The shortlist has been announced for the Stage Awards and we are over the moon to be nominated for Regional Theatre of the Year and the Achievement in Technical Theatre Award!
Robert Hastie, Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres, said: ‘We're absolutely thrilled to be nominated as Regional Theatre of the Year and for Achievement in Technical Theatre in this year’s Stage awards.
We've shared a wonderful year with our audiences and I’m so pleased and proud that at its heart it’s been one that’s embraced a spirit of adventure. We’ve brought four world premieres to the stage, including our new musical, Standing at the Sky’s Edge and Life of Pi, which transfers to the West End next summer joining our production of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. We’ve also revived and reimagined plays including debbie tucker green’s hang, Githa Sowerby’s Rutherford and Son and most recently Charlotte Keatley’s My Mother Said I Never Should in a co-production with fingersmiths.
Continuing our commitment to investing in talent from across our city and region, we’ve established a new creative hub, The Bank, a space that’s home to our first cohort of writers, producers and directors who’ll be supported for the next 12 months.
These nominations are a testament to all the brilliant people who make Sheffield Theatres what it is, and I’m particularly delighted by the celebration of our fantastic technical and production teams whose skill and dedication to all our work has been recognised for Life of Pi.’
On the nomination for Regional Theatre of the Year, The Stage said:‘Really hitting its stride under the artistic directorship of Robert Hastie, Sheffield Theatres boasted an extremely impressive 2019. Standing at the Sky’s Edge, a musical set on Sheffield’s Park Hill estate, with music by Richard Hawley and a book by newly announced associate director Chris Bush, won the UK Theatre award for best musical as well as scooping The Stage Debut Award for actor Adam Hugill.
This exciting new musical was followed by an equally exciting new play: Lolita Chakrabarti’s stage adaptation of Life of Pi. Max Webster’s ambitious stage version of Yann Martel’s bestselling novel, realised through a mixture of stunning puppetry – by Nick Barnes and Finn Caldwell – and video design, netted Sheffield a slew of five-star reviews, four more UK Theatre award and a West End transfer later in 2020.
Other highlights included a revival of Githa Sowerby’s masterwork Rutherford and Son and a new British Sign Language version of Charlotte Keatley’s My Mother Said I Never Should, made in conjunction with Fingersmiths.
In the West End, Sheffield Theatres’ production of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie entered its second year. The theatre also launched the Bank, a creative hub to support local artists, and Sheffield Theatres’ stage management team won at this year’s SMA National Stage Management Awards.’
A new category to the Awards is Achievement in Technical Theatre. Referencing the nomination for Sheffield Theatres’ Life of Pi creative and production teams, The Stage said: ‘Some questioned how Yann Martel’s bestselling book of a boy stranded on a boat with a Bengal tiger in the middle of the Pacific ocean could be effectively adapted for the stage. But Sheffield Theatres pulled it off superbly, with this production – directed by Max Webster – leaving audiences breathless.
Lolita Chakrabarti’s adaptation was brilliantly complemented by Tim Hatley’s set design, Tim Lutkin’s lighting, Finn Caldwell and Nick Barnes’ puppets – “works of art” according to The Stage’s review – and the sublime video work by Andrzej Goulding. For his state-of-the-art projections, Goulding part rendered and part filmed the water that allowed the audience to feel they were floating along with Pi and the tiger. The centrepiece was the 44-pound tiger puppet operated by three puppeteers, which had reviewers purring that it was a worthy successor to War Horse. No small compliment.’
The Stage Awards launched in 2010 to highlight the achievements of theatre companies and individuals across the UK and globally. The winner of each category will be announced at the awards ceremony on January 31, 2020.