Jodie Prenger to perform at Manchester Theatre Awards

Published: 8 March 2015

Stars of two big musical shows, on their way to Manchester, are set to perform at the city's annual theatre awards.

They are part of the on-stage entertainment for what is set to become one of the biggest events of its kind in recent years.

Jodie Prenger, who stars in the title role of Calamity Jane at Manchester Palace Theatre from March 24 to 28, will perform the show-stopping "Secret Love", while Matt Rawle and Debbie Kurup, from Anything Goes (at Manchester Opera House, April 7 to 18) will sing "You're The Top".

Manchester comedian and actor Justin Moorhouse is to host the event for the third year in a row, this time at the Royal Northern College of Music. A former college pupil, and rising star of the opera stage, Lorna James, who played Musetta in Opera North’s La Bohème last year, will perform a couple of well-known arias accompanied by Opera North head of music Martin Pickard.

Also appearing is Manchester actor and comedian Smug Roberts, with more performers to be confirmed.

Next Friday March 13 will see the winners of the Manchester Theatre Awards revealed across 20 categories, chosen by a panel of 11 of the region’s leading theatre critics.

Manchester’s Royal Exchange and Bolton’s Octagon Theatre dominate the leading categories, for Best Actor and Best Actress, as well as Best Supporting Actor and Actress.

Among the famous names shortlisted for awards are Robert Lindsay, who starred in the première performance of the musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at Manchester Opera House before it went on to acclaim in the West End, and Sir Anthony Sher, who appeared in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Henry IV Parts I and II at The Lowry in Salford.

Veteran comedy entertainer Barry Humphries is amongst nominations for Best Special Entertainment for his farewell performance at Manchester Opera House. It was an especially poignant event as his grandfather emigrated to Australia from the city back in 1888.

Other awards cover nominations for best musical, dance and opera performances and there are six nominations in the coveted Best Production category—all of them homegrown in Manchester.

Similarly, the city’s energetic fringe and studio theatre scenes are honoured across four categories.

Several of this year’s theatre award nominations also feature productions that have been tailored for performance away from traditional theatre stages and have been presented in everything from the city’s Edwardian baths... to a pram shop in Oldham town centre.

The winners will be announced on stage in a glittering ceremony at the RNCM. All the nominees are invited as well as celebrity guests who present the coveted glass trophies. A limited number of audience tickets are also available from www.rncm.ac.uk.

David Upton