Theatre in Wales

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Winners of the Wales Theatre Awards 2015 and the launch of the Wales Critics Fund     

Winners of the Wales Theatre Awards 2015 and the launch of the Wales Critics Fund
WELSH National Opera picked up four awards in the Wales Theatre Awards at a starry awards show at Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre last night (Jan 31).

The flagship company won all three opera categories, best production, male and female singers but the company’s world renowned chorus was also named winner of the Best Ensemble category.

The Best Opera Production was won for the major undertaking of Schoenberg‘s Moses und Aron with the orchestra, chorus and singers singled out as the reason for the judges’ choice. The winner was announced by leading poet Owen Sheers and accepted by the WNO chairman Geraint Talfan Davies.

WNO Artistic Director David Pountney congratulated the winners in a video made during rehearsals for the company’s new season which opens on February 7. Acceptance messages were read out for Sir John Tomlinson, winner in the Best Male Performance in Opera, for Moses in Moses und Aron and for Sarah Tynan, winner of the Best Female Performance in Opera, for Manon in Henze’s Boulevard Solitude.

After accepting the Best Ensemble award chorus members Meiriel Andrew, Sian Meinir, Michael Clifton-Thompson and Martin Lloyd, accompanied by Chorus Master Alexander Martin, sang for the audience bringing the show to a close.

The Best Director award also went to opera. This time it was Michael McCarthy, Artistic Director of Music Theatre Wales, for the new Philip Glass opera The Trial. Michael was presented with the award by the Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Wales Nick Capaldi.

The awards Special Achievement was awarded to the Mold-based Clwyd Theatre Cymru whose Artistic Director Terry Hands is about to step down after presenting a new production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. A unique, handmade glass award was created by Sylvan Glass Company’s Julie Lewis. All the winners received an engraved Welsh slate plaque.

Garw, by Sion Eirian, picked up four awards. The author won Best Playwright in the Welsh Language while Eiry Thomas was named Best Female Performance in the Welsh Language and Rhys Parry-Jones picked up the award for Best Male Performance in the Welsh Language. The Best Production in The Welsh Language also went to Theatr Bara Caws for Garw.

Drama on the theme of the First World War were also winners with Jon Bausor receiving the Best Design and/or Costume award for Mametz by National Theatre Wales while Daniel Llewelyn Williams won Best Male Performance in the English Language for Clwyd Theatre Clwyd’s Not About Heroes. Shortlisted in both English and Welsh language categories for Best actress, Sara Lloyd-Gregory picked up the English language award for Contractions, an Iain Goosey Production.

Contractions also won the Best Sound and/or Light award with Dyfan Jones and Nick Beadle picking up the award.


Hiraeth by Buddug James Jones was named Best Production in the English Language and Mathew Bulgo was named winner of the Best Playwright in the English language category for Last Christmas. Maudie’s Rooms by Roar Ensemble was named Best Show for Chldren and Young People.


The Best Dance Award was presented to Eddie Ladd, Deborah Light and Gwyn Emberton for their work Caitlin which gave a gripping and innovative interpretation of the relationship between Caitlin and Dylan Thomas.


The audience was entertained by dancers from Harnisch-Lacey Dance, with an extract from TÂN, which will premier at The Riverfront in Newport on 27th February and will then tour across Wales during March and tenor Trystan Llyr Griffiths and baritone Adam Gilbert who are both currently trainees at the prestigious National Opera Studio in London. They were also two of the first recipients of awards from the Bryn Terfel Foundation. They were accompanied by Sian Davies, one of Wales’ most experienced répétiteurs, having accompanied for many leading Welsh Artists. She’s currently a member of staff at Dennis O’Neill’s Wales International Academy of Voice, accompanying the Saturday Academy directed by Patricia O’Neill.”


The bilingual awards show was hosted by Nicola Heywood Thomas and Arfon Haines Davies and directed by Wales Theatre Awards Director Mike Smith and the Sherman Cymru technical team.

These new awards celebrate opera, theatre and dance in Wales. Nominated by critics who have reviewed performances throughout the year, the awards recognise actors, singers, dancers, designers and writers for performances created and presented in Wales. They are the successor to the previous Theatre Critics of Wales Awards.

The evening also saw the launch of a new fund to make sure artists and audiences benefit from the debate, discussion and feedback provided by critics working across Wales by enabling far more reviewing across Wales and by supporting the next generation of reviewers.


Wales Theatre Awards Director Mike Smith said, “While keeping young people and new reviewers at its heart, the new awards scheme now includes more of our best-known professional critics and is run by a not for profit Cardiff-based company, Arts Awards Ltd.


“More than critics across Wales nominated for these awards. This totalled a staggering 650 nominations that when duplicate nominations were removed meant that nearly 300 people and shows had been individually nominated. Six groups of judges compiled shortlists and then winners for each category from these nominations. The judging groups included both professionals and young critics starting out in their careers.


He added, “The new fund will help facilitate reviewing, build relationships between reviewers, the arts sector and the media, mentor new reviewers and provide a new online mainstream publication for reviewing in Wales.

The shortlists for the categories that include recognition for actors, singers, dancers, producers, writers and designers were announced in mid-January at a special event at Aberystwyth Arts Centre.





Winners list - Rhestr Enillwyr:



Best Show for Children and Young People
Y Sioe Orau ar gyfer Plant a Phobol Ifanc
Maudie’s Rooms
Roar Ensemble

Sain a/neu Goleuo Gorau
Best Sound and/or Lighting
Contractions
Dyfan Jones & Nick Beadle
Iain Goosey Productions

Dylunio a/neu Gwisgoedd Gorau
Best Design and/or Costume
Mametz
Jon Bausor
National Theatre Wales


Gwryw gorau mewn Cynhyrchiad Opera
Best Male in an Opera Production
John Tomlinson
Moses und Aron
Welsh National Opera/Opera Cenedlaethol Cymru

Benyw gorau mewn Cynhyrchiad Opera
Best Female in an Opera Production
Sarah Tynan
Boulevard Solitude
Welsh National Opera/Opera Cenedlaethol Cymru

Cynhyrchiad Opera Gorau
Best Opera Production
Moses und Aron
Welsh National Opera/Opera Cenedlaethol Cymru

Best Playwright in the English Language
Matthew Bulgo, Last Christmas

Best Playwright in the Welsh Language
Siôn Eirian, Garw

Special Achievement
Llwyddiant Arbennig
Terry Hands


Cynhyrchiad Dawns Gorau
Best Dance Production
Caitlin
Light, Ladd & Emberton


Cyfarwyddwr Gorau
Best Director
Michael McCarthy
The Trial
Music Theatre Wales

Best Female Performance in the English Language
Perfformiad Benyw Gorau yn yr Iaith Saesneg
Sara Lloyd-Gregory
Contractions, Iain Goosey Productions

Best Male Performance in the English Language
Perfformiad Gwryw gorau yn yr Iaith Saesneg
Daniel Llewelyn Williams
Not About Heroes
Clwyd Theatr Cymru

Perfformiad Benyw Gorau yn yr Iaith Gymraeg
Best Female Performance in the Welsh Language
Eiry Thomas
Garw
Theatr Bara Caws

Perfformiad Gwryw gorau yn y Gymraeg
Best Male Performance in the Welsh Language
Rhys Parry-Jones
Garw
Theatr Bara Caws

Cynhyrchiad Gorau yn yr Iaith Gymraeg
Best Production in the Welsh Language
Garw
Theatr Bara Caws

Best Production in the English Language
Cynhyrchiad Gorau yn yr Iaith Saesneg
Hiraeth
Buddug James Jones

Ensemble Gorau
Best Ensemble
WNO Chorus
Moses und Aron
Welsh National Opera/Opera Cenedlaethol Cymru
 
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