I saw a lot of theatre in 2013, however, my 79 shows were obviously not enough, given that they did not include “1001 Nights” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, which both scooped the pool at the 2013 Matilda Awards.
The Gardens Theatre event, which was hosted by Dash Kruck and Emily Burton as their bewildering “A Tribute of Sorts” characters Ivan and Juniper, featured a who’s who of Brisbane Theatre both in the crowd and being honoured for their work. And it was wonderful to witness the mutual respect on show, when, for example, the immensely talented Barb Lowing received a standing ovation upon her receipt of the Gold Matilda Award for her performances in “The China Incident”, “Tequila Mockingbird”, and “Motherland.”
The Matildas are awards which recognise excellence in Queensland (Brisbane) Theatre. To be eligible, theatre workers have to have made, in the judges’ opinion, a commitment to the State, for example, by either beginning their careers or living and working mainly here, or by having a strong identification with Queensland.
And aside from representing the chance to honour their work, the night also provided for some wonderful entertainment, both intended and accidental. As Ivan and Juniper, Dash and Emily were hilariously nuanced in their portrayals of Ivan and Juniper and, as one of the few Brisbanites not to have seen “A Tribute of Sorts” during its 2012 run, I am looking forward to its season this May at QTC’s Greenhouse. Juniper, in particular, had the audience in stitches with her roving reporter audience crosses and aggressive flirtation with Special Guest Presenter James Stewart.
The expected comic repertoire was there, with references to the Campbell Newman line cut and shake and stir’s commercial success. What was missing, however, were categories allowing for particular recognition of achievement in opera and dance, so as to better reflect the diversity of work being produced. And it is disappointing the new category of Best Technical Design includes Lighting, Multimedia and Sound, rather than these being recognised as distinct disciplines with talented designers worthy of independent acclaim for their outstanding work.
Congratulations to all the winners, who now join artists of national and international stature who featuring among past recipients. And indeed, to all of the nominees, thought as Ivan and Juniper cheekily noted, ‘we shall discuss them no further’.
2013 GOLD MATILDA AWARDS
for performances in The China Incident, Tequila Mockingbird, and Motherland
for lighting Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele, Out Damn Snot,
Blood Brothers, Oklahoma!, Next to Normal, and Tequila Mockingbird
for directing Venus in Fur
shake & stir theatre company
for creating Tequila Mockingbird
for her performance in End of the Rainbow
2013 SILVER MATILDA COMMENDATIONS
Best Mainstage Production
shake & stir theatre co.
Best New Australian Work
Michael Futcher and Helen Howard (adapters)
Best Independent Production
Metro Arts & Ellen Belloo
Best Male Actor in a Leading Role
Best Female Actor in a Leading Role
Venus in Fur
Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role
End of the Rainbow
Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Best Design (Set & Costumes)
Costume Design, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Best Technical Design (Lights, Multimedia & Sound)
Musical Direction, 1001 Nights
Bille Brown Award for Best Emerging Artist
for creating This is Capital City
Rumour Has It:
Sixty Minutes Inside Adele
Best Musical or Cabaret
Judith Wright Centre & The Little Red Company