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Winners of Inaugural ALSO RECOGNISED AWARDS Announced

The full list of winners are announced today in the inaugural Also Recognised Awards, the new audience-voted, industry accolade set up by theatre commentators Mark Shenton and Terri Paddock to celebrate lesser-known but equally worthy talent in fields overlooked by other awards bodies. Over a month's voting, more than 15,000 people took part.

Terri Paddock: "In the first year of the WhatsOnStage Awards in 2000, I remember being amazed when 5,000 people voted. Privately, I set that as our target for these first Also Recognised Awards. So I really am amazed anew now, and hugely gratified that we have exceeded that target."

One of the most hotly contested fields, the inaugural Also Recognised Award for Best Musical Direction, went to Alan Williams for his work on Jamie Lloyd's revival of Sondheim's Assassins at the Menier Chocolate Factory. This is the UK's first-ever recognition for Best Musical Direction, backed by Mike Dixon and Andrew Keates, who previously waged a high-profile lobbying campaign urging awards organisers to grant musical direction creative parity with the work of directors, choreographers, set, lighting and sound designers.

Satirical revue Forbidden Broadway, the second Menier production to win an Also Recognised Award, won Best Ensemble Performance having transferred to the West End's Vaudeville Theatre with its four-strong cast: Damian Humbley, Anna-Jane Casey, Ben Lewis and Christina Bianco.

A second Jamie Lloyd production, Richard III starring Martin Freeman as part of Lloyd's Trafalgar Transformed seasons at the West End's Trafalgar Studios, was Also Recognised for Best Shakespearean Production.

The first annual Also Recognised Awards comprise ten categories in total, including six recently dropped by the WhatsOnStage Awards, founded in 2001 by Paddock with the close involvement of Shenton.

In addition to Best Ensemble and Best Shakespeare, the former WhatsOnStage categories and their new Also Recognised winners are:

o Theatre Event of the Year - awarded to Nimax Theatres for its successful "Reopening of the Apollo Theatre just three months after its partial ceiling collapse"

o Best Original Music - awarded to Joe DiPietro and David Bryan for their original score and lyrics on Memphis The Musical at the West End's Shaftesbury Theatre

o Best Solo Performance - awarded to Juliet Stevenson for her performance as Winnie in Samuel Beckett's Happy Days at the Young Vic

o London Newcomer of the Year - awarded to performer Damian Buhagiar, who made his debut in the London premiere of Lin Manuel-Miranda musical In the Heights at Southwark Playhouse

The three other new categories in the first annual Also Recognised Awards put the spotlight on the creativity of digital marketing and advertising in theatre.

And the winners are:

o Best Show Poster - Urinetown at the St James and Apollo Theatres
o Best Show Trailer - Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre
o Best Twitter Engagement - Les Miserables (@lesmisofficial) at the Queen's Theatre

Full voting results, acceptance remarks and winners' "certificate selfies" will be published on www.mytheatremates.com from Monday 27 April 2015. Building on the site's popular series exploring the role of Musical Directors, in the coming weeks, MyTheatreMates will turn the features spotlight on the people behind the scenes on other "offstage" Awards categories.

Terri Paddock: "After leaving WhatsOnStage, I had no intention of ever running another awards. However, when I first read about the new owners of WhatsOnStage dropping so many important categories, categories that had been created by myself and Mark, I was alarmed and saddened - I felt we had to act. Mark and I agree that the work these categories, and our other four brand-new categories, represent is vitally important to the theatre industry and deserves to be recognised."

Mark Shenton: "London theatre has a lot of awards ceremonies, but they invariably acknowledge and reward the same suspects - Best Plays and Musicals, and those that create them or sail in them! What the #AlsoRecognised Awards uniquely do is honour some of those whose work isn't traditionally recognised (though it should be). I am proud to be part of making this happen, not just in my reviews but also now in an awards-giving."

Mike Dixon: "Having campaigned for Creative Team Parity, and having found in MyTheatreMates, Terri, Mark and Andrew, people who want to make change for the better, I am simply so chuffed that the Also Recognised Awards in its very first year has topped 15,000 votes. I am especially happy that, within those awards, the very first major nod to Musical Direction has finally been made. Brilliant, simply brilliant...and thank you for voting, too!"

Andrew Keates: "It's amazing how a bit of elbow grease and a lot of passion can make a difference. I'm so very honoured to be part of the first UK award to recognise musical direction and that so many feel it to be as important as we do"

Voting for the 2015 Also Recognised Awards ran from 16 March 2015 to 19 April 2015. MyTheatreMates welcomes suggestions for other new award fields not already covered elsewhere. Recommendations with sufficient merit and industry backing will be introduced in future years. For more information, visit www.mytheatremates.com/alsorecognised.

