Theatre in Wales

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Theatre Critics of Wales Awards 2014     

Theatre Critics of Wales Awards 2014

A dazzling array of artist, writers and producers working in theatre, opera and dance were recognised in the second annual Theatre Critics of Wales Awards held in Cardiff last night

Gaynor Lougher and Richard Berry, the founders of Cardiff-based Hijinx Theatre won the Special Recognition award for decades of work and commitment in developing the company that gives opportunities to able and disabled people.

Awards were given to productions, performances and writing in both English and Welsh form individuals and organisations across Wales.

Skins star Siwan Morris was named as Best Female Performance (English language) award for her powerful and humorous portrayal of an alcoholic mother in Tonypandemonium from National Theatre Wales. Written by Rhondda writer Rachel Tresize and presented at the Park and Dare Theatre, Treorchy, the play also took the People’s Prize for Best Production (English language) voted on the Media Wales website. Parallel Lines from Cardiff fringe theatre Dirty Protest won the critics’ choice in this category.

The Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru production Blodeuwedd was named Best Production (Welsh language), while the company’s site-specific piece Tir Sir Gâr, based on the modern-day problems facing the farming community, won the Welsh language People’s Prize, voted online for by readers of Golwg.

Robert Bowman was voted Best Male Performance (English language) for one-man show Diary of a Mad Man while Owen Arwyn took the Welsh language prize for Pridd. Rhian Morgan was named Best Female Performance (Welsh language) for Dyled Eileen.

The awards were created in 2013 by the Young Critics Scheme, established to support and encourage people aged 12 to 25 who review shows in Wales that are then published online.

These young critics are joined by professional theatre critics from Wales who work in both English and Welsh across the genres or theatre, opera and dance, including the Western Mail, Wales Online, Theatre in Wales, Musical Opinion, Wales Arts Review, BBC Radio Cymru and S4C, Barn and The British Theatre Guide.

Together they vote for the strongest productions, performance and writing, staged by created and presented in Wales during 2013.

Awards organiser Guy O’Donnell, who runs the initiative, said: “We have had a great response to the second Theatre Critics of Wales Awards. The awards provide a unique opportunity to celebrate the diversity of work produced in Wales over the preceding year.

“More work from a greater variety of companies in both languages was nominated this year and we look forward to seeing what the performing arts scene has in store for us all in 2014.”

The Bloody Ballad, an Edinburgh Festival Fringe hit, and Praxis Makes Perfect, a collaboration between National Theatre Wales and Neon/Neon, each won two awards. The Bloody Bottle won awards for Best Ensemble and Music and Sound. Praxis Makes Perfect won the Best Lighting and Best Director for Wils Wilson.

It was a night of celebration for Praxis Makes Perfect writer Tim Price who also won the Playwright (English language) award for another of his dramas, Salt Root and Roe staged by Clwyd Theatr Cymru.

In the opera categories, Welsh National Opera’s Lulu proved a hit, winning Best Opera Production and Best Female in an Opera for Marie Arnet in the title role. Best Male in an Opera was won by Marcus Farnsworth for his powerful performance in Music Theatre Wales’ Greek.

Ballet Cymru won the Best Large Scale Dance award for its innovative production of Romeo a Juliet, a co-production with Coreo Cymru and Newport’s Riverfront. The Small Scale Dance category was won by Earthfall for Chelsea Hotel, set in the iconic New York hotel that acted as a haven and inspiration for so many great artists, including Dylan Thomas.

In new categories for the awards Silly Kings from National Theatre Wales, based on the stories of former Python star Terry Jones, won the Production for children and young people and Ioan Hefin was named Inspirational Educator for his work in Theatr na nÓg’s You Should Ask Wallace.


Production in the English language
Parallel Lines – Dirty Protest
Audience vote: Tonypandemonium (National Theatre Wales)

Production in the Welsh language
Blodeuwedd – Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru
Audience vote: Tir Sir Gâr – Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru

Playwright (English language)
Tim Price – Salt, Root & Roe (Clwyd Theatr Cymru)

Male performance (English language)
Robert Bowman – Diary of a Madman (Living Pictures)

Female performance (English language)
Siwan Morris – Tonypandemonium (National Theatre Wales)

Wils Wilson – Praxis Makes Perfect (National Theatre Wales/Neon Neon)

Playwright (Welsh language)
Roger Williams – Tir Sir Gâr (Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru)

Male performance (Welsh language)
Owen Arwyn – Pridd (Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru)

Female performance (Welsh language)
Rhian Morgan – Dyled Eileen (Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru)

Music and sound
Dan Lawrence – The Bloody Ballad (Gagglebabble)

Natasha Chivers – Praxis Makes Perfect (National Theatre Wales/Neon Neon)

Design and costume
Rachel Canning – Sleeping Beauties (Sherman Cymru)

Digital/online content
Native HQ – Y Bont (Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru)

Inspirational educator
Ioan Hefin – You Should Ask Wallace (Theatr na nÓg)

Opera production
Lulu – Welsh National Opera

Male Performer in Opera
Marcus Farnsworth – Greek (Music Theatre Wales)

Female Performer in Opera
Marie Arnet – Lulu (Welsh National Opera)

Production for children and young people
Silly Kings – National Theatre Wales

The Bloody Ballad – Gagglebabble

Small-scale dance production
Chelsea Hotel – Earthfall

Large-scale dance production
Romeo a Juliet – Ballet Cymru/Coreo Cymru/The Riverfront

Special recognition award
Gaynor Lougher and Richard Berry – Hijinx
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Sunday, January 26, 2014back



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