Mike Dugdale's pictures from our 2018 Geelong Theatre Awards Night

Geelong Theatre Awards 2018

The Best of The Best in our region

GEELONG'S annual Oscar Asche Awards recognise excellence in the region's theatre performers and performances. Read about Oscar on the Geelong Theatre Hall Of Fame page HERE   The 2018 awards were decided by a panel of no-nonsense reviewers from this website chaired by  editor and principal reviewer Colin Mockett.  Colin  hosted the glittering ceremony at the City's Potato Shed venue, which saw  representatives from most of the region's companies dressed to impress and having fun.  There was a warm, congratulatory spirit in the room, with everyone clearly relishing the rare opportunity to get together and chat  with their peers from other companies. 

The Oscar Asche awards were bestowed by CoGG councillor Jim Mason, who holds the Arts portfolio, and Cr Sarah Mansfield, who chairs the city's community committee.

Photographer Mike Dugdale was on hand to record the occasion, and you can see a selection of Mike's pictures on the Gallery HERE

Geelong's Best Theatre Production 2018

Went to Geelong Lyric Theatre Company's big, happy satire/musical
Song Contest-Almost Eurovision

which was directed by  Kai Mann-Robertson and staged in GPAC's  Playhouse in May.  
The show won several other awards (see below) and was a strong contender for our outright 'Best Musical' award.

Also considered in this category were:

We Will Rock You, CenterStage Geelong, Playhouse, July
The Hope Song, Anglesea Performing Arts, Courthouse Theatre, October 

Any Given Monday, Torquay Theatre Troupe, Price St Theatre, November

Best Production (Musical)

Went to We Will Rock You, directed by Paul Watson for CenterStage Geelong, and presented in GPAC's Playhouse in July.
This show, too, gatherered several other awards, winning from exceptionally stiff competition. 

Also nominated were:
Disney’s Beauty & The Beast. Footlight Prod., Playhouse, January 

42nd Street, CenterStage Geelong, Playhouse, March 

The Toxic Avenger, Theatre of Damned, Shenton, April 

Song Contest-Almost Eurovision, Lyric, Playhouse, May 

Shrek the musical, GSODA Juniors, June

 Chicago, TotD, Shenton, August 

Some Kind Of Wonderful, GSODA Juniors, Drama, November

Aladdin, Medimime, Drama Theatre November

Best Production (Non-musical)

Went to Any Given Monday, 

directed by Gay Bell for the Torquay Theatre Troupe and presented in its Price St Theatre, in November.
The troupe, and play, also took the two top male  acting awards.

Also nominated were:
Jake’s Women
. Geelong Rep., Woodbin, February 

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Geelong Rep., Woodbin, April 

A Dolls House Theatre of Winged Unicorn, Ceres, May 

Strangers on a Train, Torquay Theatre Troupe, Price St Theatre, May 

Barefoot in the Park. Geelong Rep., Woodbin, June

The Hope Song, Anglesea Performing Arts, Courthouse Theatre, October 

Best Ensemble Production

Our inaugural Best Ensemble Award went to The Hope Song, directed by  Iris Walshe-Howling & Janine McKenzie for Anglesea Performing Arts and presented in the Courthouse Theatre in October.
This locally-written and produced production was rated 'outstanding theatre, memorable and moving'. Its all-on-stage format with monologues punctuated by music meant that the production didn't sit easily into our other categories.  So this new award was created. Now the Best Ensemble Award will be available for all future ceremonies.   

Best Director (Musical)

Went to Kai Mann-Robertson, who also choreographed the big satire/musical Song Contest-Almost Eurovision for Lyric in May.

