COMEDIAN Justin Moorhouse acted as MC at the Manchester Theatre Awards Ceremony at The Lowry.

Singer Gwyneth Herbert, who, with her husband, Ned Cartwright, has been appearing at the Cinnamon Club, Bowdon, for 10 years, presented the award for Performance in a Fringe Production.

She said: “I was told not to peep in the envelope, so the winner, Alexandra Maxwell, The Loves of Others/Freak from Greater Manchester Fringe Festival, was a complete surprise.

“It was exciting to witness the breadth of achievement, the sense of a creative family and a very welcoming community.”

Sheena Wrigley, theatre director of the Manchester Palace Theatre and the Opera House, accepted the Robert Robson award for Dance on behalf of the English National Ballet for its double bill at the Palace.

She was an appropriate recipient. For Sheena, who was brought up in Brooklands, attended the June Rendell School of Dancing, Altrincham, from the ages of six to 18.

“I was a very average ballet dancer although I did reach grade six. I was tall and not suited to classical ballet although I loved it,” she said.

She was impressed with the broad range of theatre represented ranging from new writers to international companies.

HOME won the most awards with five.

Winner of the Best Actress award was Janet Suzman for Rose at HOME and the Best Actor award went to Kenneth Alan Taylor for Father at the Oldham Colisseum, which also won the Best Production Prize.

Barrie Rutter, founder and former Artistic Director of Northern Broadsides and Anne Hornsby, an audio describer with Mind’s Eye Audio Describers were given special achievement awards.

Guests were kept amused by comic singer song-writer Daniel Cainer, performance poets, Alex Slater and Rosie Fleeshman and Dean Robinson, from Opera North, who performed arias from Don Giovanni.

Manchester Theatre Awards 2018 at the Lowry

* denotes winners

Actress in a Leading Role

Karen Henthorn, Spring and Port Wine, Oldham Coliseum

Lisa Dwyer Hogg, People, Places & Things, HOME

Nina Hoss, Returning to Reims, Manchester International Festival

* Janet Suzman, Rose, HOME

Actor in a Leading Role

Cliff Burnett, Hard Times, Oldham Coliseum

Jason Merrells, Uncle Vanya, HOME

* Kenneth Alan Taylor, The Father, Oldham Coliseum

Ashley Zhangazha, Guys And Dolls, Royal Exchange

Actress in a Supporting Role

Alison Halstead, The House of Bernarda Alba, Royal Exchange

Kate Kennedy, Twelfth Night, Royal Exchange

Kerry Peers, The Father, Oldham Coliseum

* Katie West, Uncle Vanya, HOME

Actor in a Supporting Role

Tom Michael Blyth, Hard Times, Oldham Coliseum

David Fleeshman, Uncle Vanya, HOME

* Andrew Sheridan, People, Places & Things, HOME

Actress in a Visiting Production

Ria Jones, Sunset Boulevard, Palace Theatre

Laura Pitt-Pulford, Nell Gwynn, The Lowry

Natalie Radmall-Quirke, The Weir, Oldham Coliseum

* Sheridan Smith, Funny Girl, Palace Theatre

Actor in a Visiting Production

* Danny Mac, Sunset Boulevard, Palace Theatre

Graham McDuff, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Palace Theatre

Sean Murray, The Weir, Oldham Coliseum


Oh What A Lovely War, Oldham Coliseum

Operation Black Antler, HOME

* The Suppliant Women, Royal Exchange

Performance in a Fringe Production

Rosie Fleeshman, Narcissist in the Mirror, Greater Manchester Fringe

Amie Giselle-Ward, Little Women – The Musical, Hope Mill Theatre

* Alexandra Maxwell, The Loves of Others / Freak, Greater Manchester Fringe

Danny Solomon, Days Of Wine And Roses, 53TWO

Performance in a Studio Production

* Rhodri Meilir How My Light Is Spent, Royal Exchange

Lucy Jane Parkinson, Joan, Contact

Keisha Thompson, Man On The Moon, Contact

Alex Walton, From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads, The Lowry

Robert Robson Award for Dance

Debut, Acosta Danza, The Lowry

* English National Ballet double bill, Palace Theatre

Ghost Dances, Rambert Dance, The Lowry

Leviathan, James Wilton Dance, Contact


* Jenny Melville (set) and Lysander Ashton (video), Paul Auster’s City of Glass, HOME

Bunny Christie, People, Places & Things, HOME

Alex Lowde, Persuasion, Royal Exchange

Yael Bartana, What If Women Ruled the World?, Manchester International Festival

Fringe Production

Bad Advice, Greater Manchester Fringe

Gypsy Queen, Hope Mill Theatre

The Marriage of Kim K, Greater Manchester Fringe

* Moth, Hope Mill Theatre


Funny Girl, Palace Theatre

Jim Steinman’s Bat out of Hell the Musical, Opera House

* Sunset Boulevard, Palace Theatre

Yank!, Hope Mill Theatre

New Play

Gypsy Queen, writer Rob Ward, Hope Mill Theatre

How My Light Is Spent, writer Alan Harris, Royal Exchange

* Narcissist in the Mirror, writer Rosie Fleeshman, Greater Manchester Fringe

Narvik, writer Lizzie Nunnery, HOME


Gemma Dobson, Rita, Sue and Bob Too, Octagon Theatre Bolton

* Scott Hunter, Yank!, Hope Mill Theatre

Vinay Lad, The Railway Children, The Lowry

The Philip Radcliffe Award for Opera

Cendrillon, Royal Northern College of Music, RNCM

La Cenerentola, Opera North, The Lowry

Opera North Little Greats, Opera North, The Lowry

* The Snow Maiden, Opera North, The Lowry


* The Father, Oldham Coliseum

People, Places & Things, HOME

Rose, HOME

The Suppliant Women, Royal Exchange

Special Entertainment

* Dick Whittington, Opera House

Running Wild, The Lowry

The Toad Knew, The Lowry

Under Glass, Clod Ensemble,The Lowry

Studio Production

From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads, The Lowry

Joan, Contact

* Man On The Moon, Contact

Swansong, The Lowry

Target Live Award for Best Visiting Production

La Strada, The Lowry

My Country; a Work in Progress, HOME

Nell Gwynn, The Lowry

* The Weir, Oldham Coliseum

Youth Panel Award

There is a Light/BRIGHTLIGHT, Contact Young Company

* Singin' in the Rain, RNCM Young Company

Tis Written in the Stars, Oldham Theatre Workshop, Oldham Coliseum