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2014 Manchester Theatre Awards - the nominations

PUBLISHED: 18:19 25 January 2015 | UPDATED: 16:38 12 February 2016

Suranne Jones was Orlando at Manchester Royal Exchange

Suranne Jones was Orlando at Manchester Royal Exchange

©Jonathan Keenan

It’s curtain up on the annual Manchester Theatre Awards as David Upton previews the nominations from a glittering year of performances

Maxine Peake as Hamlet at Manchester Royal ExchangeMaxine Peake as Hamlet at Manchester Royal Exchange

Two of the region’s top actresses, who both also star in major TV serials, are nominated in the same category for the latest Manchester Theatre Awards.

Suranne Jones and Maxine Peake took lead roles in critically-acclaimed productions at the city’s Royal Exchange Theatre in 2014 and are now both shortlisted in the Best Actress category.

The annual awards, which are supported by Cheshire Life and Lancashire Life as a media sponsor, cover 20 categories and are chosen by a panel of 11 of the region’s leading theatre critics.

Suranne Jones took the title role earlier in the year in Orlando, a stage adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s time and gender-shifting novel. The Oldham-born actress first achieved fame in TV’s Coronation Street before more recently featuring as Sgt Rachel Bailey in the highly-rated Scott and Bailey series.

Robert Lindsay, with co-stars Katherine Kingsley and Rufus Hound, in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at Manchester Opera HouseRobert Lindsay, with co-stars Katherine Kingsley and Rufus Hound, in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at Manchester Opera House

Maxine Peake, from Bolton, shot to fame in TV’s original Shameless series and now stars in both Silk and The Village on BBC. In September she took to the Exchange stage as Hamlet, the latest in a number of actresses to become Shakespeare’s tortured Prince. She is now an associate artist at the venue as well as a previous winner of the MTA Best Actress Award for her performance of Miss Julie.

The Exchange, and Bolton’s Octagon Theatre, monopolise the nominations across four of the leading categories, for Best Actor and Best Actress, as well as Best Supporting Actor and Actress.

Other famous names shortlisted for awards include Robert Lindsay, who starred in the premiere performance of the musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at Manchester Opera House before it went on to acclaim in the West End, and Sir Anthony Sher, who appeared in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Henry IV Parts I and II at The Lowry in Salford.

They both go head to head in the Best Visiting Actor category.

Sir Anthony Sher as Falstaff at the Lowry in SalfordSir Anthony Sher as Falstaff at the Lowry in Salford

Veteran comedy entertainer Barry Humphries is amongst nominations for Best Special Entertainment for his farewell performance at Manchester Opera House. It was an especially poignant event as his grandfather emigrated to Australia from the city back in 1888.

Other awards cover nominations for best musical, dance and opera performances and there are six nominations in the coveted Best Production category – all of them homegrown in Manchester.

Similarly the city’s energetic fringe and studio theatre scene is honoured across four categories.

Several of this year’s theatre award nominations also feature productions that have been tailored for performance away from traditional theatre stages and have been presented in everything from the city’s Edwardian baths . . . to a pram shop in Oldham town centre.

Barry Humphries in Eat, Pray, Laugh at Manchester Opera HouseBarry Humphries in Eat, Pray, Laugh at Manchester Opera House

The winners will be announced at a glittering awards event on stage at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music on Friday March 13.

All the nominees are invited as well as celebrity guests to present the coveted glass trophies. A limited number of audience tickets are also available from www.rncm.ac.uk and there will be coverage of the event in Life magazines.

For a more details visit www.manchestertheatreawards.com

THE 2014 NOMINATIONS

Best Actor

Rob Edwards, in Duet For One and Separation, at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Michael Hugo, in Around The World In 80 Days, at the Royal Exchange

Harry McEntire, in Billy Liar, at the Royal Exchange

Dan Parr, in Britannia Waves The Rules, at the Royal Exchange

Michael Shelford, in Early One Morning, at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Best Actress

Clare Foster, in Duet For One and Separation, at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Natalie Grady, in Hobson’s Choice, at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Suranne Jones, in Orlando, at the Royal Exchange

Maxine Peake, in Hamlet, at the Royal Exchange

Lauren Samuels, in Love Story, at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

David Birrell, in Journey’s End, at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Colin Connor, in Early One Morning, at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Daragh O’Malley, in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, at the Royal Exchange

Michael Shelford, in Hobson’s Choice, at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Nuno Silva, in Little Shop Of Horrors, at the Royal Exchange

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Claire Benedict, in Hamlet, at the Royal Exchange

Gillian Bevan, in Hamlet, at the Royal Exchange

Molly Gromadzki, in Orlando, at the Royal Exchange

Katie Moore, in Billy Liar, at the Royal Exchange

Best Actor in a Visiting Production

Joshua Jenkins, in The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, at The Lowry

Robert Lindsay, in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, at the Opera House

Cassidy Little, in The Two Worlds Of Charlie F, at the Opera House

Steven Miller, in Shakespeare’s Othello, at The Lowry

Antony Sher, in Henry IV Parts I and II, at The Lowry

Al Weaver, in The Pride, at the Opera House

Best Actress in a Visiting Production

Jane Asher, in Moon Tiger, at The Lowry

Emily Butterfield, in An August Bank Holiday Lark, at Oldham Coliseum

Lisa Dwan, in Not I, Footfalls and Rockaby, at The Lowry

Katherine Kingsley, in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, at the Opera House

