Rejected Gray Wins TMA's Best New PlayDate: 12 November 1999
The Late Middle Classes - Simon Gray's latest play which was famously beaten to a West End slot earlier this year by the short-lived musical Boyband, provoking a vitriolic attack on commercial theatre by director Harold Pinter - has scooped the award for Best New Play in the 1999 Barclays Theatre Awards, announced this week. The awards, presented by the Theatrical Management Association (TMA), are the only UK-wide awards for excellence in theatre beyond London's West End.
The winners of this year's awards highlight the high calibre of work seen across the country during the course of the judging year (1 September 1998 to 31 August 1999). The Dispute, a co-production with the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith and the Royal Shakespeare Company, won two awards: Best Touring Production and Best Actress Award for Hayley Carmichael. The Young Vic also won two awards: it's touring production Arabian Nights won the Best Show for Children and Young People and Paul Rhys won Best Actor for his title role performance in Hamlet, a co-production with the Theatre Royal, Plymouth.
Sir Ian McKellen won Best Supporting Actor for The Seagull at the West Yorkshire Playhouse while Josette Bushell-Mingo, currently starring in the West End's The Lion King, won Best Supporting Actress for the Manchester Royal Exchange's production of Peer Gynt. The Royal Exchange also received the Theatre of the Year Award.
Other award winners were as follows:
Best Director: Edward Hall for Twelfth Night at the Watermill, West Berkshire Playhouse
Best Designer: Es Devlin for the Bush Theatre's Howie the Rookie
Best Musical: Birmingham Repertory and Tamasha Theatre Company's Fourteen Songs, Two Weddings and a Funeral, adapted by Sudha Bhuchar and Kristine Landon-Smith, music arranged by Barrie Bignold, English lyrics by Shaun McCarthy at the Birmingham Repertory
Most Welcoming Theatre: Derby Playhouse
Outstanding Achievement in Opera: Scottish Opera, especially for its outstanding productions of Der Rosenkavalier and Macbeth
Outstanding Achievement in Dance: Lez Brotherston for designing Northern Ballet's new production of Carmen and the productions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Giselle, Dracula and A Christmas Carol
Special Achievement in Regional Theatre: Northern Stage