Ian McDiarmid won his second consecutive TMA Theatre Award last night. At last night’s ceremony, held at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre, the actor took home the trophy for Best Performance in a Play for his title role in Edward Bond’s Lear, directed by his former Almeida joint artistic director Jonathan Kent at Sheffield Crucible.

In total, the Crucible triumphed in three of the TMA’s 12 shortlisted awards categories. Jimmy Akingbola won Best Supporting Performance in a Play for Blue/Orange and Michael Grandage was named Best Director for Don Carlos, which starred Derek Jacobi and Richard Coyle and subsequently transferred to the West End. The awards haul is ringing endorsement for Grandage, who, after five years in charge, handed over the Sheffield reins to actor-director Samuel West this past June (See News, 22 Oct 2004).

This year’s awards have been slightly rejigged with no more gender splits in the performance categories. Other major awards went to: Anna-Jane Casey (Best Performance in a Musical for Mack and Mabel), Tracie Bennett (Best Supporting Performance in a Musical for Sex, Chips and Rock ‘n’ Roll and David Greig (Best New Play for Pyrenees). Chichester Festival’s revival of Frank Loesser’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying won Best Musical.

In considering this year's 12 shortlisted awards categories, more than 1,000 productions were seen by the panel of some 150 regular theatregoers from across the country. The 2005 judging year ran from 1 September 2004 to 31 August 2005.

The Theatrical Management Association is a trade association that represents over 300 member organisations involved in the creation, presentation and management of professional theatre, opera and dance in the UK. Its annual awards were established in 1990. The TMA Awards were formerly known as the Barclays Awards, in honour of the high street banking group whose lead sponsorship ended three years ago. This year, a separate awards event, the TMA Management Awards, highlighting best practice in venue programming, marketing and customer services, has also been initiated, with another ceremony taking place in London on 17 November 2005.

- by Terri Paddock


The full list of 2005 TMA Awards nominations is as follows. Winners are denoted in bold:

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A PLAY - Josette Bushell-Mingo for the Royal Exchange Theatre Company’s ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA; Tony Cownie for A MADMAN SINGS TO THE MOON at the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh; and Ian McDiarmid for LEAR at the Sheffield Crucible.

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE IN A PLAY - Jimmy Akingbola for BLUE/ORANGE at the Sheffield Crucible; Steven McNicoll for LOOK BACK IN ANGER at Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh; and Tamzin Outhwaite for BREATHING CORPSES at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs.

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL - Anna-Jane Casey for MACK AND MABEL at the Watermill, Newbury; Joe McFadden for HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING at Chichester Festival Theatre; and Annette McLaughlin for HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING at Chichester Festival Theatre.

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL - Tracie Bennett for SEX, CHIPS & ROCK ‘N’ ROLL at the Manchester Royal Exchange; James Bolam for HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING at the Chichester Festival Theatre; and Beverly Klein for HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING at the Chichester Festival Theatre.

BEST DIRECTOR - Michael Grandage for DON CARLOS at the Sheffield Crucible; Edward Hall for THE WINTER’S TALE at the Watermill, Newbury and on tour; and Jonathan Kent for LEAR at the Sheffield Crucible.

BEST TOURING PRODUCTION - Cirque Éloize’s RAIN; THE BACCHAE, Kneehigh Theatre with West Yorkshire Playhouse, Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, Bristol Old Vic and Hall for Cornwall; and Oxford Stage Company’s HOME.

BEST MUSICAL - HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING at the Chichester Festival Theatre; MACK AND MABEL at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury; and SEX, CHIPS & ROCK ‘N’ ROLL by Debbie Horsfield and Hereward Kaye at the Manchester Royal Exchange.

BEST NEW PLAY - BASHMENT by Rikki Beadle–Blair at Theatre Royal, Stratford East; PYRENEES by David Greig, Tron Theatre Company and Paines Plough in association with Watford Palace; and Out of Joint and Royal Court’s TALKING TO TERRORISTS by Robin Soans on tour.

BEST DESIGN - DAVID COPPERFIELD, set design by Simon Higlett at West Yorkshire Playhouse; FAUSTUS, set design by Laura Hopkins at Northampton Theatre Royal; and INSIGNIFICANCE, set design by Tom Piper at Sheffield Lyceum.

EQUITY AWARD FOR BEST SHOW FOR CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE - ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND at Bristol Old Vic; LITTLE SWEET THING by Roy Williams on tour; and THE LION THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA - GIULIO CESARE at Glyndebourne; Scottish Opera for a courageous season; and the partnership of Vladimir Jurowski and Richard Jones for Welsh National Opera’s WOZZECK.

ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE - Birmingham Royal Ballet for a stimulating range of programming throughout the year, particularly on its split tours; Mark Baldwin for the creation of CONSTANT SPEED and the high calibre of his artistic directorship of Rambert Dance Company; and Matthew Bourne for his touring work and the impact it has had on public expectations of dance nationwide.

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN REGIONAL THEATRE - Cameron Mackintosh Foundation.