Theatre Royal: Waterford News & Star Green Room Awards
THERE wasn’t a night like this since the old finals of Tops. This was more buzzzzzzzzz than buzz, more glamorous than glam, more high-energy than a nuclear power station. The entire Arts Community in Waterford sitting down in one of the oldest theatres in Ireland to acknowledge the quality and diversity of artistic achievement in the Déise for the last year. And the noise was deafening. I haven’t heard such noise in the theatre since results nights in the Sixties Tops.
The Waterford News & Star Green Room Awards had finally hit the stage and the anticipation was electric. For the last month, nominations were published in two tranches – Amateur and Professional. Debate began, who’s in and who’s out, what’s nominated and what’s not, who will be the biggest winners? Nominees were thrilled. After all, we have awards for every sphere of life in Waterford – and rightly so. But these were OUR awards. The Arts Community awards that acknowledges excellence in every type of performance and artistic achievement.
Sometimes it’s huge and awards come in multiples – like Jim Nolan’s new play ‘The Red Iron’ or Southeastern Theatre’s marvellous production of ‘Cats’ or Brewery Lane Theatre’s marvellous dramas ‘Gaslight’ or ‘It’s the Real McCoy’.
And sometimes it’s small and individual – like Lisa Murphy’s painting of the Tramore Promenade murals that attracted hundreds of admirers to engage in the process.
Whatever way the awards come, they’re greeted with screams of delight. As are the nominations. MD for the night, Wayne Brown had underscoring for the announcement of the Nominations that would have spooked century-old ghosts and fanfares for the winners that would have kept Dáil candidates awake for weeks.
MC for the evening Darren Skelton is witty, informative and keeps the show on the road. Producer Dermot Keyes gave us a top-drawer concert that was full of variety and quality and representative of all the work I’ve reviewed over the last year: musical theatre, classical music, professional and amateur drama, history talks and art exhibitions, ballet and my personal favourite – Opera. Performers were Jack Cunningham’s ‘Chicago medley’ and Jack McGrath and Aisling Giles from Cats, Isaac Casey with ‘Close Every Door to Me’, violinist Barry Kennedy with ‘Schindler’s List’, Dermot Keyes sang ‘Some Enchanted Evening’, Vanessa Whelan sang ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’ and dueted with Derek Ryan for ‘All I Ask of You’, and the Bilberry Goats had a council meeting that decided to take up the tarmac on the Greenway to Dungarvan!
The announcements bounced between myself and Darren and injected that frisson of tension that was just right. Winners were swiftly brought to the stage from all over the house by the hard-working Theatre Royal front of house staff where the Awards were presented by Mayor John Pratt, WLR’s Mary O’Neill, Editor Mary Frances Ryan and doyen of Thin Gin Nichola Beresford. There was a gin bar in the Foyer dispensing free Thin Gin – courtesy of Nichola Beresford and Anchor Spirits – and a jazz combo to welcome the public before hand and send happy out patrons into the theatre.
The Bursary Award of €1,000 went to aerial performer and theatre-maker Rachel Ní Bhraonáin to fund her next project ‘MOSH’; the Barrack Street Concert Band were popular winners of the People’s Choice Award and the Outstanding Theatrical/Artistic Event of the Year went to Waterford playwright Jim Nolan’s new play ‘The Red Iron’.
The biggest reception of the night was reserved for the Lifetime Achievement Award. The screen rolled footage of Des Manahan’s performances as screen tributes were paid to Des in recognition of his contribution to Waterford theatre. Long before the film finished, the audience were on their feet to pay tribute to a legend and the ovation was long and sustained.
A great finale to a great night.
