Shortlist Announced For The My Theatre Matters! UK's Most Welcoming Theatre Award
After more than 55,000 public votes were cast in a period of less than three weeks, seven venues have been shortlisted for the inaugural My Theatre Matters! Most Welcoming Theatre Award in association with Classic FM, which will be announced at the annual UK Theatre Awards ceremony in London's historic Guildhall on Sunday 20 October 2013.
Of over 225 venues that were competing, the final shortlisted venues are:
- St James Theatre, London
- Stamford Arts Centre
- The Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter
- The Mill at Sonning Theatre
- The Watermill Theatre, Newbury
- Theatre by the Lake, Keswick
- Wiltons Music Hall, London
To ensure a fair and competitive process, the public voting system was weighted by theatre capacity with the shortlist decided by number of public votes divided by number of venue seats. Some larger venues polled thousands of votes but did not make the shortlist. These included Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Millennium Forum (Theatre & Conference Centre), Derry/Londonderry, Newcastle Theatre Royal, Sage Gateshead and Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff.
As well as established awards for both performance and management achievement decided by expert panels, this year any professional theatre was eligible to enter for the My Theatre Matters! UK's Most Welcoming Theatre Award. TMA Members were entered automatically but any other theatre that offers legal and fair terms to all performers and stage management, in line with or better than the Equity Fringe Agreement, was also able to register for the public vote. Online voting for this new public Award was via the Classic FM website - www.classicfm.com/theatre - and closed at the end of September.
Voting is now complete but the winner will not be announced until the day of the Awards Ceremony at London's historic Guildhall, a magnificent medieval Grade 1 listed landmark building situated in the City of London. Details of the compere for the event, and other special guests, will be announced closer to the ceremony.
Organised by the Theatrical Management Association (TMA), the UK Theatre Awards are the only nationwide awards to honour creative excellence and the outstanding achievement seen on and off stage throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Launched in March this year, My Theatre Matters! is a nationwide campaign aimed at galvanising public support for local theatres across the UK in response to extreme pressures on local government funding. The campaign is led jointly by Equity, The Stage and theTMA.
My Theatre Matters! gives local audiences a chance to voice their support for their local venue and encourage politicians to do the same. It features a website - www.mytheatrematters.com - where audiences can sign up and download information about how to lobby local politicians.
Julian Bird, Chief Executive of the TMA and the Society of London Theatre, said: "It has been great to see the tremendous level of public support for regional theatre since the launch of My Theatre Matters! back in March, and we are delighted to put its name to this exciting Award, which in the spirit of the campaign has been open for the first time to all theatres nationwide that offer legal and fair terms to all performers and stage management. The great response we have received from the voting public shows just how important theatres are to our local communities."
Christine Payne, General Secretary of Equity, commented: "Equity is proud to be a key partner in the My Theatre Matters! campaign, which brings together audiences, theatres, performers and creative workers to voice their support for the arts at local level throughout the UK. The campaign has been going from strength to strength since its launch earlier this year and we hope that through supporting this award we can widen understanding about the value of investment in the arts and the benefits it can bring for job creation, growth and regeneration".
Editor of The Stage Brian Attwood said: "The My Theatre Matters! campaign is all about celebrating the wonderful achievements of theatres across the UK, so it makes perfect sense for the three campaign partners to run this award, which has given audiences across the UK a chance to show how much they value their local theatre."
UK Theatre Awards continue to be sponsored by a number of major organisations involved in theatre across the UK (The Stage, Harbottle & Lewis, Theatre Tokens and White Light) and for the first time, Global Radio's national classical music station Classic FM.
Classic FM's Managing Director Darren Henley comments: "Our listeners love the arts in all their forms, so it's great to be able to celebrate the nation's most welcoming theatres as part of this exciting new award."
Further details about the TMA and the UK Theatre Awards can be found at: