Sonia Friedman, Almeida Theatre and NT Future win at The Stage Awards 2016
The Stage Awards highlight the achievements by London, regional and fringe theatres as well as international successes. The awards were announced on 29 January 2016 in a ceremony at the Theatre, Royal Drury Lane.
Sonia Friedman won Producer of the Year for a second year running, with the Almedia Theatre picking up London Theatre of the Year and Royal Exchange, Manchester winning Regional Theatre of the Year.
Friedman produced 19 productions in 2015, with hits including Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Bend it Like Beckham, Sunny Afternoon, Farinelli and the King starring Mark Rylance and King Charles III in the West End, on Broadway and on tour.
Roger Miller won the unsung hero award for his 35 years of tireless support of Felixstowe Spa Pavilion Theatre and his determination to save the theatre following a decision to demolish the building. Gary Wright who nominated Miller said ““It would be a very moving occasion for us all if we could persuade The Stage to recognise this most dedicated and modest of men who has almost singlehandedly saved a theatre.”
The Stage’s print editor Alistair Smith said: “The Stage Awards are the only awards that recognise theatre at all scales and in all places, not just in the UK but across the world. Our winners come from London, Manchester, Cardiff and Felixstowe, but also China.”
He continued: “They range in scale from one of the world’s most high-profile commercial producers – Sonia Friedman – to Roger Miller, a devoted stage manager who helped save his local theatre; from the National Theatre, the UK’s foremost publicly funded theatre, to Wales’ first, tiny, pub theatre, which seats only 44 people and receives no funding.
Smith said the quality of work over the past year had made it “really tricky” for the judges.
The Stage Awards 2016 winners in full
London Theatre of the Year
Winner: Almeida Theatre
Also shortlisted: Barbican; Shakespeare’s Globe
Fringe Theatre of the Year
Winner: The Other Room, Cardiff
Also shortlisted: Camden People’s Theatre, London; Orange Tree Theatre, London
Regional Theatre of the Year
Winner: Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
Also shortlisted: Chichester Festival Theatre; Royal and Derngate, Northampton
Producer of the Year
Winner: Sonia Friedman
Also shortlisted: Edinburgh International Festival; Rachel Edwards
Winner: War Horse China
Also shortlisted: Good Chance Theatre, Calais; Greenwich and Docklands International Festival
School of the Year
Winner: Arts Educational School, London
Also shortlisted: Belgrade Theatre, Coventry; University of Warwick School of Theatre
Theatre Building of the Year
Winner: NT Future, London
Also shortlisted:King’s Cross Theatre, London; Wilton’s Music Hall, London
Winner: Roger Miller