Round-Up: The Best Theatre of 2017 – Casts & Creatives

My top theatre productions of 2017 have been revealed, and you can read them all here! But there’s more praise to go around when I look back at the performances and productions to have impressed over the last year. So, with no actual awards to deliver, here are my top cast and creatives of 2017, who shall receive only a humble place in this list and the accompanying warm and fuzzy feeling of appreciation… I realise that some of the productions that I saw in London, such as RENT, went on to tour, and vice versa, but they are listed here in whichever capacity I saw each production… Here’s to another year of theatrical glory in 2018!

London Productions

Best Lead Performance in a Musical
Philippa Stefani as Mimi in RENT

img_3769Best Supporting Performance in a Musical
Janie Dee at Phyllis Rogers Stone in Follies

Best Lead Performance in a Drama
Imelda Staunton as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Best Supporting Performance in a Drama
Imogen Poots as Honey in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Best Lead Performance in a Comedy
Dawn Sievewright as Fionnula in Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

IMG_5078Best Supporting Performance in a Comedy
Simon Lipkin – Rat in The Wind in the Willows (which I count as both musical and comedy here – Lipkin was hilarious)

Best Ensemble Performance
RENT

Best Female Vocals in a Musical
‪Amber Riley as Dinah in Dreamgirls

Best Male Vocals in a Musical
Tyrone Huntley as C.C White in Dreamgirls

Best Duet
Josephine Barstow and Alison Langer as Heidi and Young Heidi Schiller in Follies

Best Direction
Bruce Guthrie – RENT

img_4122Best Choreography
Casey Nicholaw – Dreamgirls

Best Set Design
Peter McKintosh – The Wind in the Willows

Best Costume Design
Vicki Mortimer – Follies

Best Lighting Design
Mark Henderson – Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill

Best Writing
Edward Albee – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

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Regional/ Touring Productions

 

Best Performance in a Regional/ Touring Production (across genres and hybrids)
Beverly Rudd – The Tin Drum

Best Performance in a Regional/ Touring Musical
Emma Hatton as Evita

Best Supporting Performance in a Regional/Touring Musical
Alex Weatherhill, as Bernadette in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Best Lead Performance in a Regional/Touring Drama
Fisayo Akina as Samuel in Barber Shop Chronicles

IMG_5823Best Supporting Performance in a Regional/Touring Drama
Cate Hamer as Fran in Things I Know to be True

Best Lead Performance in a Regional/Touring Comedy
Joint: Kathleen Yore and Rebekah Caputo for their two hander Seaside Terror

Best Supporting Performance in a Regional/ Touring Comedy
Matthew Burns as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (this only works as Oddsocks presented Shakespeare’s tragedy as a comedy of course…)

Best Ensemble Performance
The Tin Drum

Best Regional/Touring Production Direction
Geordie Brookman and Scott Graham for Frantic Assembly’s Things I Know to be True

IMG_7122Best Regional/ Touring Production Choreography
Bill Deamer – Evita

Best Regional/ Touring Production Set Design
Alex Lowde – The Fall of the Master Builder

Best Regional/ Touring Production Costume Design
Priscilla, Queen if the Desert

Best Regional/Touring Production Lighting Design
Paule Constable – War Horse

Best Regional/ Touring Production Puppetry Design
Basil Jones and Adrian Koehler for Handspring Puppet Company) – War Horse

Best Writing
Andrew Bovell – Things I Know to be True

IMG_6700

Fringe Productions

 

Best Lead Performance in a Fringe Drama
Jon Tozzi as Adam in Flood

Best Supporting Performance in a Fringe Drama
Mateo Oxley as Brandt in The Busy World is Hushed

Best Lead Performance in a Fringe Comedy
Ryan Penny as the Commander in Doomed Resistance

IMG_7161Best Supporting Performance in a Fringe Comedy
Matthew Warhurst as Schmidt in Doomed Resistance

Best One Hander Fringe Performance
Jake Francis as D.I Robertson in Filth

Best Fringe Direction
Anna Marshall – Filth (Sincere apologies to Ms. Marshall for the initial name error here!)

Best New Writing
Tom Hartwell – Flood

IMG_6449

…and just a few more nods, just because I have you here…

Favourite Discovery of the year:
Frantic Assembly
Obviously, I’d heard of them, but this year I finally managed to get to a production, and I’m hooked!

Favourite Theatre Discovery of the year:
The Etcetera Theatre, Camden
I spent much of my time at the Camden Fringe at this venue – it’s a lovely little theatre with a fantastically diverse line-up at any given time.

Companies to to watch:
Paper Creatures Theatre and Odd Doll
Paper Creatures sell themselves as the voice of millennials who like to tell bold new stories and their debut production was a hit and a great sign of things to come. Odd Doll delighted this year with Seaside Terror and I loved their tongue in cheek approach and their grotesque puppetry…

One to watch:
Matthew Warhurst
Hilarious and a total show-thief in Doomed Resistance, I look forward to seeing what Warhurst does next!

Most fun to interview/ best The Show Must Go On stories:
Paper Creatures Theatre
Jon Tozzi and Nathan Coenen were a hoot to interview as they launched their new company and their debut production, Flood. Read about the company and their views on all Things theatre here and here.

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