This Is My Family musical wins two UK Theatre Awards

By Ian Youngs
Arts reporter, BBC News

  • Published
Sian Phillips at the UK Theatre Awards
Image caption,
Sian Phillips won best supporting performance for This Is My Family

A new stage musical by the writer of Calendar Girls has won two prizes at the UK Theatre Awards, which reward the best of British regional theatre.

This Is My Family by Tim Firth, which opened at the Sheffield Crucible in June, was named best musical.

The cast included Sian Phillips, who won best supporting performance.

Other winners included actress Cush Jumbo, who won best performance in a play for her role as Nora in A Doll's House at Manchester's Royal Exchange.

Janie Dee, who starred in Hello, Dolly! at the Leicester Curve, picked up the award for best performance in a musical.

Sheffield Theatres, which runs the city's Crucible and Lyceum venues, scooped a total of four awards, including the two for This Is My Family.

The musical tells the story of two teenage children, a stressed mum and dad, a bawdy aunt and a forgetful grandmother, played by Phillips, who end up on a disastrous camping holiday.

The songs and script were written by Firth, whose past credits include the Madness musical Our House and the Kinky Boots film script as well as the Calendar Girls movie.

The other winning Sheffield productions were a stage version of the hit film The Full Monty, which won best touring production, and Mike Bartlett's drama Bull, which was named best new play.

In other categories, the award for best children's show was shared between The Borrowers at Northern Stage in Newcastle and Mister Holgado by Unicorn Theatre in London.

Image caption,
The stage version of The Full Monty is due to transfer to the West End next February

Blanche McIntyre was named best director for her take on Chekhov's The Seagull, while the prize for best design went to Jonathan Fensom and Charles Balfour for World War I story The Accrington Pals at the Royal Exchange.

Wendy Houstoun was awarded the prize for achievement in dance for her "insightful, funny" solo show 50 Acts, while the achievement in opera award went to Welsh National Opera Lulu and Lohengrin.

Actor Simon Callow received The Stage award for outstanding contribution to British theatre at the ceremony at the London Guildhall.

Professional productions across the UK were eligible, with the exception of West End shows and National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company productions in London.

The accolade for most welcoming theatre, which was decided by a public vote, went to Exeter's 60-seat Bike Shed Theatre. The winner was chosen by dividing the number of votes for each theatre by its capacity.

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