Theatre Critics of Wales Awards 2014

Othniel Smith

The evening of 25 January 2014 saw the second annual Theatre Critics Of Wales Awards ceremony, held at Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre. While the two national theatre companies won five trophies each, a wide range of small productions also did well.

National Theatre Wales’s awards were shared amongst three productions, including Tonypandemonium, the stage debut of celebrated short story writer Rachel Trezise, which won the inaugural People’s Prize for Best English language production, voted for by members of the public.

The equivalent prize for Welsh-language theatre went to agriculturally-themed Tir Sir Gâr, produced by Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru in conjunction with broadcaster S4C, which also won Roger Williams the prize for Best Playwright (Welsh-language). The critics’ choice of Best Welsh-language production was Theatre Genedlaethol Cymru’s revival of Saunders Lewis’s Blodeuwedd.

Tim Price was named Best Playwright (English language) for Salt, Root and Roe, produced by Clwyd Theatr Cymru. He was also co-creator with the band Neon Neon (which includes Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys) of political musical Praxis Makes Perfect for which Wils Wilson was named Best Director.

Furthermore, Price was on hand to see Dirty Protest, the company he co-founded, receive the critics’ award for Best Production (English language) for Parallel Lines, written by Katherine Chandler, who was also responsible for the Terry Jones adaptation Silly Kings, which was named Best Production for Children and Young People.

Other multiple award-winners were Gagglebabble for darkly comical musical The Bloody Ballad, and Welsh National Opera, for Berg’s Lulu.

The special recognition award went to Gaynor Lougher and Richard Berry of Hijinx, who have spent much of the past thirty years creating theatre which is inclusive of learning disabled performers and audiences.

Awards to small companies such as Living Pictures, Earthfall, Theatr na nÓg and Music Theatre Wales helped to highlight the considerable breadth of talent and commitment evident amongst Welsh and Wales-based artists across a number of theatrical disciplines. 

Winners

Production in the English language (Critics’ vote)

Parallel Lines – Dirty Protest

Production in the English language (Public vote)

Tonypandemonium (National Theatre Wales)

Playwright (English language)

Tim Price – Salt, Root & Roe (Clwyd Theatr Cymru)

Male performance (English language)

Robert Bowman – Diary Of A Madman (Living Pictures)

Female performance (English language)

Siwan Morris – Tonypandemonium (National Theatre Wales)

Director

Wils Wilson – Praxis Makes Perfect (National Theatre Wales/Neon Neon)

Production in the Welsh language (Critics’ vote)

Blodeuwedd – Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru

Production in the Welsh language (Public vote)

Tir Sir Gâr (Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru) 

Playwright (Welsh language)

Roger Williams – Tir Sir Gâr (Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru)

Male performance (Welsh language)

Owen Arwyn – Pridd (Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru)

Female performance (Welsh language)

Rhian Morgan – Dyled Eileen (Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru)

Music and sound

Lucy Rivers – The Bloody Ballad (Gagglebabble)

Lighting

Natasha Chivers – Praxis Makes Perfect (National Theatre Wales/Neon Neon)

Design and costume

Rachel Canning – Sleeping Beauties (Sherman Cymru)

Digital/online content

Native HQ – Y Bont (Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru)

Inspirational educator

Ioan Hefin – You Should Ask Wallace (Theatr na nÓg)

Male in an opera

Marcus Farnsworth – Greek (Music Theatre Wales)

Female in an opera

Marie Arnet – Lulu (Welsh National Opera)

Opera production

Lulu – Welsh National Opera

Production for children and young people

Silly Kings – National Theatre Wales 

Ensemble

The Bloody Ballad – Gagglebabble

Small-scale dance production

Chelsea Hotel – Earthfall

Large-scale dance production

Romeo a Juliet – Ballet Cymru/Coreo Cymru/The Riverfront

Special recognition award

Gaynor Lougher and Richard Berry – Hijinx