This year the Matilda Awards handed out only one Gold Matilda and it was awarded posthumously to the late Carol Burns’ lifetime achievement, which end in a final performance last year in Queensland Theatre Company’s Happy Days, for which she also received a Silver Matilda award nomination.
The move from five gold awards to only one is a response to industry feedback, following the introduction of formal categories for the Silver Matildas several years ago.
Playwright Sven Swenson, the winner of three previous Matilda Awards was inducted into the Matilda’s Hall of fame
QTC emerged as the 2015 awards’ most successful company, also associated with five of the twelve
Silver Matilda wins.
Its original production Brisbane claimed Best Mainstage Production, Best New Australian Work (playwright Matthew Ryan) and Best Male Actor in a Leading Role (Dash Kruck), while Libby Munro and Naomi Price took out Best Female Actor in leading and supporting roles respectively for QTC’s Grounded and Ladies in Black.
Kruck took home a second gong for Best Musical or Cabaret for his one-man show I Might Take My Shirt Off, produced by QPAC in association with Queensland Cabaret Festival and Jai Higgs.
The big independent winner was Shock Therapy Productions’ The Pillowman. On top of Best Independent Production (in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse), it scored Best Director for Sam Foster and Best Supporting Actor in a Supporting Role for Tama Matheson.
shake & stir theatre co’s adaptation of Dracula
won both design category awards, Josh
Mcintosh for his set design and Jason Glenwright for lighting.
Pirates of Penzance and Into the Woods star Georgina Hopson beat fellow Queensland Conservatorium Musical Theatre graduates Billy Bourchier and Kimberly Hodgson, plus Ladies in Black’s Sarah Morrison, to claim the Bille Brown Award for Best Emerging Artist.
The 28th Matildas ceremony was held at QUT Gardens Theatre and hosted by past winner Carita Farrer Spencer and fashion designer Leigh Buchanan.
ACPA’s students provided additional entertainment, while 2010 Silver Matilda Best Lead Actor winner Leon Cain, recently seen in shake & stir’s Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts,
appeared as special guest presenter.
The Matilda Awards’ committee of critics, arts administrators and aficionados thanked and farewelled Alison Cotes for more than a quarter-century’s dedicated service following co-founding the awards with fellow reviewer Sue Gough in 1987.
2015 Matilda Award winners
Gold Matilda award: Carol Burns
Silver Matilda Awards
Best Mainstage Production: Brisbane, Queensland
Best New Australian Work: Brisbane, Matthew Ryan
Best Independent Production: The Pillowman, Shock Therapy Productions in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse
Best Male Actor in a Leading Role: Dash Kruck, Brisbane
Best Female Actor in a Leading Role: Libby Munro, Grounded
Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Tama Matheson, The Pillowman
Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Naomi Price, Ladies in Black
Best Director: Sam Foster, The Pillowman
Best Design (Set and Costumes): Josh McIntosh (set), Dracula
Best Technical Design (Lighting, Sound or Multimedia): Jason Glenwright (lighting), Dracula
Bille Brown Award for Best Emerging Artist: Georgina Hopson, Pirates of Penzance/Into the Woods
Best Musical or Cabaret: I Might Take My Shirt Off, QPAC in association with Queensland Cabaret Festival, Jai Higgs & Dash Kruck