New digital hub MyTheatreMates takes its name from the Ma in Mark and the Te in Terri. In addition to hosting the Also Recognised Awards, it collates the best content from the founders' individual sites and social channels. Since launching on 16 March 2015, MyTheatreMates have rapidly expanded with top-quality content from new guest and 'syndicate Mate' members, including former Times chief theatre critic Libby Purves.

Mark Shenton - Mark Shenton is one of the UK's leading theatre critics and correspondents, whose regular credits include Playbill.com and The Stage, where he is associate editor and joint chief critic. He is also chair of the drama section of the Critics' Circle, and hosts the annual Critics' Circle Theatre Awards, held at the Prince of Wales Theatre in January. He blogs independently at www.shentonstage.com.

Terri Paddock - Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, with input from her then chief critic, Mark Shenton, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. She is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for the Evening Standard, Independent and the Times. She now acts as a digital, content strategy and event consultant for theatres, producers and other clients, and blogs at www.terripaddock.com.

The full list of winners and nominees are...

Best Musical Direction

o Alan Williams, Assassins, Menier Chocolate Factory
o Tom Deering, Made in Dagenham, Adelphi Theatre
o Simon Lambert, The Return of the Soldier, Jermyn Street Theatre
o Tim Sutton, Memphis, Shaftesbury Theatre
o Freddie Tapner, Girlfriends, Union Theatre
o Elliott Ware, Sunny Afternoon, Hampstead & Harold Pinter Theatres

Best Original Music

o David Bryan & Joe DiPietro, Memphis, Shaftesbury Theatre
o David Byrne & Fatboy Slim, Here Lies Love, National Theatre, Dorfman
o Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, Dogfight, Southwark Playhouse
o Grant Olding, Drunk, Bridewell Theatre
o Charles Miller and Tim Sanders, Return of the Soldier, Jermyn Street Theatre o Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, Dessa Rose, Trafalgar Studios

Best Ensemble Performance

o Forbidden Broadway, Menier Chocolate Factory & Vaudeville Theatre
o The Play That Goes Wrong, Duchess Theatre
o Toast, Park Theatre
o Drunk, Bridewell Theatre
o Another Country, Trafalgar Studios Best Solo Performance
o Juliet Stevenson, Happy Days, Young Vic Theatre
o Kevin Bishop, Fully Committed, Menier Chocolate Factory
o Benjamin Scheuer, The Lion, St James Studio
o Fiona Shaw, The Testament of Mary, Barbican Theatre
o Kevin Spacey, Clarence Darrow, Old Vic Theatre

Best Shakespearean Production

o Richard III, Trafalgar Transformed, Trafalgar Studios
o The Comedy of Errors, Shakespeare's Globe
o Henry IV, Donmar Warehouse
o King Lear, National Theatre, Olivier
o The Merchant of Venice, Almeida Theatre

London Newcomer of the Year

o Damian Buhagiar, In the Heights, Southwark Playhouse
o Laura Jane Matthewson, Dogfight, Southwark Playhouse
o Barney Norris (playwright), Visitors, Arcola & Bush Theatres
o Eva Noblezada, Miss Saigon, Prince Edward Theatre
o Chris Macdonald (playwright), Eye of a Needle, Southwark Playhouse
o Patsy Ferran, Blithe Spirit, Gielgud Theatre

Best Twitter Engagement

o @lesmisofficial, Les Miserables, Queen's Theatre
o @bookofmormonldn, The Book of Mormon, Prince of Wales Theatre
o @youngvictheatre, Young Vic Theatre
o @urinetownUK, Urinetown, St James & Apollo Theatres
o @TrafTransformed, Trafalgar Transformed, Trafalgar Studios

Best Show Poster

o Urinetown, St James & Apollo Theatres
o John, DV8, National Theatre, Lyttelton
o King Charles III, Almeida & Wyndham's Theatres
o The Testament of Mary, Barbican Theatre
o Treasure Island, National Theatre, Olivier

Best Show Trailer

o Miss Saigon, Prince Edward Theatre
o Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (new cast), Theatre Royal Drury Lane
o 1984, Headlong Theatre
o Medea, National Theatre, Olivier
o Birdland, Royal Court Theatre
o Notes from Underground, The Print Room

Theatre Event of the Year

o Reopening of Apollo Theatre in March, just three months after ceiling partially collapsed Page|5
o Lindsay Lohan making stage debut in Speed-the-Plow - and completing the run o Opening of Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe
o Opening of Dorfman Theatre (formerly Cottesloe) as part of NT Futures Project o Inaugural #LoveTheatre day on Twitter
o The announcement of Richard Bean's Great Britain within 24 hours of News of the World phone hacking trial conclusion

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