HOME leads the field in 2018 Manchester Theatre Awards

Published: 9 March 2018

Sheridan Smith and Danny Mac were among the winners at the Manchester Theatre Awards announced today at The Lowry, but HOME came out ahead with five wins for its productions and performers.

The remaining honours included two for Oldham Coliseum, two for the Royal Exchange Theatre and other awards to productions seen at The Lowry, the Palace Theatre and Opera House, Hope Mill Theatre, Contact, Royal Northern College of Music and Greater Manchester Fringe festival.

Dame Janet Suzman was named Best Actress for Rose at HOME while Kenneth Alan Taylor won Best Actor for The Father at Oldham Coliseum, which also won the Best Production prize. Best New Play was won by Rosie Fleeshman for Narcissist in the Mirror, part of Greater Manchester Fringe.

Michael Harrison, David Ian and Curve’s production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard won Best Musical and its star Danny Mac was named Best Actor in a Visiting Production for his role as Joe Gillis. Sheridan Smith was named Best Actress in a Visiting Production for her performance as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl.

The pantomime Dick Whittington, produced by Qdos and featuring John Barrowman and The Krankies, was named Best Special Entertainment, while the Robert Robson Award for Dance was taken by English National Ballet for their Double Bill at the Palace Theatre and Opera North’s The Snow Maiden at The Lowry won the opera prize, renamed this year The Philip Radcliffe Award for Best Opera, in memory of the late arts journalist and one of the founders of the Awards.

Scott Hunter won Best Newcomer for his performance in Yank! at Hope Mill Theatre, a role he also reprised in the West End. The Youth Panel Award was won by Singin' in the Rain by the Royal Northern College of Music Young Company.

Also presented on the day were the Stage Door Foundation award that was given to JB Shorts, which started life at the Joshua Brooks pub in the city and is now performed at the 53Two fringe venue. Special Achievement awards were given to Barrie Rutter, founder and former artistic director of Northern Broadsides, and Anne Hornsby of Mind’s Eye audio describers which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year.

The full list of winners is:

  • Actress in a Leading Role: Janet Suzman, Rose, HOME
  • Actor in a Leading Role: Kenneth Alan Taylor, The Father, Oldham Coliseum
  • Actress in a Supporting Role: Katie West, Uncle Vanya, HOME
  • Actor in a Supporting Role: Andrew Sheridan, People, Places & Things, HOME
  • Actress in a Visiting Production: Sheridan Smith, Funny Girl, Palace Theatre
  • Actor in a Visiting Production: Danny Mac, Sunset Boulevard, Palace Theatre
  • Ensemble: The Suppliant Women, Royal Exchange
  • Performance in a Fringe Production: Alexandra Maxwell, The Loves of Others / Freak, Greater Manchester Fringe
  • Performance in a Studio Production: Rhodri Meilir How My Light Is Spent, Royal Exchange
  • Robert Robson Award for Dance: English National Ballet double bill, Palace Theatre
  • Design: Jenny Melville (set) and Lysander Ashton (video), Paul Auster’s City of Glass, HOME
  • Fringe Production: Moth, Hope Mill Theatre
  • Musical: Sunset Boulevard, Palace Theatre
  • New Play: Narcissist in the Mirror, writer Rosie Fleeshman, Greater Manchester Fringe
  • Newcomer: Scott Hunter, Yank!, Hope Mill Theatre
  • The Philip Radcliffe Award for Opera: The Snow Maiden, Opera North, The Lowry
  • Production: The Father, Oldham Coliseum
  • Special Entertainment: Dick Whittington, Opera House
  • Studio Production: Man On The Moon, Contact
  • Target Live Award for Best Visiting Production: The Weir, Oldham Coliseum
  • Youth Panel Award: Singin' in the Rain, RNCM Young Company
  • Stage Door Foundation Award: JB Shorts
  • Special Achievement Awards: Barrie Rutter and Anne Hornsby

David Chadderton