It may not have quite the same glamour and cachet as the Oscars, but there was another important awards ceremony held yesterday — the Matilda Awards, celebrating the best of Brisbane theatre.
Queensland Theatre Company dominated the proceedings, winning almost half of the awards on offer (including three gongs for Matthew Ryan’s Brisbane), but there was plenty of love to go around.
Logie Award-winning actress and director Carol Burns, who gave the final performance of her legendary career in theatre, film and television in Queensland Theatre Company’s Happy Days, was posthumously awarded a Gold Matilda, Brisbane theatre’s highest honour.
The event was hosted by cabaret performer Carita Farrer Spencer and fashion designer Leigh Buchanan, but it was Lord Mayor Graham Quirk who scored the biggest — and most surprising — laugh of the night when he was welcomed to the stage by Spencer, who was in character as Larry Paradiso.
“I’m in the middle of preparing for an election,” Cr Quirk said to Spencer, “but it sounds like you are preparing for something else that sounds quite similar.”
Yes, that’s right — the Lord Mayor went there. That’s the power of the Matildas!
The full list of winners is as follows:
Best Mainstage Production — Brisbane (Queensland Theatre Company)
Lord Mayor’s Award for Best New Australian Work — Brisbane (Queensland Theatre Company)
Best Independent Production — The Pillowman (Shock Therapy Productions)
Best Male Actor in a Leading Role — Dash Kruck, Brisbane (Queensland Theatre Company)
Best Female Actor in a Leading Role — Libby Munro, Grounded (Queensland Theatre Company)
Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role — Tama Matheson, The Pillowman (Shock Therapy Productions)
Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role — Naomi Price, Ladies in Black (Queensland Theatre Company)
Best Director — Sam Foster, The Pillowman (Shock Therapy Productions)
Best Design (Set & Costumes) — Josh McIntosh, Dracula (Shake & Stir Theatre Co)
Best Technical Design (Lights, Multimedia & Sound) — Jason Glenwright, Dracula (Shake & Stir Theatre Co)
Bille Brown Award for Best Emerging Artist — Georgina Hopson, Pirates of Penzance & Into the Woods (Harvest Rain Theatre Company)
Best Musical or Cabaret — I Might Take My Shirt Off (QPAC in association with Queensland Cabaret Festival, Jai Higgs & Dash Kruck)
What’s the best show you’ve seen in Brisbane lately? Have your say in the comments below!