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Union & Finborough Win Three at Inaugural 'Offies'

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The first Off West End Theatre Awards or "Offies" were presented this afternoon (27 February 2011) during a ceremony at Wilton's Music Hall hosted by Simon Callow.

The Finborough Theatre added another three prizes to its successful awards season, Neil McPherson walking away with the gong for Best Artistic Director/Programmer, adding to the Peter Brook Empty Space Award and Stage 100 Fringe Theatre of the Year the venue has earned this year for its 30th anniversary season.

Thom Southerland was recognised as Best Director at the helm of rarely-staged Rogers and Hammerstein musical Me and Juliet which played the Finbrough in October last year, whilst Howard Hudson shared his Best Lighting Award for the production with Tomorrow Morning at the Landor.

The Best Production category was won by the Union Theatre's revival of Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, Steve Miller also winning Best Sound Design for the musical, celebrating the composer's 80th birthday. A second musical revival, Bells Are Ringing took the Southwark venue's tally to three, with Alistair David awarded the Best Choreographer prize.

In the performance categories the winners came from subsidised houses, Danny Webb taking home the Best Male Performance prize for his part in the Lyric Hammersmith's revival of Sarah Kane's Blasted. Michelle Terry won the Best Female Performance award for her role in Nina Raine's Tribes at the Royal Court which was also named Best New Play.

Former Eastenders and Lion King actor Arinze Kene was named most promising playwright for his debut play Estate Walls which ran at the Oval House Theatre in September last year.

Launched in January 2010 by OffWestEnd.com, the Offies seek to "reward and honour excellence" and to raise the profile and status of independent theatres in London. Over 400 productions at 80 theatres were considered for the Awards by 40 assessors with a panel of theatre critics choosing the final winners.

Five public voting categories recognising Best Male and Female performances and Most Welcoming Theatre, Best Theatre Bar and Best Theatre Foodie Experience will be announced separately.

The full list of winners at the 2011 Off West End Theatre Awards:

Award for Best Female Performance

Michelle Terry in Tribes at the Royal Court

Award for Best Male Performance

Danny Webb in Blasted at the Lyric Hammersmith

Award for Best Production

Assassins at the Union Theatre

Award for Best New Musical

Porn – The Musical at Theatre503

Award for Best Choreographer

Alistair David for Bells are Ringing at the Union Theatre

Award for Best Entertainment

The Animals and Children Took to the Streets at BAC

Award for Best Producer

Lilli Geissendorfer

Award for Best Director

Thom Southerland for Me and Juliet at the Finborough Theatre

Award for Best New Play

Tribes by Nina Raine at the Royal Court

Award for Most Promising New Playwright

Arinze Kene for Estate Walls at Oval House

Award for Best Artistic Director/Programmer

Neil McPherson at the Finborough Theatre

Award for Best Lighting Design

Howard Hudson for Me and Juliet at the Finborough Theatre and Tomorrow Morning at the Landor Theatre

Award for Best Sound Design

Steve Miller for Assassins at Union Theatre

Award for Best Set Design

Ultz for The Beauty Queen of Leenane at the Young Vic

Award for Best Costume/Make-up Design

Emily Stuart for Anyone Can Whistle at Jermyn Street Theatre

Award for Best Marketing Campaign

Ghost Stories at the Lyric Hammersmith

Panel Award



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