Eight NHB plays shortlisted at Manchester Theatre Awards

Monday, January 16, 2017

The nominees for this year's Manchester Theatre Awards were announced today (16 January), with a whopping eight NHB-published plays shortlisted across various categories.

Katherine Soper's 2015 Bruntwood Prize-winning play Wish List received four nominations: Best New Play, Best Studio Production, Best Actress in a Studio Production (Erin Doherty) and Best Actor in a Studio Production (Joseph Quinn). A sensitive, delicate and powerful play that asks what our labour is worth and how life can be lived when the system is stacked against you, it is currently playing at the Royal Court Theatre, London, following its premiere at the Manchester Royal Exchange last year.

Also nominated for Best New Play is Bird by Katherine Chandler, winner of a Judges' Award in the 2013 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. It also receives a nod forĀ Best Actress in a Studio Production (Georgia Henshaw). This raw, delicate and bold story of growing up outside a family, but inside the fiercest of friendships, was praised by the Guardian for its 'blasted beauty... like its teenage protagonists, [it is] a small, fragile thing with a fiercely beating heart'.

The Royal Exchange's acclaimed revival of Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit by Margaret Edson is shortlisted for Best Production and Best Actress (Julie Hesmondhalgh). Also nominated in the acting categories are Simon McBurney for stunning Complicite show The Encounter (Best Actor in a Visiting Production) and Molly Vevers for James Fritz's striking Ross & Rachel (Best Actress in a Studio Production), while The James Plays by Rona Munro is recognised for Best Ensemble. The James Plays and The Encounter are also both nominated for Best Visiting Production.

Finally, two other NHB plays join Wish List on the shortlist for Best Studio Production: the linguistically inventive and sweetly funny Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons by Sam Steiner, and Jack Thorne's intimate, tender The Solid Life of Sugar Water.

The winners of the 2017 Manchester Theatre Awards will be revealed at a ceremony at HOME, Manchester, on Friday 17 March. To see the full list of nominees, visit the MTA website here.

Eight NHB plays shortlisted at Manchester Theatre Awards
  • The Encounter
  • Bird
  • Wish List