Theater Awards crown ‘Matilda’

Shakespeare tours also nab U.K. trophies

The Royal Shakespeare Company hit “Matilda, The Musical” — now previewing in the West End — and a slew of U.K. road shows emerged as the big winners at the 2011 Theater Awards U.K., held Sunday at a lunch at Banqueting House in London’s Whitehall.

Formerly the TMA (Theater Management Assn.) awards, the annual prizes, the first on the U.K. awards calendar, honor excellence in regional theater throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Matilda” bagged the top musical nod, with thesp Bertie Carvel winning performance in a musical for his scene-stealing turn as vicious headmistress Miss Trunchbull.

Shakespearean tours scored, with Edward Hall’s twinned Propeller productions of “Richard III” and “The Comedy of Errors” nabbing the award for touring production and Shakespeare’s Globe winning the Renee Stepham Award for presentation of touring theater for its “Shakespeare’s Globe On Tour” national and international seasons. The Donmar’s tour of “King Lear” — which included a six-week run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music — netted Derek Jacobi the prize for performance in a play.

Sheffield Theaters nabbed two wins, with Claire Price receiving the supporting performance award for the regional premiere of Alexi Kaye Campbell’s “The Pride” at the Crucible, and set and costume designer Lizzie Clachan and lighting designer Natasha Chivers sharing the design honor for Samuel Beckett’s “Happy Days” at the Sheffield Studio.

The premiere co-production of Mike Bartlett’s “Love, Love, Love,” from Paines Plough and Theater Royal Plymouth, won for new play, and thesp-turned-helmer Michael Sheen and Bill Mitchell won the director laurel for the epic National Theater of Wales and Wild Works production of “The Passion,” a 72-hour Easter weekend production in which Sheen played Jesus Christ.And the winners are:

Performance in a Play: Derek Jacobi (“King Lear”) A Donmar Warehouse production at the Grand Opera House, Belfast and on tour

Supporting Performance: Claire Price (“The Pride”) A Sheffield Theaters production at the Crucible, Sheffield

New Play: “Love, Love, Love” by Mike Bartlett, a Theatre Royal, Plymouth and Paines Plough production at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth and on tour

Show for Children and Young People: “White” a Catherine Wheels production on tour

Musical Production: “Matilda, the Musical” directed by Matthew Warchus: an RSC production at the Courtyard Theater, Stratford-upon-Avon

Touring Production: “Richard III” and “The Comedy of Errors” directed by Edward Hall: Propeller productions, on tour

Design: “Happy Days” designed by Lizzie Clachan, lighting by Natasha Chivers: A Sheffield Theaters production at Sheffield Studio

Director: Michael Sheen and Bill Mitchell for “The Passion,” National Theatre Wales/Wild Works co-production

Performance in a Musical: Bertie Carvel, “Matilda, the Musical”

Achievement in Dance: New Adventures for Matthew Bourne’s “Cinderella”

Achievement in Opera: Music Theater Wales, “Greek”

Renee Stepham Award for Best Presentation of Touring Theater: Shakespeare’s Globe

Achievement in Marketing: Lyric Hammersmith

Most Welcoming Theater: Theater Royal Stratford East

Promotion of Cultural Diversity: Lyric Theatre, Belfast

Theater Employee/Manager of the Year: John Titcombe, Salisbury Playhouse and Nick Jones of New Vic Theatre

The Stage Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theater: Sir Peter Hall

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