Wonderful Town leads Manchester Theatre Awards
- 26 March 2013
- From the section Entertainment & Arts
A new production of Leonard Bernstein's musical Wonderful Town has won the top prize at the Manchester Theatre Awards.
The show, which starred Connie Fisher, was the first collaboration between the Halle Orchestra and Lowry and Royal Exchange theatres. It was named best production and also won best design.
Other winners included Maxine Peake, who was named best actress for her role in Miss Julie at the Royal Exchange.
The awards are billed as the largest of their kind outside London.
A new version of Terence Rattigan's The Winslow Boy at the Bolton Octagon claimed two awards - best actor for Christopher Ravenscroft and best supporting actor for Christopher Villiers.
The best supporting actress trophy went to Natalie Grady for her role in the Library Theatre's production of DH Lawrence's The Daughter-in-Law.
There were two prizes for Black Roses, the Royal Exchange's adaptation of a hard-hitting radio play about 20-year-old Sophie Lancaster, who was murdered in a Lancashire park in 2007 for being a goth.
Combining poet Simon Armitage's script with verbatim lines from Lancaster's mother, it was named best studio production, while Coronation Street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh picked up best performance in a studio production.
Two Oldham Coliseum shows were honoured - Snookered by taxi driver-turned-writer Ishy Din won best new play, and the special entertainment accolade went to Star Cross'd, an open-air re-telling of Romeo and Juliet with the Montagues and Capulets split by racial as well as family divisions.
The Lion King was named best musical, while Opera North's Don Giovanni triumphed in the opera category.
There were also two awards for the Royal Shakespeare Company's Julius Caesar - best visiting production and best actor in a visiting production for Ray Fearon.
Stage and screen veteran Sian Phillips won best actress in a visiting production for her role as Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret.