatre Building of the Year.
Arts Educational Schools London impressed the judges with its musical theatre output and for having a student nominated for an Olivier Award, earning it School of the Year.
Roger Miller, who almost single-handedly saved the Felixstowe Spa Pavilion Theatre using his own tools and time, was deservedly awarded the Unsung Hero award.
Alistair Smith, print editor of The Stage, said: “The Stage Awards are the only awards that recognise theatre at all scales and in all places, not just in the UK but across the world. Our winners come from London, Manchester, Cardiff and Felixstowe, but also China. Meanwhile, they range in scale from one of the world’s most high profile commercial producers – Sonia Friedman – to Roger Miller, a devoted stage manager who helped save his local theatre; from the National Theatre, the UK’s foremost publicly funded theatre, to Wales’s first, tiny, pub theatre, which seats only 44 people and receives no funding. It’s been another great 12 months, and another really tricky set of decisions for our judging panel, and I’d like to congratulate all our winners and shortlisted organisations.”
The Stage Awards, in association with RT Robertson Taylor W&P Longreach, were announced on January 29, 2016, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London.
The full list of winners is as follows:
Regional Theatre of the Year
Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
London Theatre of the Year
Fringe Theatre of the Year
The Other Room, Cardiff
Producer of the Year
School of the Year
Arts Educational Schools London
Theatre building of the Year
War Horse China
About The Stage Awards
The Stage Awards highlights the achievements by London, regional and fringe theatres as well as international achievements. Additionally there are categories for producer, theatre building and school of the year. The Stage also presents an award to an unsung hero for which there is no shortlist.
This year’s shortlist was compiled from hundreds of nominations received through the open public nomination process. In addition, for the first year ever, an industry focus group of 50 people steered the shortlist. The final cut was selected by a panel of senior editorial figures at The Stage and aims to celebrate the finest theatre achievements of the past year.
The judging panel included The Stage print editor Alistair Smith, online editor Paddy Smith, news editor Matthew Hemley, associate editor Mark Shenton and lead critic Natasha Tripney.