Free-entry ‘Play’ earns theatre awards

Otago Daily Times, Tuesday 11 December 2012

By Nigel Benson

A free-entry play set in the rubble of a main street building dominated the 2012 Dunedin Theatre Awards last night.

The Fortune Theatre production of Play won more than half the awards at the ceremony in the Mayfair Theatre last night. Play had no entry fee and was produced as the Fortune’s contribution to the Otago Festival of the Arts in October.

The play featured three actors trapped in large iron urns in purgatory and was set in the Standard Insurance building in the Exchange, while it underwent reconstruction.

It won production of the year, director of the year and female performance of the year, and took top awards for technical and scenographical design.

Awards convener Patrick Davies said the variety of theatre work produced in Dunedin during the year had required a decision-making matrix called 1000minds to be used to separate nominations.

“We were really impressed by the wide range of nominations and the high standard of work, which completely justifies the presence of the awards,” he said last night.

“The 1000minds matrix did exactly what we hoped it would do and it let us compare apples with apples."

Results were.

Promotion: Cabaret Botanica, by Inge Andrewes.

Script/narrative: Death*Sex*Magic, by Jonathan Cweorth.

Visiting production: Richard Meros Salutes the Southern Man, by Conditional Productions.

Scenographical designer: Hannah Kidd for Play.

Technical designer: Stephen Kilroy for Play.

Male performance: Simon O’Connor for Heroes (Fortune Theatre).

Female performance: Hilary Halba for Play.

Director: Lara Macgregor for Play.

Production: Play, by the Fortune Theatre.

Outstanding industry support: Bill Noble and University Book Shop.

Emerging artists: Grace Park and Alex Wilson.

Outstanding contribution to Dunedin theatre: Michael Andrewes and the Really Authentic Gilbert and Sullivan Performance Trust.

Lifetime achievement award: Shirley Kelly, Mary Dixon, Denise Walsh and Louise Petherbridge.

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