Royal Exchange wins theatre of the year

Royal Exchange wins theatre of the year

Manchester’s Royal Exchange has been named regional theatre of the year at The Stage Awards.

The venue beat the Chichester Festival Theatre and Northampton’s Royal and Derngate to the honour.

Actress Maxine Peake, who won rave reviews for her role in The Skriker at the theatre last year, collected the award at the London ceremony along with artistic director Sarah Frankcom.

In The Skriker, Peake was described as “a cross between Vivienne Westwood and the Virgin Queen”

The Almeida Theatre was also named London theatre of the year.

It beat Shakespeare’s Globe and the Barbican for its hit Greeks season, which achieved both critical and box office success as well as a West End transfer of the Oresteia.

The Stage’s editor, Alistair Smith, said the quality of work over the past year had made it “really tricky” for the judges.

‘Meteoric arrival’

The Other Room – Cardiff’s first pub theatre – won fringe theatre of the year – the first venue outside London to win the prize.

Opened in February 2015, the judges described the 44-person capacity venue’s first year as a “meteoric arrival” on the theatre scene.

Sonia Friedman was named producer of the year for the second year. In 2015 she was behind nine UK shows, including the new West End musical Bend It Like Beckham and Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet at the Barbican.

The National Theatre won two awards – the international award for its collaboration with the National Theatre of China on a Chinese production of War Horse; and the theatre building of the year prize for its NT Future regeneration project.

Arts Educational Schools London collected the school of the year award and stage manager Roger Miller was named unsung hero for his work in saving the Felixstowe Spa Pavilion Theatre.

Here are this year’s winners in full:

London theatre of the year – Almeida Theatre

Fringe theatre of the year – The Other Room, Cardiff

Regional theatre of the year – Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Producer of the year – Sonia Friedman

International award – War Horse China

School of the year – Arts Educational Schools London

Theatre building of the year – NT Future

Unsung Hero – Roger Miller


Event: Maxine Peake’s Hamlet and Women in the Creative Industries

Maxine Peake’s Hamlet and Women in the Creative Industries

The British Council celebrates the role of women in the creative industries and explores how Shakespeare’s work can influence them with a screening of Sarah Frankcom’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s iconic play, Hamlet. Starring Maxine Peake, this ultimate play is about loyalty, betrayal, love, murder and madness. A lively and thought-provoking panel discussion follows on the role of women in the creative industries. The panel encourages those present to critically explore gender roles and challenge the barriers that still exist. The British Council are asking for your help to stimulate some early discussion in return for a free ticket. Suggest a question for the panel or telling them why you think Hamlet is so relevant to the lives of women today. Please send email questions and comments to Amy Rogers. HOME, 9 March, time and tickets TBC.


Maxine Peake and David Morrissey to perform at refugee fundraising event

Actors including Maxine Peake, David Morrissey and Rufus Hound will come together to perform in a benefit show for the UN Refugee Agency at the National Theatre.

The event will feature both new and existing work by writers including Richard Bean, Michelle Terry and David Edgar, and will be curated by actor Emma Manton in response to the refugee crisis in Europe.

Peake said: “I am supporting this event as everything that can be done to help and support the refugee crisis must be done. I hope events like this will encourage the powers that be to allow more refugees a home and sanctuary in our country.”

Andy Nyman, Noma Dumezweni, Ray Fearon, Adjoa Andoh and Zubin Varla will also perform at the event, which will take place on February 14 in the Lyttelton Theatre.

UN Refugee Agency representative Gonzalo Vargas Llosa said the organisation was “deeply grateful” that the event would be taking place.

“With your support, we will be able to continue our life-saving work to protect and meet the urgent humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable refugee families,” he said.

Further cast and creatives are yet to be announced.


Moving Stories- A fundraising performance for the United Nations Refugee Agency

Moving Stories- A fundraising performance for the United Nations Refugee Agency

This Valentine’s Day, top names from the British stage are coming together to help raise funds for the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

With brand new and much loved work from Richard Bean, David Edgar and more, Moving Stories will see a host of stars perform in aid of the current overwhelming global refugee crisis – the largest since the Second World War.

    The afternoon will include performances from:

Maxine Peake, Zubin Varla, Ray Fearon, Rufus Hound, Hattie Morahan, Andy Nyman, Adjoa Andoh, Noma Dumezweni, Anna-Jane Casey, Natalie Casey, Liza Goddard, James Bolam, Susan Jameson, Di Botcher and Macy Nyman.

    All proceeds will go to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) to provide much needed support and assistance to refugees.

Buy tickets by clicking the “Source” button below-

Maxine Peake up for Manchester Theatre Awards


Maxine Peake has been nominated for both her acting and writing in this year’s Manchester Theatre Awards.

The star is up for best actress for her role as a demonic fairy in The Skriker at the Royal Exchange theatre.

It is the second year in a row she has been up for best actress, after being nominated for playing Hamlet last year.

This year, she is also nominated for best new play for writing Beryl, about cycling champion Beryl Burton, which was staged at The Lowry in Salford.


Peake, known for TV dramas like Shameless, Silk and The Village, wrote Beryl but did not appear in it.

The play, which started life as a BBC Radio 4 drama, told the story of the woman who won seven world titles and held the UK women’s all-round title for 25 consecutive years.

The Manchester Evening News’ City Life supplement, meanwhile, has named The Skriker the best play of 2015 in its own annual awards.

In her review, the paper’s Dianne Bourne described Peake as overseeing “her debauched band of zombie fiends like a cross between Vivienne Westwood and the Virgin Queen”.

The production of Caryl Churchill’s play was part of last summer’s Manchester International Festival.

The Manchester Theatre Awards winners will be announced on 4 March.

Bolton’s Octagon theatre leads the main acting and production categories, followed closely by the Royal Exchange and Oldham Coliseum. The Lowry dominates the shortlists for visiting productions.

Manchester Theatre Awards – key categories:

Best actress

Scarlett Brookes in Educating Rita at Oldham Coliseum
Barbara Drennan in A View From The Bridge and The Family Way at Octagon Theatre, Bolton
Kathryn Hunter in Kafka’s Monkey at Home
Maxine Peake in The Skriker at the Royal Exchange

Best actor

Colin Connor in A View From The Bridge at Octagon Theatre, Bolton
Rob Edwards in An Enemy Of The People at Octagon Theatre, Bolton
Jonjo O’Neill in The Crucible at the Royal Exchange
Sam Swann in Pomona at the Royal Exchange

Best production

Educating Rita at Oldham Coliseum
An Enemy of the People at Octagon Theatre, Bolton
Rites at Contact
A View From The Bridge at Octagon Theatre, Bolton

See the full list of nominees on the Manchester Theatre Awards website.


Gallery Update: Maxine Peake on the red carpet at the Moet British Independent Film Awards 2015

The photo gallery has been updated with 6 HQ photos of Maxine on the red carpet. She looks absolutely radiant!

Gallery Link:
Appearances > 2015 > Dec 6th | Red Carpet at The Moet British Independent Film Awards 2015