Nominations Announced for the Manchester Theatre Awards

Nominations Announced for the Manchester Theatre Awards

Nominations have been announced for the forthcoming Manchester Theatre Awards, to be held at The Lowry's Quays Theatre on Friday 9 March, hosted by actor and comedian Justin Moorhouse.

The annual awards - the most important theatrical prize-giving outside London - has been a major fixture of the North West cultural calendar since 1981 and will honour productions seen in Greater Manchester during 2017.

With the backing of the Greater Manchester theatres, a judging panel of some of the most experienced critics in the country, who attend hundreds of performances a year, celebrate the significant impact of theatre in Greater Manchester. In recent years the Awards have expanded to include a group of enthusiastic young critics who also choose an annual award from the city's youth theatre productions.

Nominations in over 20 categories celebrating the best work on stage and off have been announced today, and winners will be announced on stage at a red carpet event in March attended by Greater Manchester's theatre community.

The Lowry in Salford leads the way 15 nominations across categories including dance, opera and drama, with HOME in Manchester city centre following with 13 nods. Oldham Coliseum, the Palace Theatre and Opera House, The Royal Exchange, Contact and Bolton Octagon are all also nominated, as is last summer's Manchester International Festival. Fringe theatre is not forgotten with the critically-acclaimed Hope Mill Theatre winning six nominations for its programme and performers, and Greater Manchester Fringe Festival and newly established space 53Two also gaining nods.

Two further awards, The Stage Door Foundation Award For Excellence and Special Achievement Award, are presented on the day.

Since the relaunch of the awards in 2011, famous faces from stage and screen to have won include Sir Kenneth Branagh, Maxine Peake, Rufus Hound, Rory Kinnear, Barry Humphries, Julian Glover and Sian Phillips. Famous names in the running for awards this year include Sheridan Smith, who is nominated for Best Visiting Actress for her role as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, Danny Mac, nominated for Best Visiting Actor for his performance as Joe McGill in Sunset Boulevard while Jason Merrells is up for Best Actor for his role in HOME's Uncle Vanya.

Coronation Street and Broadchurch actress Julie Hesmondhalgh, herself a previous multiple MTA winner, paid tribute to the awards and the importance of the Greater Manchester theatre scene, saying: "I love the Manchester Theatre Awards. It's always such a lovely coming together of our artistic community in the best city in the world, and is a celebration of all things theatrical here: From the emerging raw talent of the burgeoning fringe scene to the bobby dazzler spectaculars in our main houses and from the internationally acclaimed cultural highlights of MIF to a couple of people in a tiny space above a Salford pub."

All nominees are invited to the awards, and members of the public can also buy tickets for the event. Tickets, priced £15 are available from

The 2018 Manchester Theatre Awards are in association with Target Live, who will be managing the PR for the forthcoming awards. With offices in London and Manchester, Target Live is the UK's only full service live events marketing agency offering Marketing, Media, Social Media, PR, Design and Digital.

MTA Nominees 2017:

Actress in a Leading Role
Karen Henthorn, Spring and Port Wine, Oldham Coliseum
Lisa Dwyer Hogg, People, Places & Things, HOME
Nina Hoss, Returning to Reims, Manchester International Festival
Janet Suzman, Rose, HOME

Actor in a Leading Role
Cliff Burnett, Hard Times, Oldham Coliseum
Jason Merrells, Uncle Vanya, HOME
Kenneth Alan Taylor, The Father, Oldham Coliseum
Ashley Zhangazha, Guys And Dolls, Royal Exchange

Actress in a Supporting Role
Alison Halstead, The House of Bernarda Alba, Royal Exchange
Kate Kennedy, Twelfth Night, Royal Exchange
Kerry Peers, The Father, Oldham Coliseum
Katie West, Uncle Vanya, HOME

Actor in a Supporting Role
Tom Michael Blyth, Hard Times, Oldham Coliseum
David Fleeshman, Uncle Vanya, HOME
Andrew Sheridan, People, Places & Things, HOME

Actress in a Visiting Production
Ria Jones, Sunset Boulevard, Palace Theatre
Laura Pitt-Pulford, Nell Gwynn, The Lowry
Natalie Radmall-Quirke, The Weir, Oldham Coliseum
Sheridan Smith, Funny Girl, Palace Theatre

Actor in a Visiting Production
Danny Mac, Sunset Boulevard, Palace Theatre
Graham McDuff, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Palace Theatre
Sean Murray, The Weir, Oldham Coliseum

