Theatre News

Winners of the Tonic Awards for women in theatre announced

The inaugural awards celebrate the achievements of game-changing women

Rosemary Squire, Indhu Rubasingham and Emma Rise
Rosemary Squire, Indhu Rubasingham and Emma Rice
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

The winners of the inaugural Tonic Awards have been announced at a ceremony in London.

Hosted by Jenni Murray, the awards celebrate the work of game-changing women in theatre. Set up by Tonic Theatre, there are nine awards, seven of which this year have been given to individuals, and two have been given to groups of people.

Rosemary Squire, co-founder of ATG, Emma Rice, artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe, Indhu Rubasingham, artistic director of the Tricycle, Dawn Walton, artistic director of Eclipse Theatre, Jenny Sealey, artistic director of Graeae Theatre Company, theatremaker and director Anna Newell and Paule Constable, lighting designer, all received awards for their work in their areas of the theatre industry.

A further two awards were given to groups: Phyllida Lloyd, Harriet Walter and Kate Pakenham for the all-female Shakespeare Trilogy and Vicky Featherstone, the National Theatre of Scotland and Live Theatre for Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour.

The awards were presented by other inspiring industry professionals including Sonia Friedman, Tanika Gupta, Adrian Lester, Karena Johnson and Tonic founder Lucy Kerbel.

The awards were staged at The May Fair Hotel and were attended by senior figures from across the UK theatre industry including Jessica Swale, Lisa Burger, Daniel Evans and Fiona Thomas.

Kerbel said: "I am thrilled that our inaugural Tonic Awards have so warmly embraced by the industry. There is clearly a great desire for the contributions women are making to theatre to be recognised more widely and for them to be rightly celebrated for their achievements. I'm delighted that the Tonic Awards can form just part of this."

Sita McIntosh, chair of Tonic's board of trustees, said: "Tonight was the culmination of months of planning and I am delighted by the positive response and feedback that we have had from awardees, presenters, guests and the industry in general. The overall sentiment has been that recognition of these (and many other women in UK theatre) is long overdue. I look forward to the 2018 Awards to continue championing gender equality on and off stage."

Read our interview with Lucy Kerbel on the Tonic Awards and her book, All Change Please