Critics' Circle Theatre Awards Reveals New Award & Venue

The nominees for the 2023 Empty Space Peter Brook Award are: Finborough Theatre; Orange Tree, Richmond, New Diorama.

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The Drama Section of the UK Critics' Circle revealed that the 2023 Critics' Circle Theatre Awards will take place on the afternoon of Monday 17 April at the new @sohoplace theatre in London. @sohoplace, the first new-build West End theatre in 50 years, was opened in October 2022 after a twelve-year development by Nica Burns, co-owner of the Nimax Theatre group.

The Critics' Circle is also launching of a new award, in partnership with critic and producer Blanche Marvin MBE, to honour the legacy of the late theatre director Peter Brook. This is the first UK theatre award named in Brook's memory, with the approval of his estate.

The winner is voted on by the entirety of the Circle's membership of professional critics and will recognise each year a theatre space which embodies the spirit of Peter Brook, both in its use of space and in its relationship to its locality.

The nominees for the 2023 Empty Space Peter Brook Award are:

Finborough Theatre
Orange Tree, Richmond
New Diorama

A full list of winners will be announced at the ceremony on 17 April.

Kate Maltby, journalist and Chair of the Drama Section, Critics' Circle, said:

The Critics' Circle Theatre Awards are unique in that they bring critics and industry together to mark the nurture that constrictive criticism can offer to theatre's best. This year's ceremony is made possible by the ingenuity of two brilliant women in theatre: Blanche Marvin and Nica Burns. It is an honour that Blanche has entrusted us with the legacy of her Empty Space awards, and I can think of no better place than Nica's new @sohoplace, where a theme of stars and constellations glitters over the decor, to gather together the brightest stars of the theatre galaxy.

Blanche Marvin MBE, original founder of the Empty Space Peter Brook awards, said:

The Empty Space Peter Brook Award is the only national award recognising the theatres who create or sponsor productions according to Peter Brook's concept: "It is what you put into an empty space that makes theatre." The ingenuity and persistence of these theatres, big or small, must be recognised as they sustain Peter Brook's profound concept of "what creates theatre". I am delighted that the Critics' Circle is reviving this award, at this time, because it adjusts the award to the changing times that threaten theatre's survival.

Nica Burns, co-owner of the Nimax Theatres Group and owner of @sohoplace, said:

How delightfully appropriate for the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards to hold this important industry event @sohoplace. London's first West End Theatre in 50 years, a wonderful auditorium and critics on the stage. Perfect!


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