Photo: Dawn Taylor and Philip Bernays at the UK Theatre Awards (Credit: Pamela Raith)
Newcastle Theatre Royal has been voted the most welcoming Theatre in the entire UK. This major industry award was made on 18th October at the 2015 UK Theatre Awards held in London's Guildhall.
Over 256 theatres of all sizes from across the UK entered the award, which is voted for entirely by the public. In total over 40,000 votes were cast for theatres up and down the country – the most since the award was created in 2013. Last week the Theatre Royal team was told they had been shortlisted as regional winner for the North East but the news that they had secured the top award was not announced until 3pm yesterday afternoon.
TheMy Theatre Matters! UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre Award inassociation with Smooth Radio is one of the most coveted of the UK Theatre Awards - the only nationwide awards to honour outstanding achievement in theatre throughout the United Kingdom.
Over 400 UK Theatre members and guests attended the Awards ceremony in London compèred by musical theatre star Michael Xavier, with appearances from guest presenters including Sir Patrick Stewart OBE, Barbara Windsor MBE, Richard Wilson OBE, Anne Reid MBE and Lee Mead.
Theatre Royal Chief Executive Philip Bernays was down in the capital to receive the award: “We are so honoured with this win – in the UK theatre sector this is probably the most coveted accolade of all. We strive to excel in everything that we do in order to attract the biggest audiences and the best shows in what is a very competitive market, and the word ‘Welcome’ continues to be our central mantra. This award is an outstanding achievement and true testament to the effort and dedication of our staff, who always go ‘one step beyond’.”
There are nineteen awards on offer in total, covering a huge wealth of merit in the industry ranging from Best New Play to Best Design, Best Show for Children, and Achievement in Opera. Another notable winner was Theatre Royal regular and Friends’ Patron Matthew Bourne who won The Stage Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre.
Theatre Royal Chairman Cllr Ged Bell, said: “We were shortlisted for this award last year and narrowly missed out, and it’s a great delight to us to have won it in 2015 – when there were more nominations and votes cast than ever before. We believe that our team are indeed one of the most dedicated and passionate in the country, and they are thoroughly deserving of this honour. A big thank you to them, and of course to our audiences and supporters for voting for us.”
Rachel Tackley, President of UK Theatre, said: “We have been delighted to see the tremendous level of support for theatres across the United Kingdom. Theatres play a hugely valuable role in our local communities and this vote, along with the My Theatre Matters! campaign, provides a platform for the public to tell their stories about how important their local venue is to them.”
It’s been a good month for the Theatre - on 12th October, Newcastle Theatre Royal also won Receiving Venue Team of the Year in the prestigious Technical Theatre Awards (TTA) which recognises the staff who work behind the scenes and highlights the excellence of one venue which stands out above all others, as voted for by touring theatre technicians.
The Theatre Royal’s Annual Report for 2014/15 details record breaking figures for the charity. It was the Theatre’s best ever in terms of ticket sales, with a total of £10.3m worth of tickets sold, 44 visiting theatre, opera, ballet and dance companies welcomed and 406 performances presented to a staggering 405,681 people. The attendance for the year was also at 80% capacity, which is an astonishing 21% above the national average.
For additional information / images / interview requests etc, please contact the Theatre Royal Press Team: Marianne Abbott (Monday, Tuesday & Thursday) on 0191 244 2518 firstname.lastname@example.org or Rebecca Turner (Wednesday, Thursday & Friday) on 0191 244 2519 email@example.com
UK Theatre & UK Theatre Awards
Established in 1894, UK Theatre is the UK’s leading membership organisation for theatre and the performing arts. UK Theatre supports theatre and performing arts organisations and individuals who work professionally in the performing arts at any stage of their career. Members benefit from access to a range of professional services, high quality training and events, and networking opportunities. In addition to running the UK Theatre Awards, UK Theatre leads audience development programmes and actively campaigns on behalf of theatres and their audiences.
Since 1991 UK Theatre’s annual UK Theatre Awards have celebrated the creative excellence and outstanding work seen in UK theatres each year. The UK Theatre Awards are the only nationwide awards to honour creative excellence and the outstanding achievement seen on and off stage throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The My Theatre Matters! UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre Award with Smooth Radio is voted for entirely by the public and was launched in 2013. UK Theatre Members were entered automatically but any other theatre that offers legal and fair terms to all performers and stage management, in line with or better than the Equity Fringe Agreement, was also able to register. Online voting for this public award was via the Smooth Radio website – http://www.smoothradio.com/events/vote-for-your-favourite-theatre/ – and closed at the end of September.
Smooth is the fourth largest radio brand in the UK with more than 4.6 million listeners a week. Carrying the strapline, ‘Your Relaxing Music Mix’, Smooth plays music from artists such as Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston, blended with hits from today's stars like Will Young and Michael Bublé. Its presenters include Andrew Castle, Kate Garraway, Myleene Klass and Tina Hobley. In December 2014, brand new station Smooth Extra launched. With the strapline ‘Your Refreshing Music Mix’ Smooth Extra plays all the best music, non-stop, from the last five decades. Smooth is available across the country, on 97-108 FM in the North West, North East, London, Glasgow and the East and West Midlands, on AM in many other areas, and on DAB Digital radio and Digital TV. Source: RAJAR / Ipsos-MORI / RSMB, period ending 28 June 2015.
The Technical Theatre Awards
The Technical Theatre Awards are a non-profit organisation started in 2013 to create a innovative set of awards to highlight outstanding achievement and dedication within the technical theatre industry.
For more information please visit www.technicaltheatreawards.com