Imelda Staunton in Gypsy
Imelda Staunton won Best Performance in a Musical for her role in Gypsy
© Johan Persson

The 2015 UK Theatre Awards commenced today with winners including Matthew Bourne, Imelda Staunton and Eileen Atkins.

The awards were presented at a ceremony at London's Guildhall, compèred by musical theatre star Michael Xavier. Xavier was also joined by guest presenters including Patrick Stewart, Barbara Windsor, Richard Wilson, Anne Reid and Lee Mead.

Highlights of the awards included Imelda Staunton winning Best Performance in a Musical for her performance as Mamma Rose in Gypsy, which also won for Best Musical Production. Best New Play went to Iphigenia in Splott by Gary Owen, a Sherman Cymru production, which will open in the National Theatre's Temporary Theatre in January.

The award for Best Performance in a Play was shared by Polly Lister for Abigail's Party, a Theatre by the Lake production, and Joel MacCormack for Each His Own Wilderness, an Orange Tree Theatre production. The award for Best Supporting Performance was given to Justine Mitchell for For Services Rendered, a Chichester Festival Theatre production.

Newcastle Theatre Royal picked up the My Theatre Matters! UK's Most Welcoming Theatre Award 2015 with Smooth Radio, the only award voted for by the public.

In the awards for off-stage excellence, Rambert won the Achievement in Marketing award for its work in attracting new audiences to contemporary dance, which has led to record breaking attendances in 2014/15. The Renee Stepham Award for Best Presentation of Touring Theatre went to Royal & Derngate for their tours of six high profile productions, Made in Northampton.

The award for Promotion of Diversity was shared by Curve Theatre for its diversity action plan and strategy targeted at the age-profile and multiculturalism of the city and Watford Palace Theatre for its initiatives to ensure it offers and develops services for the widest range of the population.

As previously announced, Matthew Bourne received The Stage Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre and Eileen Atkins was awarded the Gielgud Award for Excellence in the Dramatic Arts.

The event also included the inaugural Clothworkers' Award, which saw York Theatre Royal awarded £150,000 as part of the Foundation's new five year £1.25 million Dramatic Arts initiative.

Rachel Tackley, president of UK Theatre, commented: "The winners of this year's awards clearly demonstrate the creative strength and vibrancy of theatre across the whole of the United Kingdom. Theatres are an integral part of our local communities and these awards not only celebrate performers and theatremakers but also the venues and the teams that run them."

Full list of Awards

Best New Play
Iphigenia in Splott by Gary Owen, a Sherman Cymru production

Best Performance in a Play
Joel MacCormack for Each His Own Wilderness, an Orange Tree Theatre production
Polly Lister for Abigail's Party, a Theatre by the Lake production

Best Supporting Performance
Justine Mitchell for For Services Rendered, a Chichester Festival Theatre production

Best Musical Production
Gypsy directed by Jonathan Kent, a Chichester Festival Theatre production

Best Performance in a Musical
Imelda Staunton for Gyspy, a Chichester Festival Theatre production

Best Show for Children and Young People
Running Wild, a Chichester Festival Youth Theatre production

Best Director
Ned Bennett for Pomona, an Orange Tree Theatre production and for YEN a Royal Exchange Theatre production

Best Design
Dick Bird, Timothy Bird and Paul Keogan for The Hudsucker Proxy, a Nuffield Theatre, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse in association with Complicite production

Best Touring Production
Twelfth Night, an English Touring Theatre and Sheffield Theatres production

Achievement in Dance
Candoco Dance Company for a terrifically entertaining revival of Jérôme Bel's postmodern classic The Show Must Go On

Achievement in Opera
Glyndebourne for an outstandingly well planned and performed season

The Renee Stepham Award for Best Presentation of Touring Theatre
Royal & Derngate for their tours of six high profile productions Made in Northampton

Achievement in Marketing
Rambert for its work in attracting new audiences to contemporary dance, which has led to record breaking attendances in 2014/15

UK Theatre Insurance Award for Theatre Employee or Manager of the Year
Gaby Paradis, West Yorkshire Playhouse
Dorothy Wilson, mac birmingham

Promotion of Diversity
Curve Theatre for its diversity action plan and strategy targeted at the age-profile and multiculturalism of the city
Watford Palace Theatre for its initiatives to ensure it offers and develops services for the widest range of the population

My Theatre Matters! UK's Most Welcoming Theatre in association with Smooth Radio
Newcastle Theatre Royal

The Stage Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre
Matthew Bourne

Clothworkers' Theatre Award
York Theatre Royal

The Gielgud Award for Excellence in the Dramatic Arts
Dame Eileen Atkins