WATERFORD NEWS & STAR GREEN ROOM AWARD WINNERS
Best Stage Management
WINNER: Shane Taheny (Waterford Pantomime Society, Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood)
Best Sound and Lighting
WINNER: Barry McKinney & Joe Hunt (Shackleton, Blue Raincoat at Garter Lane)
WINNER: Dermot Quinn (The Red Iron, Garter Lane)
WINNER: Orfeo ed Euridici (Irish National Opera, Theatre Royal)
Best New Play
WINNER: Pat Kinevane (‘Before’, Fishamble Theatre Co., Garter Lane)
Best Supporting Actor in a Professional Play
WINNER: Seán Aherne (Red n’ Blue Theatre Co., Lovesong, Garter Lane)
Best Supporting Actress in a Professional Play
WINNER: Mary Flavin Colbert (Red n’ Blue Theatre Co., ‘Lovesong’ at Garter Lane)
Best Male Performance in a Professional Play
WINNER: Brian Doherty (‘The Red Iron’, Garter Lane)
Best Female Performance in a Professional Play
WINNER: Anne O’Riordan (Ghosting, Theatre Royal)
Best Director in a Professional Play
WINNER: Jim Nolan (The Red Iron, Garter Lane)
Best Professional Play
WINNER: The Red Iron (Jim Nolan, Garter Lane)
ART AND HISTORY
WINNER: Lisa Murphy (Tramore Promenade murals)
Best Historical Talk
WINNER: Dr Eugene Broderick (Waterford Museum of Treasures)
Best Supporting Actor in an Amateur Drama:
WINNER: Walter Dunphy (‘It’s the Real McCoy, Brewery Lane)
Best Supporting Actress in an Amateur Drama
WINNER: Paula Weldon (‘Macbeth’, Suir Look Theatre, Garter Lane)
Best Male Performance in an Amateur Drama
WINNER: Neill Bourke (‘Gaslight’, Brewery Lane)
Best Female Performance in an Amateur Drama
WINNER: Suzanne Dunne (‘Gaslight’, Brewery Lane Drama)
Best Director in an Amateur Drama
WINNER: Rose Anne Glascott (‘Gaslight’ at Brewery Lane)
Best Amateur Drama
WINNER: ‘It’s the Real McCoy’ (Brewery Lane Theatre, Carrick-on-Suir)
MUSIC & MUSICALS
Best Youth Show
WINNER: Annie (TheatreBox, Theatre Royal)
Best Youth Performance
WINNER: Isaac Casey, (Joseph, Joseph & The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat De La Salle College)
WINNER: Avril Musgrave & Elaine Tighe (Cats, South Eastern Theatre Co., Theatre Royal)
WINNER: National Youth Orchestra of Ireland concert (Symphony Club of Waterford, WIT Arena)
Best Male Comic Performance
WINNER: Neil Bourke (It’s the Real McCoy, Brewery Lane Theatre, Carrick-on-Suir)
Best Female Comic Performance
WINNER: Aisling Giles (Rumpleteazer, Cats, South Eastern Theatre Co., Theatre Royal)
Best Supporting Male Performance in a Musical
WINNER: Leon Sheehan (TheatreBox, Annie, Theatre Royal)
Best Supporting Female Performance in a Musical
WINNER: Aisling Larkin (Bombalurina, Cats, South Eastern Theatre Co., Theatre Royal)
Best Male Performance in a Musical
WINNER: Dermot Keyes (Emile, South Pacific, Waterford Musical Society)
Best Female Performance in a Musical
WINNER: Jennifer White (Velma Kelly, Chicago, Jack Cunningham Productions, Garter Lane)
WINNER: Jack Cunningham (Chicago, Garter Lane)
Best Musical Director
WINNER: Fergal Carroll (Chicago, Carrick-on-Suir Musical Society)
Best Director in a Musical/Opera
WINNER: David Hennessy (Cats, South Eastern Theatre Co., Theatre Royal)
WINNER: Cats (South Eastern Theatre Co., Theatre Royal)
€1,000 BURSARY AWARD
Rachel Ní Bhraonáin
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD
The public’s choice from our adjudicated shortlist for Theatre/ Arts/ Entertainment Group of the Year
Nominations: Barrack Street Concert Band; Imagine Arts Festival; Waterford Youth Arts; Immrama Festival of Travel Writing, Lismore; GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art); SCOW (Symphony Club of Waterford); Little Red Kettle; Waterford Walls; Curtain Call Productions, Dungarvan; Waterford Lions Club Christmas Carol Concert.
WINNER: Barrack Street Concert Band
OUTSTANDING THEATRICAL/ARTISTIC EVENT OF THE YEAR
Nominations: Love Song (Red n’ Blue Theatre Company, Garter Lane), Orfeo Ed Euridice (Irish National Opera, Theatre Royal), Lisa Murphy (Tramore Promenade Art Murals), National Youth Orchestra of Ireland (Symphony Club of Waterford, WIT Arena), Cats (Southeastern Theatre Group, Theatre Royal), The Red Iron (Jim Nolan, Garter Lane), Spraoi (August Bank Holiday Street Theatre Festival).
WINNER: The Red Iron (Jim Nolan, Garter Lane)
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD