Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards

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Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards
Awarded for Excellence in British theatre
Country United Kingdom
Presented by The Manchester Evening News
First awarded 1981

The Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards, commonly referred to as the MEN or M.E.N. Awards, recognise excellence in live British theatre. They are administered by The Manchester Evening News, and are presented at an annual ceremony in Manchester, England. The awards are for regional and West End productions, with the majority presented for the high-profile commercial productions seen in the large theatres of Manchester, commonly known as "Theatreland".

History and significance[edit]

The awards were established in 1981, with the first ceremony held in a conference room of the former MEN building on Deansgate.[1] The ceremony is now held at the Crowne Plaza Midland Hotel.[2][3][4]

Since 1988, the award ceremony has been broadcast on UK national television and includes songs from the nominated musicals, as well as video clips of, or presentations about, nominated plays. Audience size for the telecast is generally well below that of other awards shows, but the programme reaches an affluent audience.[citation needed] Presenters have included Sally Lindsay, Denise Welch, Jane McDonald, Julian Clary, Jenny Eclair and John Thomson.[1][3][5][6][7]

The awards have gained in prestige over the last several years, thanks to high profile recipients such as Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Cameron Mackintosh, who was awarded a special lifetime achievement award in 2000.[8] The MEN award is generally regarded as the theatre's equivalent of the British Academy Film Awards, awarded for excellence in film.[citation needed]

The awards are billed as the 'Oliviers of the North'.[5]

In summer 2011, Manchester Evening News ended its association with the awards and disbanded the panel, blaming the "challenging economic climate".[9] The 2010 awards had already dropped the ceremony to reduce costs, instead announcing the winners in a special supplement to the daily newspaper.

A group of former panel members announced in October 2011 that they were to continue the awards as an independent body under the name Manchester Theatre Awards.[9]

Judging[edit]

The awards are judged by a diverse panel of judges from various areas of the entertainment industry and press, including the Manchester Evening News' own team of reviewers, the BBC, The Stage, Granada Television, the University of Manchester and casting agencies.[7][10]

Trophy[edit]

The MEN Award trophy consists of the Greek Comedy and Tragedy masks, a mix of bronze and brass, with a nickel plating on the outside; a black acrylic glass base, and the nickel-plated pewter swivel.[citation needed]

Categories[edit]

The awards are presented across a range of categories covering plays, musicals, dance, opera and affiliate theatre. The awards for Best Actor In A British Soap, Best Actress In A British Soap and Performance Of The Year were voted for by readers of the Manchester Evening News.[6][11]

Named awards include:

  • Biza Award - an award designed to encourage new and up and coming talent with financial support. Prior to 2008 this award was named the Alpha Award after its then-sponsor, Alpha Airport Shopping.[2][3]
  • Horniman Award - awarded to people or institutions who have made a unique contribution to the repertory theatre movement. It is named after theatre manager and patron Annie Horniman, who established the first ever repertory theatre company in the United Kingdom at the Gaiety Theatre in Manchester.[2]

Winners[edit]

2008[edit]

  • Best Actress In A Leading Role: Maxine Peake
  • Best Actor In A Leading Role: David Fielder
  • Best Actress In A Supporting Role: Denise Black
  • Best Actor In A Supporting Role: Paul Simpson
  • Best Actress In A Visiting Production: Michelle Terry
  • Best Actor In A Visiting Production: Andrew Buchan
  • Best Performance In A Fringe Production: Ruth Evans
  • Best Performance in a Studio Production: William Ash
  • Best Production: Waiting for Godot
  • Best Studio Production: Doctor Korczak's Example
  • Best Visiting Production: Black Watch
  • Best International Production: Chinese Acrobatic Swan Lake
  • Best Musical: West Side Story
  • Best Opera: Macbeth
  • Best Dance: Don Quixote
  • Best Family Show: James And The Giant Peach
  • Best New Play: A Dog Called Redemption
  • Best Design: Oh What a Lovely War
  • Special Entertainment Award: Afrika! Afrika!
  • Biza Award: The Company Music Theatre
  • Horniman Award: The Green Room

2007[edit]

  • Best Actress In A Leading Role: Phillipa Peake
  • Best Actor In A Leading Role: Elliot Cowan
  • Best Actor In A Supporting Role: Eamonn Owens
  • Best Actor In A Visiting Production: Cory English
  • Best Production: Someone Who'll Watch Over Me
  • Best International Production: Monkey: Journey To The West
  • Best Musical: The Producers
  • Best Opera: Roberto Devereux'
  • Best Dance: The Three Musketeers
  • Best Family Show: James And The Giant Peach
  • Best New Play: And Did Those Feet
  • Best Design: Henry V
  • Special Entertainment Award: The Pianist
  • Alpha Award: Studio Salford
  • Horniman Award: Caroline Clegg

2006[edit]

  • Best Actress In A Leading Role: Raquel Cassidy
  • Best Actor In A Leading Role: Ben Keaton
  • Best Actress In A Supporting Role: Janet Henfrey
  • Best Actor In A Supporting Role: Wyllie Longmore
  • Best Actress In A Visiting Production: Cathy Tyson
  • Best Actor In A Visiting Production: Ian McKellen
  • Best Performance In A Fringe Production: Sue Jaynes, Caroline Harding, Candida Gubbins and Kath Burlinson
  • Best Performance In A Studio Production: Cast of The Flags
  • Best Fringe Production: The Judgement Of Mr. Jenkins
  • Best Studio Production: The Flags
  • Best Visiting Production: The Cut
  • Best International Production: Slava's Snowshow
  • Best Musical: Miss Saigon
  • Best Opera: La Traviata
  • Best Dance: Edward Scissorhands
  • Best Comedy: Alan B'Stard
  • Best Family Show: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • Best Design: The Flags
  • Best Newcomer: Sian Haslock
  • Best Production: Blonde Bombshells Of 1943

2005[edit]

  • Best Actress In A Leading Role: Siobhan Finneran
  • Best Actor in A Leading Role: Rolf Saxon
  • Best Actress In A Supporting Role: Eileen O'Brien
  • Best Actor In A Supporting Role: David Fleeshman
  • Best Actress In A Visiting Production: Seroca Davis
  • Best Actor In A Visiting Production: Ben Chaplin
  • Best Performance In A Fringe Production: Jenni Howarth-Williams
  • Best Performance In A Studio Production: Alexander Campbell
  • Best Newcomer: Oliver Lee
  • Best Production: The Beauty Queen
  • Best Studio Production: Iron
  • Best Fringe Production: Moving Pictures
  • Best Visiting Production: This Is How It Goes
  • Best International Production: Saltimbanco
  • Best Musical: My Fair Lady
  • Best Opera: La Cenerentola
  • Best Dance: CandoCo
  • Best Comedy: Little Britain Live
  • Best New Play: On the Shore of the Wide World
  • Best Design: Beautiful Thing
  • Best Special Entertainment: Macbeth
  • Horniman Award: Ian Smith and Neil Smith

2004[edit]

  • Best Actress In A Leading Role: Denise Welch
  • Best Actor In A Leading Role: O-T Fagbenle
  • Best Actress In A Supporting Role: Barbara Marten
  • Best Actor In A Supporting Role: Leigh Symonds
  • Best Performance In A Fringe Production: "Johnathon Pram", aka Ben Faulks
  • Best Performance In A Studio Production:
  • Best Performance In A Visiting Production: Ian McDiarmid
  • Best Newcomer: Andrew Garfield
  • Best Production: A Conversation
  • Best Fringe Production: Coyote on a Fence
  • Best Visiting Production: Henry IV
  • Best Musical: Taboo
  • Best Opera: The Dwarf and Il Tabarro
  • Best Dance: Play Without Words
  • Best Comedy: Bill Bailey
  • Best Design: Perfect
  • Best Special Entertainment: A Strange (And Unexpected) Event
  • Alpha Award: 24:7 Theatre Festival
  • Best Actress In A British Soap: Kate Ford
  • Best Actor In A British Soap: Simon Gregson
  • Performance Of The Year: Brian Conley

2003[edit]

  • Best Actress In A Leading Role: Emma Lowndes
  • Best Actor In A Leading Role: Paul Webster
  • Best Actress In A Supporting Role: Kerry Pears
  • Best Actor In A Supporting Role: Russell Dixon
  • Best Actress In A Visiting Production: Karen Drury
  • Best Actor In A Visiting Production: George Costigan and Matthew Kelly
  • Best Performance In A Fringe Production: Segun
  • Best Performance In A Studio Production:
  • Best Newcomer: Viktoria Kay
  • Best Production: Translations
  • Best Fringe Production: Shoot the Crow
  • Best Visiting Production: 1984
  • Best International Production:
  • Best Musical: Chicago
  • Best Opera: Maria Padilla
  • Best Dance: Triple Bill
  • Best Comedy: Peter Kay
  • Best New Play: You Hang Up First
  • Best Design: Bro-9
  • Best Special Entertainment: Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes

2002[edit]

  • Best Actress In A Leading Role: Zoe Henry
  • Best Actor In A Leading Role: Ben Keaton
  • Best Actress In A Supporting Role: Rachel Pickup
  • Best Actor In A Supporting Role: Stephen Scott
  • Best Actress In A Visiting Production: Diana Quick
  • Best Actor In A Visiting Production: Timothy West
  • Best Performance In A Fringe Production: Oliver Dimsdale
  • Best Performance In A Studio Production:
  • Best Newcomer: Naomi Frederick
  • Best Production: The Memory Of Water
  • Best Fringe Production: The Irish Giant
  • Best Visiting Production: To Kill A Mockingbird
  • Best Musical: Beauty and the Beast
  • Best Opera: Tamerlano
  • Best Dance: Dance Theater of Harlem
  • Best Comedy: Ross Noble
  • Best New Play: 52 Degrees South
  • Best Design: Kenny Miller and Phil Davies for Ten Rillington Place
  • Best Special Entertainment: Disney On Ice presents Beauty And The Beast
  • Horniman Award: The Library Theatre
  • Best Actress In A British Soap: Sue Nicholls
  • Best Actor In A British Soap: Brian Capron
  • Performance Of The Year: Pete Postlethwaite

2001[edit]

  • Best Actress In A Leading Role: Helen Schlesinger
  • Best Actor In A Leading Role: Adam Sims
  • Best Actress In A Supporting Role: Mary Cunningham
  • Best Actor In A Supporting Role: Warren Katz
  • Best Actress In A Visiting Production: Maureen Beattie
  • Best Actor In A Visiting Production: Cast of Art
  • Best Performance In A Fringe Production: Noma Dumuzweni
  • Best Newcomer: Peter England
  • Best Production: Snake in Fridge
  • Best Fringe Production: Tiny Dynamite
  • Best Visiting Production: Lord of the Flies
  • Best Musical: Saturday Night Fever
  • Best Opera: Falstaff
  • Best Dance: The Nutcracker
  • Best Comedy: Dave Gorman
  • Best New Play: Snake in Fridge
  • Best Design Team: Steve Brown, Johanna Bryant, and Jason Taylor
  • Best Special Entertainment: Cirque Du Soleil
  • Best Actress In A British Soap: Georgia Taylor
  • Best Actor In A British Soap: Steven Pinder
  • Performance Of The Year: Amanda Donohoe

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Thomason, Carmel (6 December 2006). "Silver service for M.E.N. Theatre Awards". City Life. Retrieved 2009-06-30. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c Bourke, Kevin (6 December 2007). "M.E.N. Theatre Awards: The winners". City Life. Retrieved 2009-07-11. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c "Bravo! M.E.N. Award winners revealed". City Life. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-11. [dead link]
  4. ^ Bourke, Kevin (5 December 2006). "M.E.N. Theatre Awards: Our guide to the winners". City Life. Retrieved 2009-07-11. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b Ansdell, Caroline (7 December 2005). "Winners Announced for Manchester's 2005 Awards". What's On Stage. Retrieved 2009-07-11. 
  6. ^ a b "M.E.N. Theatre Awards: Our guide to the winners". City Life. 7 December 2004. Retrieved 2009-07-11. [dead link]
  7. ^ a b "Fanfare for the winners". City Life. 4 December 2001. Retrieved 2009-07-11. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Musicals master is honoured". Manchester Evening News. 12 December 2000. Retrieved 2009-07-11. 
  9. ^ a b "Manchester Theatre Awards End". British Theatre Guide. 
  10. ^ Bourke, Kevin (12 November 2004). "M.E.N. Theatre Awards 2004: The Judges". City Life. Retrieved 2009-07-11. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Winners of the M.E.N Theatre Awards 2002". City Life. 3 December 2002. Retrieved 2009-07-11. [dead link]