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South Bank Sky Arts Awards winners revealed

Sheffield Crucible triumphed in the theatre category

Standing at the Sky's Edge
© Johan Persson

The winners of this year's South Bank Sky Arts awards have been revealed.

Sheffield Crucible rounded out a bumper year (the venue took home the Best New Play Award for Life of Pi at the WhatsOnStage Awards in March) by picking up the best Theatre prize for Standing at the Sky's Edge. The piece is set to return to the venue when the pandemic's impact abates. The musical has a book by Chris Bush with music by Richard Hawley.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge's series Fleabag won the Comedy category, with the TV show based on the award-winning stage play of the same name.

Ian McKellen took to the stage to accept the Outstanding Achievement Award, saying: "I am very happy and honoured to be in the company of the nominees for this tricky year's South Bank Sky Arts awards…The closure of theatres in response to an outside threat to the country, is not unprecedented. When another plague reached London 450 years ago, the theatres were closed and Shakespeare's company was out of work.

"No furlough. His response to one lockdown was to write Macbeth, Antony & Cleopatra and King Lear. I hope during our lockdowns that playwrights have been busy writing plays. More, I hope others have been planning and imagining future productions."

The Royal Opera won the Opera trophy for Katya Kabanova, while Northern Ballet accepted the Dance award for their production of Victoria.

The awards will be free for everyone to watch on Sky Arts, Freeview channel 11, at 8pm on Sunday 20 December.