Also nominated were:

 Alister Smith, Beauty & The Beast, Footlight, January
David Mackay, 42nd Street, CenterStage, March 

Doug Mann, Toxic Avenger, Theatre of Damned, Shenton, April 

Shane Lee, Shrek the musical, GSODA Juniors, June

Paul Watson, We Will Rock You, CenterStage, Playhouse, July

Scott Bradley, Chicago, TotD, Shenton, August

Tess Evans, Some Kind Of Wonderful, GSODA Juniors, Drama, November

Scott Graham, Aladdin, Medimime, Drama Theatre November

Best Director (Non-musical)

Was awarded to Peter Jukes,  who was at the helm for Geelong Repertory Company's first production of the year, Neil Simon's cerebral social/comedy Jake’s Women which was staged at the Woodbin Theatre in February .

Also nominated were:

Greg Shawcross, Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Geelong Rep, April 

Michael Baker, Strangers on a Train, TTT, Torquay, May 

Kelly Clifford, Barefoot in the Park. Rep, June

Gay Bell, Any Given Monday, TTT, Torquay, November

Best Female Lead (Musical)

Went to Morgan Heynes for We Will Rock You, CenterStage, Playhouse, July.

It's the second time for Morgan, having also  taken the award in  2017 for a very different role in Footlight's Wicked.

Also nominated were:
Nicole Kaminski,
Beauty & The Beast, Footlight, January 

Rebecca Wik, 42nd Street, CenterStage, March 

Shani Clarke, Toxic Avenger, Theatre of Damned, Shenton, April 

Jocelyn Mackay, Song Contest-Almost Eurovision, Lyric, May 

Terri Powell, Song Contest-Almost Eurovision, Lyric, May 

Issy Coomber, Shrek the musical, GSODA Juniors, June

Shani Clarke, Chicago, TotD, Shenton, August

Kathy Hemsworth, Chicago, TotD, Shenton, August 

Alicia O'Bree Little Shop Of Horrors, CenterStage, October  

Ruby Buchanan, Some Kind Of Wonderful, GSODA Juniors, Drama, November 

Best Male Lead (Non-musical)

Went to two actors in very different productions. The award was split between Geoff Gaskill, for his intense performance in the title role in Jake’s Women, Geelong Rep, February, and Michael Baker, for his pinpoint accurate portrayal in Any Given Monday, TTT, Torquay, November. (Neither were at the ceremony, their accepters , pictured, were Tina and Fred)

Also nominated were: 

Cameron Allen, Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Geelong Rep, April 

Lachlan Errey, Strangers on a Train, TTT, Torquay, May 

Lachlan Vivian-Taylor, Strangers on a Train, TTT, Torquay, May 

Ian Nash-Gilchrist, Barefoot in the Park. Rep, June

Philip Besancon, The Hope Song, APA, Courthouse Theatre, October

Simon Finch, The Hope Song, APA, Courthouse Theatre, October 

Stuart Errey, The Hope Song, APA, Courthouse Theatre, October 

Adamo Di Biase, Private Lives, Rep, Woodbin, November

Best Male Lead (Musical)

Went to Joni Gardner, for We Will Rock You, CenterStage, Playhouse, July.

Joni performed an extract from the show at the Awards ceremony, a spirited rendition of Freddie Mercury's I Want To Break Free  - to raptous applause.
Also nominated were:

Joshua McGuane, Beauty & The Beast, Footlight, January 

Chaise Rossiello, 42nd Street, CenterStage, March 

Chris Anderson, 42nd Street, CenterStage, March 

Liam Erck, Toxic Avenger, Theatre of Damned, Shenton, April 

Jeremy Withers, Song Contest-Almost Eurovision, Lyric, May 

Henry Stephenson, Shrek the musical, GSODA Juniors, June

Andrew Perry, Chicago, TotD, Shenton, August 

Connor Rawson, Little Shop Of Horrors, CenterStage, October  

William Palmer, Some Kind Of Wonderful, GSODA Juniors, Drama, Nov. 