Emma Williams, in Annie Get Your Gun, at the Opera House

Best Production

Angel Meadow, directed by Louise Lowe and company for ANU Productions and HOME, at Edinburgh Castle, Ancoats

Around The World In 80 Days, directed by Theresa Heskins, for the Royal Exchange

Close The Coalhouse Door, directed by Kevin Shaw for Oldham Coliseum

Journey’s End, directed by David Thacker for Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Romeo And Juliet, directed by Walter Meierjohann for HOME, at Victoria Baths

Separation, directed by Elizabeth Newman for Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Best Visiting Production

The Curious Incident Of the Dog In The Night-Time, from the National Theatre, at The Lowry

The Events, from Actors Touring Company, at Number One First Street

Not I, Footfalls and Rockaby, from the Royal Court Theatre, at The Lowry

The Pride, from Jamie Lloyd Productions, at the Opera House

Shakespeare’s Othello, from Frantic Assembly, at The Lowry

The Brynteg Award for Best Musical

20th Century Boy, at the Opera House

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, at the Opera House

Jersey Boys, at the Palace Theatre

Little Shop Of Horrors, at the Royal Exchange

Love Story, at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Robert Robson Award for Dance

Beauty Of The Beast, from Company Chameleon, at The Lowry

Cinderella, from Northern Ballet Theatre, at the Palace Theatre

Le Corsaire, from English National Ballet, at the Palace Theatre

Dracula, from Mark Bruce Productions, at Contact Theatre

Lord Of The Flies, from New Adventures, at The Lowry

Opera

Götterdämmerung, from Opera North, at The Lowry

Life On The Moon, from English Touring Opera, at Buxton Opera House

The Coronation Of Poppea, from Opera North, at The Lowry

The Girl Of The Golden West, from Opera North, at The Lowry

The Jacobin, from Buxton Festival, at Buxton Opera House

Design

Angel Meadow, at HOME, the Edinburgh Castle, Ancoats

Journey’s End, at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Little Shop Of Horrors, at the Royal Exchange

Romeo and Juliet, at HOME at Victoria Baths

The Life And Times Of Mitchell And Kenyon, at Oldham Coliseum

Best Newcomer

Emily Barber, in Billy Liar, at the Royal Exchange

Wil Coban, in Romeo And Juliet, at HOME at Victoria Baths

Dominic Myerscough, in Icarus, at the Lowry Studio

Maeve O’Sullivan, in Close The Coalhouse Door, at Oldham Coliseum

Best New Play

An August Bank Holiday Lark, by Deborah McAndrew, at Oldham Coliseum

In My Bed, by Rebekah Harrison, at 24:7 Theatre Festival, New Century Hall

This May Hurt A Bit, by Stella Feehilly, at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Watching Goldfish Suffocate, by David Degiorgio and Craig Hepworth, at the Great Northern Playhouse

Best Studio Production

Amsterdam, from Afrique Performs, at Contact Theatre

He Had Hairy Hands, from Kill The Beast Company, at the Lowry Studio

Solfatara, from Atresbandes at the Lowry Studio

The C Project, from Working Progress Theatre Company at the Lowry Studio

Best Fringe Production

In My Bed, from Milk And Two Sugars Company, for 24:7 Theatre Festival, at New Century Hall

Life’s A Gatecrash, from PACT Theatre Company at The Kings Arms, Salford

The Tongue Twister, from 24:7 Theatre Festival, at New Century Hall

Thick As Thieves, from Hard Graft Theatre Company, at ReTale, Oldham Mumps

Watching Goldfish Suffocate, from Vertigo Theatre, at the Great Northern Playhouse

Best Studio Performance

Ellie Kendrick, in Pests, at the Royal Exchange Studio

Sinèad Matthews, in Pests, at the Royal Exchange Studio

Amaka Okafor, in Bird, at the Bill Naughton Studio, Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Best Fringe Performance

Jarreau Benjamin, in Len Johnson Fighter, at the Kings Arms, Salford

David Degiorgio, in Watching Goldfish Suffocate, at The Great Northern Playhouse

Kaitlin Howard, in The Alphabet Girl, at the Kings Arms, Salford

OIivia Sweeney, in In My Bed, at 24:7 Theatre Festival, New Century Hall

John Weaver, in Afterglow, at 24:7 Theatre Festival, New Century Hall

Best Ensemble

Alice In Wonderland, at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Angel Meadow, at HOME, the Edinburgh Castle, Ancoats

Close The Coalhouse Door, at Oldham Coliseum

Romeo And Juliet, at HOME, Victoria Baths

This May Hurt A Bit, by Out Of Joint Theatre Company, at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Best Special Entertainment

Barry Humphries, in Eat, Pray, Laugh at the Opera House

Best of BE Festival, at Number One First Street

Cirque Berserk, at The Lowry

In The Night Garden, at the Trafford Centre

Robin Cousins’ Ice, at The Lowry

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