Posts Tagged ‘awards


Short+Sweet Brisbane and Gold Coast Gala Final




Best Actor Female

Candice Davie (The Rental Company)

Georgia Cranstoun (Birgitte’s Story Time)

Emily Pollard (The Pond)

Deanna Watt (Genevieve and the Bus Stop)

Carly Rees (Genevieve and the Bus Stop)

Francis Marrington (Half Of Nothing)

Winner: Georgia Cranstoun

Best Actor Male
Sam Ryan (The Pond)
Ben Distledorf (The Rental Company)
Jacob Paint (Wilderness)
Wayne Basset (It Came From The Couch+From The Cradle to the Brave)
Winner: Sam Ryan
Best Director
Keiran Brice (Wilderness)
Casey Woods (The Rental Company)
Lisa Smith (Genevieve and the Bus Stop)
Noel Sheridan (The Pond)
Joshua Mcann Thompson (On The Shelf)
Winner: Casey Woods (The Rental Company)
Best Comedy
Birgitte’s Story Time (The Rental Company)
Genevieve and the Bus Stop
Winner: Birgitte’s Story Time by Georgia Cranstoun+Rio Holland, directed by Georgia Cranstoun+Rio Holland
Best Drama
The Pond (Con Nats)
Wilderness (James McLindon)
From The Cradle to the Brave (Angela Ready)
Winner: The Pond by Con Nats, Directed by Noel Sheridan
Best Wildcard
It Came From The Couch
Winner: Wilderness by James McLindon, Directed by Kieran Brice
Best New Talent
Brea Robertson (On The Shelf)
David Trapp (Meet Cute)
Matt Crawford (The Rental Company)
Ben Distledorf (The Rental Company)
Winner: Matt Crawford (The Rental Company)
Peoples Choice
It Came From The Couch
Genevieve and the Bus Stop (White Rabbit Theatre)
Winner: Genevieve and the Bus Stop (White Rabbit Theatre )
Best Independent Theatre Company
De Love la ( It’s All Very Hush Hush)
The Bare Bottomed Tea Fiends (My Bathroom Musical)
White Rabbit Theatre (Genevieve and the Bus Stop)
The Vertebras (The Theraputic Ex)
De Love la ( It’s All Very Hush Hush) Allison Manson, Chiara Lagana, Jennifer Goulding
The Short+Sweet Award
The Pond (By Con Nats Directed by Noel Sheridan)
It’s All Very Hush Hush (De Love la, Allison Manson, Chiara Lagana, Jennifer Goulding)
The Rental Company (By Mark Cornell Directed by Casey Woods)
Winner: The Rental Company (By Mark Cornell Directed by Casey Woods)
Sean Dennehy Short+Sweet

Sean Dennehy, Queensland Festival Director, Short + Sweet Theatre Festival. Picture: Ric Frearson Source: Quest Newspapers


The Groundling Awards 2011

The Groundlings. These are “the people’s choice awards” of Brisbane theatre (unlike the Matildas, they have never claimed to cover Queensland at large). Personally, while I think the voting system is as fair as it can be (and I hope news of it reaches as wide a voting audience as possible and I hope that the voting audience saw what they claim to have seen), I still have a couple of qualms over the noms process. I can see, however, that the people who knew the noms were open, who saw a bit of theatre throughout 2011 and who bothered to get online and nominate have spoken. N.B. As a theatre critic (as opposed to a normal person) I did not submit any nominations, nor will I be voting (although, perhaps in future, there is a case for noms to be submitted by the companies, then narrowed down by the critics, then voted on by the people). There are certainly some notable oversights. Now, don’t think that I’m being biased and playing favourites, trying to influence the votes by posting the clips below. There are simply some companies recording very well, their trailers and the opening night audience responses. That’s right. The value of those vox pops just went through the roof!

To cast your vote (READY, NORMAL PEOPLE?) and to find out the results (after voting closes on February 10) head on over to

I don’t mind telling you that I’m surprised by some of the nominations. Here they are…

2011 Categories:

Outstanding Contribution by an Actor

Leon Cain (Orphans – QTC)
Bryan Probets (Body of Work including Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness- La Boite; Animal Farm – Shake and Stir; Pygmalion – QTC)
Lucas Stibbard (restaged season of boy girl wall – La Boite)

Outstanding Contribution by an Actress

Melanie Zanetti (Pygmalion – QTC)
Amy Ingram (Rabbit: the good room – Metro Arts)
Nelle Lee (Animal Farm – shake and stir theatre company)

Outstanding Contribution by a Director

Steven Mitchell Wright (The Hamlet Apocalypse for The Danger Ensemble/La Boite Indie)
Tim O’Connor (JC Superstar for Harvest Rain Theatre Company)
Shaun Charles (Water Wars for Umber Productions/La Boite Indie)
Michael Futcher (Animal Farm for Shake and Stir)

Outstanding Contribution to Set Design

Josh McIntosh (Body of work including Animal Farm)
Penelope Challen (Water Wars)
Simone Romaniuk (Fractions)

Outstanding Contribution to Costume Design

Romance Was Born (Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness)
Josh McIntosh (Body of work including Aladdin and Animal Farm)
Stephen Curtis (Pygmalion)

Outstanding Contribution to Lighting Design

David Walters (Body of Work and innovation in Water Wars for sustainable lighting practices)
Jason Glenwright (Body of Work including Ruben GuthrieAnimal Farm)
Ben Hughes (Body of Work including OrphansFractionsThe Hamlet ApocalypseStudio Shorts JUTE)

Outstanding Contribution to Sound Design or Composition

Guy Webster (Body of Work including Water WarsAnimal FarmRuben Guthrie)
Dane Alexander (The Hamlet Apocalypse)

Outstanding Contribution to Multimedia Design

Freddy Komp (Body of work including Water WarsEmpire Burning)
Dead Puppet Society  (The Harbinger)

Outstanding Contribution to Innovative Theatre Practice

Paul Osuch and Anywhere Theatre Festival for creating an imaginative infrastructure for theatre-making
Umber Productions and its contribution to sustainable theatre practice through the production of Water Wars
Steven Mitchell Wright and the Danger Ensemble for pushing performance and theatrical boundaries

Best New Play in an Inaugural Queensland Season

Water Wars by Elaine Acworth – Umber Productions/La Boite Indie/Empire Projects Company
Animal Farm  by George Orwell, adapted  by Nick Skubij (shake and stir theatre company)
Fractions by Marcel Dorney – Queensland Theatre Company

Best Production

The Hamlet Apocalypse – The Danger Ensemble/La Boite Indie
Animal Farm – shake and stir
Water Wars – Umber Productions/La Boite Indie

Best Musical Theatre Production

Cabaret – Zen Zen Zo
Spring Awakening – Oscar Theatre Company
Jesus Christ Superstar – (return season) Harvest Rain Theatre Company

Best Co-Production

Faustus (QTC and Bell Shakespeare)
Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness (La Boite and STC)
No Man’s Land (QTC and STC)

Outstanding Contribution to Queensland theatre

Terry O’Connor and John Brabon (Producers) for the development of the long-running project Shakespeare Under the Stars (Townsville)
Julie Whiting (Founder and Musical Director Blue Fish Theatrical) for leadership in the development of musical theatre training (Brisbane)
Tim O’Connor (Artistic Director) and Harvest Rain Theatre Company for the company’s contribution to the development of a sustainable independent theatre model (Brisbane)



Remember what you saw.

Remember how you felt.

Remember what you said.



To Award or not to Award?

That is, and will always be, the question.

Check out, if you haven’t already, Augusta Supple’s blog at because she is a talented, insightful, emotive writer and reviewer after my own heart, telling it as it is. Most recently, Augusta has blogged about boycotting the Sydney Theatre Awards, which is no small protest from somebody who is a respected authority on Sydney theatre and theatre-making generally. Put it this way: Gus knows her stuff. If she is of the opinion that vital work was overlooked, I’m prepared to take her word for it.

The same week, I received my print copy of Stage Whispers

(I’m a bit old school when it comes to subscriptions)

I noted, with interest, that in his editorial, Neil Litchfield bemoans the fact that Sydney community theatre has no special social event for its theatre-makers – no awards, no dinner, no party it seems – as the Music Theatre Guild of Victoria does in its celebrated Bruce Awards.

“I can only wish we had a similar community musical theatre night-of-nights, not so much for the awards, as for the fabulous performing showcase, and the immense sense of the performing community coming together in the foyer before and after the packed house ceremony. I felt a great nostalgia for Sydney’s lost tradition of Combined Musical Society Balls.” Neil Litchfield

Here here!

On the Sunshine Coast we have been missing, for a long time, as well as our unbiased reviewer, a number of those other elements that bring together a theatrical community: combined company productions, Saturday mornings spent at whichever theatre has a set requiring painting, fittings at Nancy’s house, living room play readings, piano parties and that strange affair known as the Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance STAR Awards. Well, some of us have not missed the STAR Awards at all but instead, since its demise some years ago, have decided to replace the entire event with a SOIREE, without the pressure, mess and aftermath of an awards system that left most dissatisfied (and too many falsely confident in their abilities), rather than simply delighted to have had the opportunity to catch up with like-minded friends in a swanky setting over a few fancy drinks.

I attended what must have been one of the last ever STAR Awards evenings. I was pregnant. I was not drinking. I was bemused and dismayed that very little mingling and networking happened and instead, a lot of gossip happened, prior to the event, during the night and well and truly after the evening had finished! Those who had been recognised and given awards tended to grin and gloat and those who were overlooked were needlessly devastated. Of course I’m over-generalising (I’m sure there have been some who have themselves wondered at the award they’ve received!) after all, let’s not forget that I was sober! I’m sure it was all good originally,

Way back in the days when the grass was still green

and the pond was still wet

and the clouds were still clean,

and the song of the Swomee-Swans rang out in space…

Suffice to say, towards the end, the awards night was just not achieving one of its main goals: to bring together in celebration, the theatrical community on the Sunshine Coast. (The STA’s major goal has always been to promote live theatre across the Sunshine Coast and this is something that is done superbly, via some terrific print and radio media partners, social media and

This year, the Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance, with Sam Coward at its helm, has decided to celebrate our involvement in local theatre without the awards. The evening, in February, is an opportunity to celebrate freely, without the competitive element. Sam says, “Take away the competition and we are left with a fun, friendly night of celebration and an opportunity to launch every theatre company’s 2012 season.” Sounds good to me. Thanks to the work of the committee members, we will enjoy drinks, canapes, media, mingling, networking, catching up with friends and performances from some of the theatre companies. Next year, we hope to see performances from ALL of the theatre companies. this will be a major milestone in itself. Previously, only not-for-profit theatrical companies have been granted STA membership and thus, their support. In terms of advertising alone, to allow ALL companies now to join the Alliance is a complete turnaround and a big step forward for the Sunshine Coast theatre community. It was something that had always baffled me: why would those over-achieving multi-taskers among us choose NOT to make money from our art? I know. I hear you guffawing. But we try, don’t we? And for those of us who make the effort to capitalise on what we’re doing, there is now a little bit more support locally than there was before.

Now. What to wear? The dress code is Dress to Impress and the ONLY award of the night is for Best Dressed!

Ironic much?

Obviously then, when reporting back to you, I shall have a fabulous photo gallery rather than a boring list of the theatre-makers-somebody-thought-did-the-best-job-all-year-even-though-the-criteria-was-thrown-into-question-and-they-didn’t-see-everybody-else’s-efforts-and-played-favourites-anyway.

That may not be true. I can’t back that up. I’ll just post the pics of everybody looking fab, shall I?

What are your thoughts on arts’ awards?

Do you prefer a people’s choice award? If so, The Groundlings can be found at Do you like your critics to deem what’s “best”? If so, you can appreciate those Sydney Theatre Award results and look forward to the Matildas. Or do you really just enjoy a genuine celebration without the competitive edge? If so, come join us at the Soiree! Only 60 tickets left! Book online here.


sunshine coast theatre festival: results

Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival August 19-21 2011

Buderim Memorial Hall

Adjudicator: Karen Crone

The Donahue Sisters – Act 1 Theatre (Best Play, Best Director, Best Actor in a Drama – Female)

Vectura – Excalibur Theatre Company (Second Best Play, Best Supporting Actor Comedy – Female, Adjudicator’s Award)

Nothing – Noosa Arts Theatre (Third Best Play, Best Actor in a Comedy – Male)

God Goes To A Shrink – SAD Theatre (Best Unpublished Script, Best Actor in a Comedy – Female)

So! Where Is It?” – Random Acts (Best Actor in a Drama – Male)

Bar and Ger – BATS Theatre Company (Best Supporting Actor Drama – Male)

Mistress Macbeth – Dalby Players (Best Supporting Actor Drama – Female, Certificate of Distinction)

Punch – Golden Glove Productions (Best Supporting Actor Comedy – Male, Certificate of Distinction)

Not Forgotten – Brisbane Arts Theatre (Certificate of Distinction)

Death of An Anarchist – V1 (Certificate of Distinction)

Roulette – Hills Players (Certificate of Distinction)

A Game – Ipswich Little Theatre (Certificate of Distinction)

Into The Mist – Random Acts (Certificate of Distinction)

Mark Lucas (Adjudicator’s Award) & Excalibur debrief with Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance President, Sam Coward
The festival continues with the youth section on Saturday September 3rd at Lind Lane Theatre, Nambour.

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