There is life outside your apartment, Avenue Q tell us. And there is a thrilling cultural life outside the M25. London is a cultural centre, no doubt, but theatre does exist outside of the London Fringe and the West End.
And thankfully, the Theatrical Management Association exists to focus attention on the excellence and achievements of regional theatre.
Craig Revel Horwood, who directed last year’s winner for Best Musical, Spend, Spend, Spend, was the host of the TMA Awards in London (where else?) at the Lyric Hammersmith on Sunday 7th November.
Like the Olivier Awards, their perhaps more grown-up sibling, the TMA Awards are decided upon by a panel consisting of industry experts and the general public. A shortlist of three nominations per category are decided upon and all nominees were invited to the starry event, to meet other members of the TMA, celebrate excellence in our regional theatres, and of course, discover who has won the coveted awards.
Like the Olivier Awards, their perhaps more grown-up sibling, the TMA Awards are decided upon by a panel consisting of industry experts and the general public
James Grieve and George Perrin, formerly Artistic Directors of London based new writing company, nabokov, accepted the award for Special Achievement in Regional Theatre. Their work at Paines Plough has seen them touring the length and breadth of the country, from Plymouth to Liverpool, working with 67 playwrights and meeting hundreds of actors. Their commitment to new writing and performers has been one of the most exciting stories of 2010. That they should have been recognised by the TMA just nine months into their tenure is a testament to their energy and dedication.
Following in the footsteps of Thelma Holt, Matthew Bourne, Bill Kenwright, and Nicolas Kent, the Special Award for Individual Achievement was awarded to Max Stafford-Clark. The Artistic Director of Out of Joint suffered a debilitating stroke in 2006, but has continued to work. In his acceptance speech, he spoke of how work helped him to overcome the effects of the stroke. He also praised his wife, Stella Feehilly, for her support and revealed that their play, Think Local Fuck Global, will receive a full Out of Joint production at the Royal Court in 2011.
Last night’s TMA winners included Maggie Steed, Best Performance in a Play, for Hay Fever at West Yorkshire Playhouse; The Ensemble of The Hired Man at Bolton Octagon, for Best Performance in a Musical, Dundee Rep’s Sweeney Todd for Best Musical, and Laurie Sampson, Best Director, for Beyond The Horizon and Spring Storm, a Royal & Derngate, Northampton production.
The full list of 2010 TMA nominees and winners can be found at www.tmauk.org