My Theatre

27 April 2017

The 2016 MyTheatre Award Winners: London

By // Theatre (London)

Okay, time for another round. For some reason I forgot why I chose Best Actor/Best Actress categories—was there a special reason for that? They seem like a 1950’s vestige. Who knows.

So here are the winners, acknowledging that two productions win twice, but I can assure those who didn’t see them they really were that good.

Here’s the list of nominees as a reminder. Be sure to check out our annual Nominee Interview Series where we talked to over a hundred of this year’s nominated artists and find out about the winners in our Toronto and New York theatre divisions as well as Cinema and TV. 

Without further ado, the winners of the 2016 MyTheatre Awards for London are:

photo by Mark Douet

Best Original Work

The Flick by Annie Baker (The Dorfman Theatre at the National)

Has to go to The Flick. New, new, new. For God’s sake, don’t read my review of it. How much I hate my writing about it is directly proportional to how much I loved watching it. Annie Baker made the tribulations of three cinema workers the most heartfelt, gripping, charming, achingly brilliant thing of last year.

photo by Mark Douet

Best Direction

Sam Gold for The Flick (The Dorfman Theatre at the National)

Well, Baker and Sam Gold, who translated the playwright’s proclivity for pause into the strangest, most humid atmosphere on stage I’ve ever seen. What he wrought from silence wasn’t absence, but something radically beyond it—nowhere better have I seen ‘you say best when you say nothing at all’ played out. Again, don’t read my review (read Michael Billington’s).

Best Actor

Desmond Dube in I See You (The Jerwood Upstairs at the Royal Court)

(Accepting the gender segregation that seems so uncanny now) this winner emerges from one of the RC’s sleeper shows upstairs. Desmond Dube made Buthelezi into more than corruption incarnate: Running on bravura and authority, he teased an internal conflict far, far deeper than the play at first seemed to pitch. I hope he acts in London again soon.

photo by Johan Persson

Best Actress 

Billie Piper in Yerma (The Young Vic)

‘Piper is undoubtedly the star of the show, the intensity of her performance a true feat to behold…portrays underlying anxiety and unease and as her character becomes more obsessed, frustrated and ultimately mentally unstable you remain completely fixed and entranced with her…totally relatable and empathetic and you long for her to pull through.’

photo by Johan Persson

Best Set Design

Lizzie Clachan for Yerma (The Young Vic)

‘Lizzie Clachan’s vacuous set is wonderfully designed and perfectly encapsulates the raw nature of the play. Set on a traverse stage, the audience are sat either side of a rectangular box, with semi-reflective glass on each side. This allows the actors freedom to face any direction and still be seen, either through their reflection or straight on. This helps the piece remain natural and gives the play a very stripped back yet invasive feel, as if you are literally looking through a window.’

Best Fringe Musical

Ragtime (The Charing Cross Theatre)

‘I have long been a fan of Southerland’s work and once again he adds fresh and new ideas into a critically acclaimed, yet lesser known, musical. He manages to produce deep, meaningful relationships through his actors and depicts iconic and powerful tableaux scene after scene, encapsulating every element of a story or a conversation with a perfect balance between subtlety and drama.’

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