Winners announced for UK Theatre Awards 2018

The only national award that recognises outstanding achievements in regional theatre throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has announced its winners for 2018.  

Winners announced for UK Theatre Awards 2018

Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre has won four awards in the 2018 UK Theatre Awards, including Best Director and Best New Play.

The UK Theatre Awards 2018 took place at London’s historic Guildhall, on Sunday 14 October, hosted by Olivier-nominated musical theatre performer Tyrone Huntley. Presenters included Wendi Peters, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Ria Jones, Matt Cardle, Emma Williams and Michael Ellis MP.

Other awards include the Best Musical Production, which went to The Assassination of Katie Hopkins, and the UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre, an accolade this year won by The Mill at Sonning. 

Actor and writer Maxine Peake was honoured with an Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre award, presented by producer Conrad Lynch and the Artistic Director of Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre, Sarah Frankcom.

Receiving her Outstanding Contribution Award, Maxine Peake said: ‘People keep saying to me, “you’ve given so much to regional theatre” - I haven’t given anything, it’s given it to me; it’s allowed me to do the work I want to do, and that is mainly down to Sarah Frankcom and her bravery and her belief in me’.

Director Richard Eyre received the Gielgud Award for Excellence in the Dramatic Arts, presented by Ian McKellen.

 Accepting the Gielgud Award, Richard Eyre said: ‘I’m constantly bewildered by the fact that local authorities and government can’t see what an extraordinary, unique asset theatre is’. He also praised Ian McKellen, who presented the award, as ‘a wonderful actor and a very good friend and the natural artistic son of John Gielgud’.

760f63e9438cb455d7947c81ba26768280321ad7.jpgRichard Eyre and Maxine Peake
Image: Pamela Raith

The full list of winners

Best New Play

The Almighty Sometimes by Kendall Feaver, a Royal Exchange Theatre production

Best Musical Production

The Assassination Of Katie Hopkins directed by James Grieve, a Theatr Clwyd production

Best Touring Production 

Three Sisters, a RashDash and Royal Exchange Theatre co-production

Best Show for Children and Young People

The Little Mermaid directed by Emma Earle and Cameron Carver, a The Egg – Theatre Royal Bath and Pins and Needles co-production

Best Director

Sarah Frankcom for Our Town, a Royal Exchange Theatre production

Best Design

Morgan Large for Wonderland, a Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company production

Best Performance in a Play

Denise Black for The Cherry Orchard, a Sherman Theatre production 

Best Performance in a Musical

Ashley Zhangazha for Guys And Dolls, a Royal Exchange Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company co-production

Best Supporting Performance

Gemma Dobson for Rita, Sue And Bob Too, a Royal Court, Out of Joint and Octagon Theatre, Bolton production

Achievement in Dance

Northern Ballet for its bold and varied programming, particularly The Little Mermaid and its Kenneth MacMillan tribute

Clothworkers’ Theatre Award

Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch

Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre

Maxine Peake

Achievement in Opera

David Pountney and Tomáš Hanus for their artistic leadership of Welsh National Opera

The Renee Stepham Award for Best Presentation of Touring Theatre

Scottish Ballet

Theatre Employee of the Year sponsored by Integro in Association with Chubb

Clare Lindsay – The Watermill Theatre

Promotion of Diversity

Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Achievement in Marketing/Audience Development

The Old Vic

UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre

The Mill at Sonning

Gielgud Award for Excellence in the Dramatic Arts

Richard Eyre

Header Image Credit: Pamela Raith


Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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