Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Top Theatre Awards Go to Octagon

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Top Theatre Awards Go to Octagon

Article excerpt

BOLTON Octagon Theatre took home all the big gongs at this year's Manchester Theatre Awards, securing the prizes for best leading actor and actress, and best production.

Its production of Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge earned its leading actress Barbara Drennan and actor Colin Connor the top titles, while An Enemy Of The People took home best production.

Both the awards for supporting actress and actor also went to Bolton, with Natasha Davidson presented with the prize for A View From The Bridge and David Birrell commended for his role in Henrik Ibsen's An Enemy Of The People.

Director David Thacker, who retired as artistic director last year following six years in the role to head up a new theatre degree at Bolton University, was also presented with a special achievement award.

On stage, he joked about how surprised he was to receive it. "I still can't get over the fact the panel has decided to do this," he laughed. "I didn't quite think they liked me."

Awards host HOME earned a number of nominations for best design (Inkheart, The Oresteia), visiting production (Dead Dog In A Suitcase - And Other Love Songs), and leading actress (Kafka's Monkey), but left empty-handed.

Among the other big winners were Constellations at The Lowry, which secured prizes for best actor and actress in a supporting role for Joe Armstrong and Louise Brearley, as well as best visiting production.

Manchester International Festival's Tree Of Codes bagged best design, while acclaimed play The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice at The King's Arms, Salford, was named best fringe production.

The Rolling Stone, at the Royal Exchange Theatre, got best new play. The 24/7 Theatre Festival, a full-day event of new theatre which was forced to go on hiatus last year due to funding issues, was also given a special Stage Door Foundation Award for Excellence.

Among the stars presenting the awards was Ann-Marie Duff, who is currently starring in Husbands And Sons at the Royal Exchange, Corrie's Chris Gascoyne, who is playing Clov in Beckett's Endgame at HOME, and comedian and host Justin Moorhouse. …

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