The UK Pantomime Association (UKPA) has announced the winners of The Pantomime Awards 2023 in association with Butlin’s at a star-studded ceremony which took place at the Trafalgar Theatre in London’s West End on the evening of Tuesday 11 April 2023.
Su Pollard was honoured with the Outstanding Achievement Award for her many decades of passion and commitment to treading the boards in pantomimes around the country.
The Special Recognition Awards, which celebrate productions and individuals representing the values that the Association seeks to promote, were given to Ian McKellen for passionate advocacy and services to the artform of pantomime, Cast, Doncaster, for their ongoing commitment to integrated BSL signing in pantomime and Theatre Royal Stratford East for their continued innovative and inclusive practice in the field of pantomime.
The winners of The Pantomime Awards 2023 in full:
- Best Choreography: Stillie Dee – Jack and the Beanstalk, Alhambra Theatre, Bradford (Crossroads Pantomimes)
- Best Comic sponsored by Santa Himself: Adam C Booth – Cinderella, Grand Opera House, Belfast (Crossroads Pantomimes)
- Best Costume Design: Jasmine Swan – Beauty and the Beast, Mercury Theatre, Colchester (In-House)
- Best Dame sponsored by Trafalgar Entertainment: Brian James O’Sullivan – Maw Goose, Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling (In-House)
- Best Director (sponsored by John Good Ltd): Estelle van Warmelo – Beauty and the Beast, The Courtyard, Hereford (In-House)
- Best Ensemble sponsored by Stagecoach: Mairi Barclay, Adam Brown, Gabriel Fleary, Becca Francis, Shailan Gohil, Richard Leeming, Genevieve Nicole and Laura Tyrer – Mother Goose, Duke of York’s Theatre, London (Ambassador Theatre Group)
- Best Lighting Design sponsored by Production, Light & Sound: Sally Ferguson – Dick Whittington, Nottingham Playhouse (In-House)
- Carmen Silvera Award for Best Magical Being: Jo Osmond – Beauty and the Beast, Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury (Evolution Productions)
- Best Contribution to Music sponsored by Howden Insurance Brokers: Emma Fraser – Dick Whittington, Octagon Theatre, Yeovil (Evolution Productions)
- Best Early Career Newcomer sponsored by Staffordshire University: Neha Eapen – Cinderella, Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds (Paul Holman Associates)
- Best Newcomer to Pantomime sponsored by Staffordshire University: Vernon Kay – Cinderella, Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe (Imagine Theatre)
- Barbara Windsor Award for Best Principal Lead: Jasmine Triadi – Cinderella, Salisbury Playhouse (In-House)
- Best Script: Joyce Branagh – Jack and the Beanstalk, South Hill Park Arts Centre, Bracknell (In-House)
- Best Secondary Lead: Ohaana Greaves – The Further Adventures of Peter Pan, Fairfield Halls, Croydon (UK Productions)
- Best Set Design: Mark Walters, Nina Dunn and Matt Brown – Beauty and the Beast, Swansea Grand Theatre (Imagine Theatre)
- Best Sisters: Andrew Pollard and Alim Jadavji – Cinderella, Lighthouse, Poole (In-House)
- Best Sound Design: James Cook – Aladdin, Derby Arena (Little Wolf Entertainment)
- Best Supporting Artist: Anna-Jane Casey – Mother Goose, Duke of York’s Theatre, London (Ambassador Theatre Group)
- Best Villain sponsored by Breckman & Company: Ben Locke – Robin Hood, Theatr Clwyd, Mold (In-House)
- Best Pantomime (Under 500 seats) sponsored by Butlin’s: Robin Hood, Theatr Clwyd, Mold (In-House)
- Best Pantomime (500 – 900 seats) sponsored by Butlin’s: Mother Goose, Duke of York’s Theatre, London (Ambassador Theatre Group)
- Best Pantomime (Over 900 seats) sponsored by Butlin’s: Beauty and the Beast, Swansea Grand Theatre (Imagine Theatre)
- Special Achievement Awards: Ian McKellen, Cast, Doncaster, and Theatre Royal Stratford East
- Outstanding Achievement Award: Su Pollard
The ceremony was hosted by the UKPA’s President Christopher Biggins. The Pantomime Awards presenters included Nigel Clarke, Max Fulham, Derek Griffiths, Amanda Lovett and Theo Mayne, Debbie McGee, Gracie McGonigal, Scott Mitchell and Vikki Stone. There were performances from Anna-Jane Casey, Gigi Zahir, Myra DuBois and a specially curated performance from Butlin’s.
Simon Sladen, Chair of the UK Pantomime Association said: “Congratulations to all our nominees and winners. The Pantomime Awards celebrate an array of outstanding talent and demonstrate an industry alive and thriving. The commitment, creativity and passion on show each season makes pantomime one of the most thrilling of all theatrical genres. The UK Pantomime Association is proud to recognise and acknowledge the outstanding skill, expertise and excellence upon the pantomime stage.”
Butlin’s is the principal sponsor for the UK Pantomime Awards 2023. Entertainment Director Mike Godolphin said: “A huge congratulations to everyone nominated for an award and of course the winners. We’re proud to be supporting the industry by sponsoring these awards for the second year in a row. Pantomime is an important part of Butlin’s and as the home of entertainment, our cast perform in front of thousands of guests live at our three resorts on every family break.”
Founded in 2021, the UK Pantomime Association is a charity that explores, shares and celebrates pantomime by investigating the genre’s rich past, engaging with contemporary practice and inspiring the future.
During the 2022/23 pantomime season, the second year in which The Pantomime Awards have taken place, the UK Pantomime Association’s 64 judges attended over 240 venues to see over 700 performances, far and wide across the United Kingdom.
For more information, visit: https://pantomimeassociation.co.uk.