Wednesday, 9 December 2009

MEN awards

I think I have only just calmed down enough to compose something about the MEN awards yesterday. I haven't been to the awards myself before having to satisfy myself with living vicariously through the texts sent back so I can update the blog with news as it happened. But this year I was there with bells on hence, the delay in posting.

It was a truly great day. Not just generally for theatre in Manchester which not only seems to be surviving these challenging times but is positively flourishing, but specifically for the Octagon. We were not only nominated for 11 awards, we managed to bag a fair few too. The highlights of the day for me were:

Kevin Bourke (and the MEN panel)
Kevin received a wonderful response from the assembled crowd and I think his (and the rest of the panels) efforts and their monumental support of the regions theatre scene is just wonderful.

Aled Jones
Prior to presenting his award his shameless plugging of the Lowry's Christmas Show, White Christmas, was brilliantly pitched and rather hilarious. Still a bit disappointed that there wasn't a rendition of Walking in the Air....

Vanessa Kirby
Because it took as all by surprise (not because she was undeserving but because we didn't know the award existed) and her reaction, the moment Vanessa was given an award and a lump of cash for Up and Coming talent was a delight. As well as being a future star (and being beautiful to boot) she couldn't be a nicer girl.

Best Production
Although, I was disappointed not to have won this one, especially seeing as we had two such strong contenders in Oleanna and All My Sons (must.. not.. say... we was robbed!) I am very glad that the award went to Punk Rock, a piece of new writing by a Stockport lad Simon Stephens. It shows that the new writing scene is healthy and there are exciting things happening in Manchester.

The Octagon Love In
The extra special thing for me was how kind everyone one was about the Octagon. Especially Oscar Pearce, Nick Haverson and Tim Healy and how positive their experiences were here. I sat next to Oscar at dinner and it was lovely to hear him talk of how he loved the Octagon, loved David, love the staff, loved the audiences. "Life changing" he said and I couldn't agree more. Working here is an absolute joy and I am so proud to do so. The fact we won a few awards for what we do is just the icing on the cake and I can't wait to see what the next few months bring. To quote Roger Haines, winner of this years Horniman award, "Darlings, I love the theatre".

Talking of winners, and I know I have mentioned a few above, the Octagon winners were:






OSCAR PEARCE, in All My Sons


TIM HEALY, in Looking For Buddy

Congratulations to the award winners and to all those that work here that make it so completely awesome. You're the best....

You can read more about the awards here, here and here.

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