The 2015 Matilda Awards, held at QUT Gardens Theatre on Monday 29th February, shared more than just their timing with the Oscars, with a razzle dazzle opening number of ‘Viva Brisvegas’ from hosts performer Carita Farrer Spencer and fashion designer Leigh Buchanan in guise as their alto egos Larry Paradiso and Barbra Windsor-Woo and a controversial speech from outgoing committee member and awards co-founder Alison Cotes.
Memorable moments also included, more poignantly, an appropriate standing ovation when celebrated Queensland actress Carol Burns was posthumously awarded the Gold Matilda Award for her contribution to the industry and body of work, including her final performance in Queensland Theatre Company’s “Happy Days”. At the alternate end of the emotional spectrum, the biggest laugh of the often outrageous night came courtesy of the Lord Mayor Graham Quirk in reaction to the attention of Paradiso. There was also much enthusiasm in response to announcement of the future awards restructure of the technical categories, from beyond just Design (Set & Costumes) and Technical Design (lights, Multimedia & Sound).
Putting aside the recent industry criticism of the awards’ format and judges, big winners on the night included Queensland Theatre Company’s “Brisbane” which took out three categories: Best Mainstage production, Best New Australian Work and Best Male Actor in a Leading Role for Dash Kruck. Kruck’s versatility was acknowledged in his receipt, also, of the Award for Best Musical or Cabaret for his one man show “I Might Take My Shirt Off”.
Also, Gold Coast based Shock Therapy Productions’ “The Pillowman” took out the win in three categories: Best Independent Production, Best Director for Sam Foster and Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role for Tama Matheson.
Shake & Stir Theatre Company’s “Dracula” was also a repeat winner, taking out both technical categories for set design and lighting.
2015 GOLD MATILDA AWARD
for an outstanding performance in Happy Days
and an exceptional body of work
2015 SILVER MATILDA COMMENDATIONS
Best Mainstage Production
Queensland Theatre Company
Lord Mayor’s Award for Best New Australian Work
(Proudly Sponsored by Brisbane City Council)
written by Matthew Ryan
Best Independent Production
Shock Therapy Productions
in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
Best Male Actor in a Leading Role
Best Female Actor in a Leading Role
Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Ladies in Black
Best Design (Set & Costumes)
Best Technical Design (Lights, Multimedia & Sound)
lighting design – Dracula
Bille Brown Award for Best Emerging Artist
Pirates of Penzance & Into the Woods
I Might Take My Shirt Off
Best Musical or Cabaret
QPAC in association with Queensland Cabaret Festival,
Jai Higgs & Dash Kruck