Amongst the other big-name TMA winners are: Royal Shakespeare Company artistic director Michael Boyd won Best Director for the eight-play cycle of The Histories, which subsequently transferred to London’s Roundhouse; playwright Lee Hall, whose The Pitmen Painters, which returns to the National for a second run in January, was named Best New Play; Brian Conley, who took Best Performance in a Musical for The Music Man at Chichester Festival Theatre; and producer-director Bill Kenwright who was recognised in the non-shortlisted category of Special Achievement for Individual Achievement.
In another non-shortlisted category, Special Achievement in Regional Theatre, the Latitude Festival was praised by principal sponsor, The Stage newspaper, for “its ability to attract a broad range of age groups - in rather impressive numbers - to come and see performances ranging from hard-hitting plays, to dancing on a lake, to an RSC zombie thriller”.
Other key wins went to: Once Upon a Time at the Adelphi, which won Outstanding Musical Production; and the National Theatre of Scotland’s, which added Best Touring Production to its clutch of accolades for Gregory Burke’s Black Watch, seen in London earlier this year at the Barbican.
Presented by the Theatrical Management Association, the TMA Awards, unlike most of the UK\'s prizes for theatre, do not focus on London and the West End. They are the only nationwide awards for excellence in regional theatre. In considering the 13 awards categories – the new one, for lighting design, was added this year, supported by the Association of Lighting Designers - more than 1,000 productions were seen by the panel of some 150 regular theatregoers from across the country.
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 four years ago. A separate set of awards, the TMA Management Awards, highlighting best practice in venue programming, marketing and customer services, were initiated in 2005.
- by Terri Paddock
The full list of 2008 TMA Theatre Awards nominations – with winners denoted in bold - are as follows: