Posts Tagged ‘theatre awards


2013 Groundlings – the people’s choice Queensland-made theatre awards


I’m a bit behind the eight ball but I think it’s important to post here, albeit a little late, the winners of The Groundlings, Queensland’s only people’s choice awards for Queensland-made theatre. Thanks to Kate Foy and y’all had the chance to nominate and vote for your favourite productions from last year. Did you nominate? Did you vote? The facts and figures to come out of the wash up are fascinating. Check them out here.


Are there any surprises here for you? Better make sure you get your vote in next time! And next up?


Proudly supported by Arts Queensland
and Brisbane City Council



Monday 10 March
6:30pm for a 7pm start

Gardens Theatre,
George Street, Brisbane City

Hosted by 
Dash Kruck & Emily Burton

Entertainment by
Michelle Xen & the Neon Wild

Special Guest Presenter
James Stewart (Packed to the Rafters)

Michelle Zen and the Neon

We met Michelle Zen and the Neon on The Mystery Bus at Woodford! #woodford2013



2013 Groundling Award Winners –



Outstanding Contribution by an Actor: Nick Skubij

Body of Work includes Animal FarmOut Damn SnotTequila Mockingbird

Outstanding Contribution by an Actress: Barbara Lowing

Body of Work includes The China Incident; Tequila Mockingbird; Motherland

Outstanding Contribution by a Director: Michael Futcher

Tequila Mockingbird

Outstanding Contribution to Set Design: Josh McIntosh

Body of work includes Out Damn Snot; Blood Brothers; Tequila Mockingbird

Outstanding Contribution to Costume Design: Simone Romaniuk

The Wizard of Oz

Outstanding Contribution to Lighting Design: Jason Glenwright

Body of Work includes Oklahoma!Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside AdeleAnimal Farm

Outstanding Contribution to Sound Design or Composition: Dane Alexander

The Wizard of Oz, Motherland

Outstanding Contribution to Multimedia Design: Luke Monsour and Ray Pittman

The Empty City

Outstanding Contribution to Innovative Theatre Practice: Dead Puppet Society


Best New Play in an Inaugural Queensland Season: Tequila Mockingbird by Nelle Lee

shake and stir theatre company

Best Production: Motherland by Katherine Lyall Watson Directed by Caroline Dunphy

Ellen Belloo

Best Musical Theatre Production: Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele Devised and Produced by Adam Brunes and Naomi Price

the little red company

Best Co-Production: The Wizard of Oz (Maxine Mellor principal writer) Directed by Steven Mitchell Wright

the danger ensemble, La Boite Theatre Company, and The Brisbane Festival

Outstanding Contribution to Queensland theatre: shake and stir theatre company

for its contribution to theatre education for young people



Don’t you just love to get a glimpse inside someone else’s head? Here it is, for the first time in four years, the Ed’s Choice –



Bea Pontivec in The China Incident.

In a year notable for some thrilling performances by women, I found it hard to choose but finally it is Ms Lowing’s extraordinary creation of Bea Pontivec that gets my pick. I noted at the time it was “… a tour de force by an artist at the top of her game.” I still think this.

The Gentleman Caller in The Glass Menagerie at La Boite Theatre

Not one of the big roles in this or in other plays during the year but in one of the classic supporting and absolutely pivotal roles in modern drama Mr Curtis gave a “relaxed, pitch-perfect performance,” giving sense and substance to a character often passed over in Williams’ play.

DIRECTION: Caroline Dunphy for Motherland.

Shaping a new play, one with multiple characters and casting, and a narrative that crosses temporal and spatial planes in a confined space – surely more than enough of a challenge for a director – but Ms Dunphy’s secure grasp of the shape and tone of the text was also superbly translated on to the tiny stage at Metro Arts.

COSTUME DESIGN: Simone Romaniuk for her always beautifully rendered, sensitive designs.

Venus in Fur; The Wizard of Oz.

SET DESIGN: Penny Challen for The Glass Menagerie.

Ms Challen’s bold and definitive design caught the tone of the production superbly.

SOUND DESIGN OR COMPOSITION: Gordon HamiltonThe Glass Menagerie

Thrilling stuff this – “the composition and sound design slices and rearranges fragments of other times’ moods and melodies.”

LIGHTING:  David Walters MotherlandEnd of the Rainbow

One of the most experienced, accomplished, creative and innovative lighting designers working anywhere in the world.

Motherland by Katherine Lyall Watson

Beautifully written and expertly crafted, a gem of a play that weaves the epic and the personal and creates the kinds of roles actors long to play.

Motherland by Katherine Lyall Watson Directed by Caroline Dunphy

“This lovely ‘anti-epic’ – production is enormously accomplished, and the intimate tone at its heart fitted so beautifully into the little black-box of the Sue Benner Theatre at Metro Arts.”

Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele

Adele’s songs are brought to life by Naomi Price ”with heart and soul and terrific technique.” It’s “an extended monologue that feels like a conversation with friends … irreverent, deliciously wicked, funny, mouthy stuff … ”


The independent theatres and their makers, the dreamers and doers who are the lifeblood of our community. Thank you!



Matilda Award Nominees Announced!

2012 Matilda Award Nominations:

Best Mainstage Production:

As You Like It (La Boite)
Bombshells (QTC)
Kelly (QTC)
Tender Napalm (La Boite)
The Harbinger (La Boite & Dead Puppet Society)

Best New Australian Work:

A Tribute of Sorts (Benjamin Schostakowski)
Home (Margi Brown Ash)
Kelly (Matthew Ryan)
Managing Carmen (David Williamson)

Best Independent Production:

1984 (shake & stir)
A Tribute of Sorts (La Boite & Monsters Appear)
Loco Maricon Amor (The Danger Ensemble & Metro Arts)
Thérèse Raquin (Zen Zen Zo)
Vikram and the Vampire (Zen Zen Zo)

Best Male Actor in a Leading Role:

Bryan Probets (1984)
Dash Kruck (A Tribute of Sorts)
Kurt Phelan (Tender Napalm)
Steven Rooke (Kelly)

Best Female Actor in a Leading Role:
Christen O’Leary (Bombshells)
Emily Curtin (A Tribute of Sorts)
Helen Howard (As You Like It)
Lizzie Ballinger (Thérèse Raquin)
Margi Brown Ash (Home)

Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role:

Bryan Probets (As You Like It)
John Batchelor (Managing Carmen)
Steven Tandy (Romeo and Juliet)
Tony Brockman (Thérèse Raquin)

Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role:

Liz Buchanan (Hairspray)
Louise Brehmer (Thérèse Raquin)
Luisa Prosser (Thérèse Raquin)
Rachel Dunham (Hairspray)

Best Director:

Ben Schostakowski (A Tribute of Sorts)
Helen Howard (Thérèse Raquin)
Michael Futcher (1984)
Todd MacDonald (Kelly)

Best Design:
Bev Jensen (Home)
Optikal Bloc (1984)
Simone Romaniuk (Elizabeth)
Simone Romaniuk (Kelly)

Best Emerging Artist:

Daniel Anderson (lighting design for Bombshells and Tender Napalm)
Emily Curtin (A Tribute of Sorts)
Lizzie Ballinger (Thérèse Raquin)
Luisa Prosser (Thérèse Raquin)


Commendations are awarded to the most outstanding nominee in each of these ten categories. Five main Matilda Awards are also awarded to the ‘best-of-the-best’ of Brisbane theatre in 2012. These will be unknown until the night of the ceremony.


What did you see in 2012? Remember, you can nominate your favourite artists for Groundling Awards until January 31st!



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


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


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

Best Independent Production
Animal Farm
by shake & stir theatre co

by 4MBS Festival of Classics

Best Mainstage Production
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
by Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre

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


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