Dec 8, 2015 Theatre
Want to know what’s hard? Keeping up with Auckland theatre. Some weeks this year it’s felt like you could go out every night and still not see everything. And yet, judges gonna judge. We turned up to our judges’ meetings with programmes and lists, and the more we talked about the best work, the more it was clear we wanted to recognise whole productions. Director, cast, crew, theatre company: the standout works were the ones when everything came together, and there were four of them – plus two other individuals we really wanted to honour.
We gave the awards for excellence. Not for effort. We were clear on that. And when we talked about what made theatre excellent, it was far more than craft skill. We looked for innovation. For theatre work that made us rethink what we were, as audience members, and what theatre is capable of. When we saw that – with everything from Tony Rabbit’s brilliantly subversive pandas to Hudson & Halls Live!’s hilarious and deeply rewarding examination of what we are as New Zealanders – we felt blessed. And thrilled, shocked, stimulated, rewarded and, of course, wonderfully entertained.
And the winners are:
Achieving excellence across all aspects of the production:
The Book of Everything, Silo Theatre co-production with Auckland Arts Festival.
Little Shop of Horrors Live, Live Cinema
All Your Wants and Needs Fulfilled Forever, The Playground Collective
Hudson & Halls Live! Silo Theatre
Achieving excellence in set and lighting design
A Doll’s House, Tony Rabbit
Achieving excellence in sound design and composition
The Lifetime Achievement Award
George Henare CNZM, OBE – Actor
Mr Fahrenheit Publicity Best Newcomers
Christine Urquhart, set and costume designer
Jordan Keyzer, stage manager and producer
Gaby Solomona, actor
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS
The HACKMAN Cup for Most Original Production: All Your Wants and Needs Fulfilled Forever, Playground Collective
Mangere Arts Centre Award for Best Ensemble: The company of The Book of Everything
The Auckland Actors Award for Best Death: Rose Matafeo in Rose Matafeo is Finally Dead
The Elephant Publicity Award for Best Poster: Ernest Rutherford: Everyone Can Science!
The Gail Cowan Award for Best Viral Marketing Campaign: The talking light bulb in All Your Wants and Needs Fulfilled Forever
The TAPAC Award for Best Entrance: Kate McGill & Frith Horan in The Best Possible Album Party that Anybody has Ever Been to
The Equity New Zealand Award for Best show by Emerging Artists: Alice Canton in Orangutan
The Playmarket Award for Best line in a Kiwi Play: “She doesn’t have a phone in her car – t’s not Star Trek”, Hudson and Halls Live!
The Johnson & Laird Management Award for Best Accent: Luci Hare, Lysistrata
The APRA Award for Best Music: Gareth Hobbs, All Your Wants and Needs Fulfilled Forever
The Kathryn Rawlings and Associates Award for Best Comeback: Ben Crowder directing Sit on it again
The South Pacific Pictures Award for Best Technical F*#k up: Declan Greene’s note before Eight-Gigabytes of Hardcore Pornography
The Actors Program Award for Best Nudity: Edwin Beats in Not Psycho
The Sharu Loves Hats Award for Best Pash: Eli Kent and the mannequin in All Your Wants and Needs Fulfilled Forever
The Pantograph Punch Award for Best Critic: James Wenley
The Tour-Makers Award for Travelling Hero: A Boy Wonder
Judging panel: Metro’s Simon Wilson, producer Angela Green, playwright Sam Brooks, actor and director Jason Te Kare, costume designer Elizabeth Whiting, vocal coach Linda Cartwright.