Oh What A Lovely War, Oldham Coliseum
Operation Black Antler, HOME
The Suppliant Women, Royal Exchange

Performance in a Fringe Production
Rosie Fleeshman, Narcissist in the Mirror, Greater Manchester Fringe
Amie Giselle-Ward, Little Women - The Musical, Hope Mill Theatre
Alexandra Maxwell, The Loves of Others / Freak, Greater Manchester Fringe
Danny Solomon, Days Of Wine And Roses, 53TWO

Performance in a Studio Production
Rhodri Meilir How My Light Is Spent, Royal Exchange
Lucy Jane Parkinson, Joan, Contact
Keisha Thompson, Man On The Moon, Contact
Alex Walton, From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads, The Lowry

Robert Robson Award for Dance
Debut, Acosta Danza, The Lowry
English National Ballet double bill, Palace Theatre
Ghost Dances, Rambert Dance, The Lowry
Leviathan, James Wilton Dance, Contact

Jenny Melville (set) and Lysander Ashton (video), Paul Auster's City of Glass, HOME
Bunny Christie, People, Places & Things, HOME
Alex Lowde, Persuasion, Royal Exchange
Yael Bartana, What If Women Ruled the World?, Manchester International Festival

Fringe Production
Bad Advice, Greater Manchester Fringe
Gypsy Queen, Hope Mill Theatre
The Marriage of Kim K, Greater Manchester Fringe
Moth, Hope Mill Theatre

Funny Girl, Palace Theatre
Jim Steinman's Bat out of Hell the Musical, Opera House
Sunset Boulevard, Palace Theatre
Yank!, Hope Mill Theatre

New Play
Gypsy Queen, writer Rob Ward, Hope Mill Theatre
How My Light Is Spent, writer Alan Harris, Royal Exchange
Narcissist in the Mirror, writer Rosie Fleeshman, Greater Manchester Fringe
Narvik, writer Lizzie Nunnery, HOME

Gemma Dobson, Rita, Sue and Bob Too, Octagon Theatre Bolton
Scott Hunter, Yank!, Hope Mill Theatre
Vinay Lad, The Railway Children, The Lowry

Cendrillon, Royal Northern College of Music, RNCM
La Cenerentola, Opera North, The Lowry
Opera North Little Greats, Opera North, The Lowry
The Snow Maiden, Opera North, The Lowry

The Father, Oldham Coliseum
People, Places & Things, HOME
Rose, HOME
The Suppliant Women, Royal Exchange

Special Entertainment
Dick Whittington, Opera House
Running Wild, The Lowry
The Toad Knew, The Lowry
Under Glass, Clod Ensemble,The Lowry

Studio Production
From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads, The Lowry
Joan, Contact
Man On The Moon, Contact
Swansong, The Lowry

Target Live Award for Best Visiting Production
La Strada, The Lowry
My Country; a Work in Progress, HOME
Nell Gwynn, The Lowry
The Weir, Oldham Coliseum

Youth Panel Award
There is a Light/BRIGHTLIGHT, Contact Young Company
Singin' in the Rain, RNCM Young Company
Tis Written in the Stars, Oldham Theatre Workshop, Oldham Coliseum

From big receiving venues like The Lowry and the Palace Theatre and Opera House, via acclaimed producing houses such as HOME and the Royal Exchange to exciting fringe spaces like Hope Mill Theatre, the Manchester Theatre Awards recognise the exciting array of theatre on offer to audiences in the region and beyond.

Uniquely among theatrical prizegivings, the MTAs publish reviews of all the shows attended, with panel members giving an insight into the deliberations and opinions of the judges as they post reviews of the productions they have seen and comment on each other's opinions. In recent years the Awards have expanded to include a group of enthusiastic young critics who contribute to deliberations and reviews.

Since the relaunch of the awards in 2011, famous faces from stage and screen to have won include Sir Kenneth Branagh, Maxine Peake, Rufus Hound, Rory Kinnear, Barry Humphries, Julian Glover and Sian Phillips.

Target Live - which in February 2017 marked its 10th Anniversary by opening a Manchester office to run alongside its London one, working on a mix of national and regional accounts - is the UK's only full-service live events marketing agency covering Marketing, Media, Social Media, PR, Design and Digital. Target Live's specialisms span musical theatre, theatre, dance, classical music and opera, literature, art exhibitions, museums and attractions as well as comedy, games, films, travel, food and drink, music festivals and large-scale outdoor events.

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