Manchester Theatre Awards

> Independent informed reviews by the region’s most experienced critics

News: Actor in a Studio Production

Rex Ryan flawlessly brought to life a wide cast of characters in Philip Doherty’s Pilgrim. In constant motion, he gave the impression of a central character running not so much from his problems as himself. Perfect for a tale of redemption.

In Ventoux, Alexander Gatehouse gave a fascinating interpretation of the real life cancer survivor and disgraced race cyclist Lance Armstrong. Gatehouse showed the development of a messianic personality with Armstrong more self-satisfied than condescending and self-justifying.

It is not always easy to sympathise with people who suffer from mental illness, as the symptoms are so subjective they can appear trivial. This was not the case with the obsessive-compulsive Dean in Wish List. Joseph Quinn’s anguished performance was detailed in its observation with meticulously reproduced tics and tapping.

It was a deeply moving and compelling performance that wins the 2016 award.

David Cunningham
17 March 2017