Manchester Theatre Awards

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


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Young Newcomers

When someone cautioned actors never to appear alongside children, or animals, they probably had in mind the likes of the youngsters who made such a big impression on the Manchester Theatre Awards panel in 2016.

(Reporter: David Upton)

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What makes an opera performance special is not just the spectacle of a lavish and imaginative staging (though it helps), but whether the whole show comes together to make something unforgettable.

(Reporter: Robert Beale)

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The Robert Robson Award for Dance

Although a celebration of the best of theatre in Manchester, the shows we cover come from all parts of the globe and nowhere is this international flavour more distinct than in the nominees for dance.

(Reporter: Carmel Thomason)

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The wonderful surprise about this year’s nominee list is its encapsulation of the excitement and innovation happening within this genre across all the city’s venues – both production and receiving houses. 

(Reporter: Carmel Thomason)

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Fringe production

In 2016 Fringe Theatre in the Manchester area was not restricted to conventional venues and took place in car parks, pubs, libraries and converted mills.

(Reporter: David Cunningham)

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Fringe performance

The actors nominated here showed the range of skill required in their art from solo shows to working within a large cast.

(Reporter: David Cunningham)

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Studio Production

Katherine Soper’s Wish List was an evocative depiction of everyday sacrifice showing young lives that seemed to have reached a dead end before they had even begun.

(Reporter: David Cunningham)

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Actor in a Studio Production

In Wish List Joseph Quinn’s anguished performance was detailed in its observation with meticulously reproduced tics and tapping.

(Reporter: David Cunningham)

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Actress in a Studio Production

Erin Doherty’s superb performance in Wish List reflected the desperation felt by a character trapped in a dead-end job and caring for someone with a disabling condition.

(Reporter: David Cunningham)

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New Play

The Emperor was a play that felt important both politically and historically, but was also told with great humour and sometimes genuine sadness – and it was this year’s winner.

(Reporter: David Upton)