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Ivano Turco (Photo- Laura Lewis)

Black British Theatre Awards announced

Winners of the 2021 Black British Theatre Awards have been announced in London.

The UK’s first award show to celebrate the excellence and influence of Black performers and creatives in the theatre industry, the awards were held on 21 November 2021 atThe Old Finsbury Town Hall in London.

The awards were hosted by Grammy, Tony and Emmy award winner and two-time Oscar nomineeCynthia Erivo, andBlack Panther, Star Wars and Killing Eve actor Danny Sapan.

Winners on the night included Yomi Sode’s play and breathe… which scooped four awards includingbest production of a play,best musical director for Femi Temowo, best director for Miranda Cromwell and best male actor in a play for David Jonsson.

Other winners included Ivano Turco (pictured, photo: Laura Lewis) andCaleb Roberts for their roles in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, and Lucy St Louis for her starring role as Christine in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

Much loved and respected actor, entertainer and activist Derek Griffiths MBE also received a lifetime achievement award.

Black British Theatre Awards 2021 – winners

Plays

Best male actor in a play
David Jonsson, and breathe…, Almeida Theatre

Best female actor in a play
Isabel Adomakoh Young, Romeo and Juliet, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Best supporting male actor in a play
Andrew French, Romeo and Juliet, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Best supporting female actor in a play
Aretha Ayeh, Romeo and Juliet, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Best production of a play
and breathe…, Almeida Theatre

Musicals

Best male actor in a musical
Ivano Turco, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, Gillian Lynne Theatre

Best female actor in a musical
Lucy St Louis, The Phantom of the Opera, Her Majesty’s Theatre

Best supporting male actor in a musical
Caleb Roberts, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, Gillian Lynne Theatre

Best supporting female actor in a musical
Natasha May-Thomas, Carousel, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Best musical production
West End Musical Celebration, Palace Theatre

Creative awards

Best director for a play or musical
Miranda Cromwell, and breathe…, Almeida Theatre

Best musical director
Femi Temowo, and breathe…, Almeida Theatre

Best producer
Chris Steward and Shanay Holmes, West End Musical Celebration at Palace Theatre

Best choreographer
Ingrid Mackinnon, Romeo and Juliet, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Best dance performance in a dance production
Joseph Sissens, The Statement, Royal Ballet

Best dance production
‘And Still We Dance!’, Afro Dance Xplosion

Best use of innovation and technology
Ryan Carter, The Secret Society of Leading Ladies, Barn Theatre

Recognition awards for a body of work

Light and sound
Tony Gayle

Costume design
Jodie-Simone Howe

Book and lyrics
Benedict Lombe

Musical director
Ian Oakley

Casting director
Chandra Ruegg

Achievements awards

LGBTQ+ champion
Jay Perry

Best teacher of performing arts as a subject
Ashley Campbell, British Theatre Academy

Best recent graduate
Natasha May-Thomas, Urdang Academy

Lifetime achievement
Derek Griffiths MBE

More about the British Black Theatre Awards

The BBTAs highlight excellence and leadership within the UK theatre sector through the acknowledgement and celebration of established and emerging diverse talent. An important part of the awards is to champion the legacy of Black theatre pioneers and their visionary contributions. The BBTAs support and inspire young Black talent through award recognition and a year round outreach programme, creating an impact by facilitating pathways from the educational system into the arts and empowering diverse talent to create and tell their stories. The purpose of the movement is for Black talent to be recognised and represented throughout the UK theatre sector.

Over the past year, with many shows being streamed and/or performed live, there has been a plethora of innovative and ground-breaking theatre. The BBTAs will highlight the exceptional Black artists and creatives on and off stage during this time of national cultural recovery. The presence of Black talent in all aspects of theatre is more important than ever to ensure that the return to theatre is dynamic and diverse than ever. This year’s nominees demonstrate the abundance of talent and showcase excellence across UK theatre, as well as the broader arts and cultural landscape.

blackbritishtheatreawards.com


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