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The Industry

Actors Mark Gatiss, Daniel Rigby, Lena Hall and Antony Eden among winners at the UK Theatre Awards 2023

On Sunday 8 October 2023, the UK Theatre Awards 2023 took place at London’s historic Guildhall. Hosted by musical theatre star and Spotlight member Zoe Birkett (Moulin Rouge! The Musical, The Bodyguard,Priscilla Queen of the Desert), these prestigious awards celebrate outstanding achievements in theatre across the UK. 

The awards highlight various on stage and off stage triumphs, from Best New Play and Best Performance in a Musical, to Excellence in Inclusivity and Digital Innovation. Nottingham Playhouse won the award for the UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre (sponsored by Theatre Tokens), and the UK Theatre Board awarded the Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre Award to Spotlight member Mark Gatiss, whose credits include Mission: Impossible – Dead ReckoningDoctor Who, BBC’s Sherlock (which he also co-created and co-produced), Game of Thrones and Operation Mincemeat.

Spotlight member Daniel Rigby took home the award for Best Performance in a Play for his portrayal of the ‘Maniac’ in Accidental Death of an Anarchist, and will be moving onto Roald Dahl’s The Witches at the National when Anarchist ends in September. The Best Performance in a Musical was secured by Lena Hall, who rocked audiences as ‘Kenna’ in In Dreams, and Spotlight member Antony Eden won Best Supporting Performance in a Musical or Play for his role of ‘John Stanton’ in Family Album.

See the full list of winners and nominees below:

On Stage Nominations

Best Design

  • Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey and UTLZ – Tambo & Bones, Theatre Royal Stratford East and Actors Touring Company (WINNER)
  • Conor Murphy – Propaganda: A New Musical, Lyric Theatre Belfast and The Belfast Ensemble
  • Justin Nardella (Set, Costume and Video Design) and Dan Steele (Sound Design) – iShowmanism!, Theatre Royal Bath

Best Director

  • Garry Hynes – DruidO’Casey, Druid Theatre at Lyric Theatre Belfast (WINNER)
  • Matthew Dunster and Jimmy Fairhurst – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare North Playhouse, Not Too Tame and Northern Stage
  • Omar Elerian – As You Like It, Royal Shakespeare Company

Best Musical Production (sponsored by Tysers in association with Ecclesiastical)

  • Gypsy, The Mill at Sonning (WINNER)
  • The Book Thief, Octagon Theatre Bolton
  • Miss Saigon, Sheffield Theatres, by special arrangement with Cameron Mackintosh

Best New Play 

  • Enough of Him, National Theatre of Scotland and Pitlochry Festival Theatre (WINNER)
  • Agreement, Lyric Theatre Belfast
  • Untitled F*ck M*ss S**gon Play, Royal Exchange Theatre, Factory International for Manchester International Festival, Young Vic Theatre and Headlong

Best Play Revival (sponsored by Trafalgar Theatres)

  • The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Lyric Theatre Belfast and Prime Cut (WINNER)
  • The Comedy of Errors (More or Less), Shakespeare North Playhouse and Stephen Joseph Theatre
  • The Contingency Plan: On the Beach and Resilience, Sheffield Theatres

Best Performance in a Play 

  • Daniel Rigby – Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Sheffield Theatres and Lyric Hammersmith in association with Playful Productions (WINNER)
  • Peter Forbes – On The Beach, part of a double bill: The Contingency Plan, Sheffield Theatres
  • Siobhán McSweeney – Happy Days, Landmark Productions at Birmingham Rep
  • Wiliam Young – Of Mice & Men, Birmingham Rep, Leeds Playhouse and Fiery Angel

Daniel Rigby in ‘Accidental Death of an Anarchist’
(Image credit: Helen Murray)

Best Performance in a Musical 

  • Lena Hall – In Dreams, Leeds Playhouse (WINNER)
  • Joanna Ampil – Miss Saigon, Sheffield Theatres, by special arrangement with Cameron Mackintosh
  • Rebecca Thornhill – Gypsy, The Mill at Sonning

Best Show for Children and Young People 

  • The SpongeBob Musical, Showpath Entertainment (WINNER)
  • The Famous Five: A New Musical, Theatr Clywd and Chichester Festival Theatre
  • Mirrorball, Replay Theatre Company at Belfast Children’s Festival, Lyric Theatre Belfast

Best Supporting Performance in a Musical or Play

  • Antony Eden – Family Album, Stephen Joseph Theatre (WINNER)
  • Bryony Corrigan – I, Daniel Blake, Northern Stage, Birmingham Rep, ETT, Oldham Coliseum and tiny dragon Productions in association with Cardboard Citizens
  • LJ Parkinson – Modest, Middle Child and Milk Presents

Achievement in Opera 

  • Opera North – Orpheus (WINNER)
  • Glyndebourne – Dialogues Des Carmélites
  • Welsh National Opera – Blaze of Glory!

Achievement in Dance  

  • Scottish Ballet – Coppélia (WINNER)
  • Jo Fong and George Orange – The Rest of Our Lives
  • Rambert – Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby

Off Stage Nominations

Excellence in Touring

  • Northern Stage, Birmingham Rep, ETT, Oldham Coliseum, tiny dragon Productions and Cardboard Citizens (WINNER)
  • ETT
  • Nottingham Playhouse

Digital Innovation (Sponsored by Spektrix)

  • Tara Theatre (WINNER)
  • HOME X presented by the Barbican
  • Pilot Theatre

Excellence in Inclusivity

  • Capital Theatres (WINNER)
  • Midlands Arts Centre
  • Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch

Excellence in Arts Education

  • Blackpool Grand Theatre (WINNER)
  • Birmingham Hippodrome
  • Hackney Empire

Workforce Award

  • Ambassador Theatre Group (WINNER)
  • Grand Opera House York
  • Nottingham Playhouse

UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre (Sponsored by Theatre Tokens)

  • Nottingham Playhouse (WINNER)
  • Curve
  • National Youth Theatre

Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre

  • Mark Gatiss (WINNER)

From all of us at Spotlight, we want to wish a huge congratulations to all the winners!

Take a look at our website for more awards news and industry advice.

Image credit: Sally Jubb / ‘Enough of Him’, National Theatre of Scotland and Pitlochry Festival Theatre