Liam Erck, Aladdin, Medimime, Drama Theatre November 

Best Female Lead (Non-musical)

Went to Tina Rettke for her delicate and thoughtful treatment as the conjured up and imagined wife in Geelong Rep's Jake’s Women, in the Woodbin Thatre, February.

Also nominated were:  

Georgia Chara, A Dolls House,ToWU, Ceres, May 

Georgia Chara, Barefoot in the Park. Rep, June 

Terri Scott, Charitable Sisterhood Of  2nd Trinity etc, Rep, Woodbin, Sept.

Stacey Carmichael, The Hope Song, APA, Courthouse Theatre, October

Lina  Libroaperto, The Hope Song, APA, Courthouse Theatre, October 

Libby Stapleton, The Hope Song, APA, Courthouse Theatre, October

Nikki Watson, The Hope Song, APA, Courthouse Theatre, October

Lisa Berry, Any Given Monday, TTT, Torquay, November 

Kate O'Keeffe, Private Lives, Rep, Woodbin, November

Best Supporting Male Actor (Musical)

As an unusual choice in a particularly difficult field, this award went to the Male Chorus of Song Contest-Almost Eurovision, for Lyric in May
The structure of their show meant that this group had to quick-change costumes, personalities, choreographies and musical styles. They did it with rare style. 

Also nominated were:
Vaughn Rae, Beauty & The Beast, Footlight, January 

Adam Porter, Beauty & The Beast, Footlight, January 

Jamie McGuane, Beauty & The Beast, Footlight, January 

Greg Shawcross, Beauty & The Beast, Footlight, January 

P J White, Toxic Avenger, Theatre of Damned, Shenton, April 

William Conway, Toxic Avenger, Theatre of Damned, Shenton, April 

Will Parker, Shrek the musical, GSODA Juniors, June 

Jack Barthel, Shrek the musical, GSODA Juniors, June

Matt Skinner, We Will Rock You, CenterStage, July 

Brady King, We Will Rock You, CenterStage, July 

Joshua McGuane, We Will Rock You, CenterStage, July

Trent Inturissi, Chicago, TotD, Shenton, August 

Dom Wolfram, Little Shop Of Horrors, CenterStage, October  

Best Supporting Female Actor (Non -musical)

Went to Zoe Prem, for her studied series of roles in Geelong Rep's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui  in the  Woodbin Theatre, April . The small, pale, pregnant Zoe made an impressive counterpoint amid the play's ultra-macho gangster theme.

Also  nominated:

Bernadette Byrne, Jake’s Women, Geelong Rep, February 

Claudia Clark, Jake’s Women, Geelong Rep, February 

Stacey Carmichael, Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Geelong Rep, April 

Kathryn O’Neill, A Dolls House,ToWU, Ceres, May 

Catherine Crowe, Strangers on a Train, TTT, Torquay, May 

Maryanne Doolan, Strangers on a Train, TTT, Torquay, May 

Robyn Birrell, Barefoot in the Park. Rep, June

Sindi Renea, Charitable Sisterhood Of  2nd Trinity etc, Rep, Woodbin, Sept. Lynne Elphinston-Gray, Charitable Sisterhood Of  2nd Trinity etc, Rep, Woodbin, Sept. 

Siobhan Linde, Any Given Monday, TTT, Torquay, November

Best Supporting Female Actor (Musical)

Went to the sassie, sexy murderesses in Theatre Of The Damned's Chicago.
That was  Tegan Drever, Ashley Boyd, Molly Carter, Alicia Miller, Kristie Wiltshire and Chey-Anne Dee Elsum (Shenton Theatre,  August ) They had it coming.
Also nominated were:
Emma Clair Ford, Beauty & The Beast, Footlight, January 

