The winners of the annual South Bank Sky Arts Awards have been announced.
Celebrating its 27th year, the awards celebrate achievement in all areas of the arts.
The winners were revealed at a ceremony today, 2 July 2023, at The Savoy Hotel in London, hosted by Melvyn Bragg.
Winner of the Theatre category was Prima Facie by Suzie Miller, which was a West End hit at the Harold Pinter Theatre, and now on Broadway, with both productions starring Jodie Comer. Comer recently won a Tony Award for her Broadway performance. Shows to miss out on the theatre award were Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky, which ran at the National Theatre; and Rebecca Frecknall’s acclaimed revival of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire at the Almeida Theatre, and then the West End’s Phoenix Theatre, starring Paul Mescal, Anjana Vasan, and Patsy Ferran – who is about to play Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion at The Old Vic.
The outstanding achievement award went to novelist Salman Rushdie.
Performances during the ceremony at the Savoy included saxophonist Jess Gillam, singer-songwriter Self Esteem, Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen, and singer-songwriter Enny.
Host Melvyn Bragg said in a statement: “As demonstrated by our winners and performers at this year’s South Bank Sky Arts Awards, British artists are continuing to excel themselves in every genre. The indomitable spirit of the arts in Britain goes from strength to strength – an example for all other industries.”
Director of Sky Arts, Phil Edgar-Jones said: “The winners of this year’s South Bank Sky Arts Awards really do demonstrate the resurgence of the Arts in the UK post pandemic – congratulations to them all. And we are so thrilled that Salman Rushdie has accepted the Outstanding Achievement award that recognises his incredible body of work and exceptional bravery.”
Sir Salman Rushdie said: “This is a high honour indeed, and I’m delighted to be receiving it in the company of so many extraordinary figures in so many different arts, all being recognized for exceptional work. Artists, of all sorts, make up a community I’m proud to belong to, and it’s good to be celebrating that community together.”
Nominations were announced in mid June for the awards, and the awards ceremony will air on Sky Arts on Wednesday 5 July 2023 at 10pm.
South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2023 – Winners
Hive; Sally Beamish - BBC National Orchestra of Wales with Catrin Finch (harp), BBC Proms
The Oracle – Manchester Collective & Abel Selaocoe
Gavin Higgins’ Concerto Grosso for Brass Band and Orchestra – The Tredegar Band with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Proms – WINNER
Big Boys – Roughcut Television/Channel 4 – WINNER
Derry Girls – Hat Trick Productions/Channel 4
Jordan Gray, Is It A Bird?
Light of Passage – The Royal Ballet – WINNER
Say It Loud – Ballet Black
Coppélia – Scottish Ballet
Ali & Ava
Aftersun – WINNER
The New Life – Tom Crewe – WINNER
My Name is Yip – Paddy Crewe
The Exhibitionist – Charlotte Mendelson
Violet – Britten Pears Arts and Music Theatre Wales for the Aldeburgh Festival
The Rhinegold – English National Opera – WINNER
The Makropulos Affair – Welsh National Opera
RAYE – My 21st Century Blues – WINNER
Kojey Radical – Reason To Smile
Arctic Monkeys – The Car
Prima Facie – Harold Pinter Theatre – WINNER
Blues for an Alabama Sky – National Theatre
A Streetcar Named Desire – Almeida Theatre
The English – Drama Republic Limited & Eight Rooks for Amazon & BBC
Happy Valley – Lookout Point/BBC One – WINNER
Sherwood – House Productions/BBC One
Hew Locke: The Procession – Tate Britain
Mohammed Sami: The Point 0 – Camden Art Centre
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Fly In League With The Night – Tate Britain – WINNER
THE TIMES BREAKTHROUGH AWARD
Comedy - Leo Reich
TV Drama - Leo Woodall
Literature - Louise Kennedy
Opera - Freddie De Tommaso
Classical - Sophie Kauer
Visual Art - Rana Begum
Dance - Musa Motha – WINNER
Theatre - Rosie Sheehy
Film - Raine Allen-Miller
Pop – Jockstrap
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Author Salman Rushdie