13
Mar
12

2011 matilda award winners

Wow! A quick note about The Matilda Awards before we all get back to making theatre!

Well, while there was no red carpet and the dress code appeared to be “whatever” but what a great night The Matilda Awards turned out to be! Without the conventional design elements of an “event” night until we took our seats (and my astronomically high expectations only come from working with White House Celebrations so, you know, I have Min’s number if anybody wants it…), last night was a fabulous evening of networking, champagne and celebration!

So many Matilda Virgins present at The Judith Wright Centre (that includes Sam and I)! We, along with many others, didn’t quite know what to expect from Brisbane’s night of nights for the Theatrearti: The Matilda Awards, established 25 years ago by reviewers, Alison Cotes and Sue Gough.

Having withstood their fair share of criticism over the years, the Matilda Awards committee (Sue Gough, Alison Cotes, Rosemary Walker, Bree Hadley, Troy Ollerenshaw, Baz McAlister, Olivia Stewart & James Harper), this year appear to have pleased the vast majority of Industry peeps. As far as award systems go, we have the critics/committee’s choice (The Matilda Awards) and we have the people’s choice (The Groundlings). Perhaps it’s important to keep them separate. Perhaps its important that they are Brisbanecentric. The Matilda website now reflects that “The awards are to reward the best of Brisbane theatre…” whereas previously, they alluded to the recognition of Queensland-wide work even when they didn’t (and couldn’t possibly). Even I, being based on the Sunshine Coast and seeing as much as possible on the Sunshine Coast, see more Brisbane theatre than in my own “regional” – for that’s what we are – area. There is simply more of it. So there’s no denying that Brisbane is the cultural hub of Queensland, despite the terrific things that may be happening, from time to time, all over the state. Time to get over it a little or… if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em (for the Brisbane Theatrearti are indeed, a truly delightful bunch)!

The Groundlings offer no trophy or cash prize; they are an online award system that gives artists due recognition from the voting public. And while The Matilda Awards have, in the past, offered a monetary prize (as Paul Bishop joked last night, the sum of $2000 made up a large percentage of an actor’s wages in those days…and probably still does), the awards for this year came in the form of hand-made trophies donated by Monte Lupo – “outsider” artists – along with a great deal of reverence.

This year, for the first time, artists with 3 or more Matilda Awards were inducted into the Hall of Fame and we saw the full list of winners since 1988, together on screen; all the names of the artists who have shaped our industry since the inception of the Matildas. I think, for some, this was a wonderful revelation. And to share the space with these artists was, for most, a humbling experience. It was fitting to have John Batchelor, well-respected for his contributions to the industry, announce the awards.

If you weren’t there, you won’t have felt the over riding sense of humility and collective pride, which was almost bursting at the seams, even before the official part to the evening’s proceedings started, hosted by Hayden Spencer and perfectly, hilariously punctuated by his sassy wife, Carita Farrar and accompanist, John Rodgers. Talented ACPA students opened the show with a beautiful, stirring dance piece and Emma Dean closed it, with her sensational, stylish rendition of Cabaret. If this is what Brisbane’s Industry Night turns up, I say let’s have more of them! And is it just me or have we (and by we, I mean the virgins and regular attendees collectively) outgrown the foyer space in the Judy? We love you and your style, JWCOCA but if there are any more of us intending to attend next year’s event, you’re gonna’ need a bigger bar!

Congratulations to Rosemary Walker, the committee and the Judith Wright Centre for a fabulous evening of celebration of our industry and our art. So proud to be a teeny, tiny part of it!

With the gorgeous Kristine Sells

You can catch up on the Twitter feed by searching #matildas11

2011 MATILDA AWARD WINNERS

Simone de Haas
for her artistic direction of Mixed Company
and directing, designing and acting in it’s body of work

Steven Rooke
for his body of performance work in 2011
including Julius Caesar, No Man’s Land and The Removalists

Josh McIntosh
for his set and costume designs
for Harvest Rain Theatre Company and body of work

Marcel Dorney
for his script Fractions

Melanie Zanetti
for her performance in Pygmalion

2011 MATILDA AWARD COMMENDATIONS

Best New Australian Work
Fractions
by Marcel Dorney
Queensland Theatre Company and HotHouse Theatre

Best Independent Production
Animal Farm
by shake & stir theatre co

Amadeus
by 4MBS Festival of Classics

Best Mainstage Production
Pygmalion
by Queensland Theatre Company

Best Director Michael Futcher
for Animal Farm,
shake & stir theatre co

Michael Gow
for No Man’s Land,
Queensland Theatre Company

Best Male Actor in a Leading Role
Paul Bishop
in Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness

Best Female Actor in a Leading Role
Melanie Zanetti
in Pygmalion

Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Steven Rooke
in No Man’s Land

Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Carol Burns
in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Best Design
Renee Mulder
for set design, Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness

Best Emerging Artist
Anna McGahan
for Julius Caesar

Best Musical
Cabaret
by Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre

Emma Dean: Sally Bowles in Zen Zen Zo's Cabaret.

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