Hannah Pohlenz, Beauty & The Beast, Footlight, January 

Cindy Lee, 42nd Street, CenterStage, March 

Alicia Miller, Toxic Avenger, Theatre of Damned, Shenton, April 

Female Chorus, Song Contest-Almost Eurovision, Lyric, May 

Phoebe Grant, Shrek the musical, GSODA Juniors, June 

Mackenzie Nicol, Shrek the musical, GSODA Juniors, June

Melissa Harrington, We Will Rock You, CenterStage, July 

Natasha Bassett, We Will Rock You, CenterStage, July

Elly Howlett, India Ney, Dylan McBurnley, Little Shop Of Horrors, CenterStage, October  

Best Supporting Male Actor (Non-musical)

Went to Fred Preston, for his role as a put-upon Jewish-American academic in Torquay Theatre Troupe's Any Given Monday, (Price St Theatre, Torquay, November)

Also nominated were:
Geoff Gaskill,
Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Geelong Rep, April 

Josh McGuane, Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Geelong Rep, April 

Zach Eastwood, Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Geelong Rep, Apr 

Steven Georgiadis, A Dolls House,ToWU, Ceres, May 

Ethan Cook, Strangers on a Train, TTT, Torquay, May 

David Mackay, Barefoot in the Park. Rep, June


Best Musical Director

Was probably the tightest contest in this year's awards.
It went to Eric von Ahlefeldt, who provided the many, very different styles of music for Lyric's Song Contest-Almost Eurovision, (PLayhouse Theatre, May)

Also nominated were:
John Shawcross,
Beauty & The Beast, Footlight, January 

Daniel Heskett, 42nd Street, CenterStage, March 

Courtney Miller, Toxic Avenger Theatre of Damned, Shenton, April 

Kate Notini, We Will Rock You, CenterStage, July

William Conway, Chicago, TotD, Shenton, August

Most Refreshing Newcomer

Was awarded to Hannah Senftleben, for her mature and thoughtful portrayal in Geelong Rep's Jake’s Women, (Woodbin,  February). 

 

Also nominated were: 

Sarah Sheils, 42nd St, CenterStage, March 

Trudy Riley, 42nd St, CenterStage, March 

Sam Lawrence, Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Geelong Rep, April

Nicholas Rogers, We Will Rock You, CenterStage, July 


Most Innovative Feature

 Was awarded to Ben Anderson, for providing perfect sound reproduction in no fewer than three different productions at three different venues. These were: 

 Almost Eurovision, (Lyric, May)  Chicago, (TotD, Shenton, August)  and Aladdin, Medimime, Drama  Theatre, November). 

That's Theatre of the Damned's Tony Dahl accepting on Ben's behalf. 

Also nominated were:

Lochlan Erard, choreography, Beauty & Beast, Footlight, Jan
Wig, Costume team, Beauty & The Beast, Footlight, January
Peter Jukes/Barton Lowe, set design Jake’s Women, Rep, February

Fiona Luca-Kingsbury, choreography 42nd St, CenterStage, March
Ensemble, 42nd St, CenterStage, March
Kai Mann-Robertson, choreography, Almost Eurovision, Lyric, May
Brenda Clarke, vocal direction, Almost Eurovision, Lyric, May
Nick Maloney, Lighting, Almost Eurovision, Lyric, May
Wardrobe & wig teams, Almost Eurovision, Lyric, May
Ed Dolista, set design, Barefoot in the Park. Rep, June

Ensemble, We Will Rock You, CSG, July
Venessa Paech, choreography, We Will Rock You, CSG, July
Jason Boviard, lighting, We Will Rock You, CSG, July
Costume, Make-up teams, We Will Rock You, CSG, July
Nicole Plowman, wig designs, We Will Rock You, CSG, July

Jordan Punsalang, choreography, Chicago, TotD, Shenton, August

Eric Von Ahlefeldt, narration, Chicago, TotD, Shenton, August

Tim Hulsman, music, The Hope Song, APA, Courthouse, October
Ensemble, Some Kind Of Wonderful, GSODA Juniors, Drama, November
Kat Eadie, Tabatha Collins, wardrobe,  Private Lives, Rep, November