BOLTON’s Octagon has seven nominations in the region’s annual theatre awards while Westhoughton’s Maxine Peake is up for best actress.
Hoping to build on the success of previous years, the Octagon has two nods in the Best Production category, for Of Mice and Men and The Glass Menagerie, both directed by David Thacker, at the Manchester Theatre Awards (MTAs).
The theatre also has two nominations in the Best Newcomer category, for Nathan Ives-Moiba who played Walter Tull, the first black outfield player in the old First Division in Great Britain, in Tull, and Nathan Wiley — Tom Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie.
Hoping for success in the Best Actor in a Supporting Role category is Octagon regular Kieran Hill, who appeared as The Gentleman Caller in The Glass Menagerie.
Of Mice and Men also has nominations for Best Ensemble and Best Design, with design and lighting by Ciaran Bagnall and sound by Andy Smith.
Mr Thacker said: “I’m delighted that the Octagon has yet again been recognised so impressively in this year’s Manchester Theatre Awards.
"It’s particularly pleasing to see two Octagon plays nominated for Best Production – a nomination that truly reflects all of the hard work that goes into producing a piece of theatre.
"Although it’s personally very gratifying for those who have been nominated individually it’s important to stress that these awards really belong to the team of people who have helped to make the productions so successful – the many actors, designers, sound designers, lighting designers, our movement and fight directors and the team of technical staff who work at the Octagon.
“The Octagon sees it as a major priority to develop the work of young and emerging talents, so we’re delighted that Nathan Ives-Moiba and Nathan Wiley have both been nominated in the Best Newcomer category.
"Two fantastic young actors who I’m sure both have fantastic careers ahead of them.
“And of course none of this would be possible without the dedication and commitment of the entire staff of the Octagon, as well as our wonderful local audiences who continue to support the Theatre – we wouldn’t be here without them. So these awards really are a tribute to everyone who makes the Octagon such a special place.”
Former Westhoughton High School and Canon Slade pupil Maxine Peake has been nominated for her performance of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s political poem, Masque Of Anarchy, at the Albert Hall as part of the Manchester International Festival.
She scooped the Best Actress award at last year’s event for her portrayal of Miss Julie at the Royal Exchange.
An MTA spokesman said: “We think it’s a genuinely exciting shortlist that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that, even in a time when the arts generally and regional theatre especially seem to be under threat, Greater Manchester remains a fearless, vibrant and creative hub.
“We’re thrilled to be able to acknowledge, here and in March, just some of the talent that helps to make it so great.”
There are a total of 100 nominations in 20 categories, ranging from blockbuster productions to fringe energy and from the familiar faces of stars like Kenneth Branagh and Maxine to fresh new talent.
Manchester Sound: The Massacre, which starred Bolton-born, former Hollyoaks actress Leah Hackett and Leigh-born Rachel Austin has been nominated in Best Ensemble.
The Full Monty, which featured Bolton actor Roger Morlidge as Dave, at The Lowry, has been shortlisted in the Best Visiting Production.
Strictly Confidential, which starred Bury actress Lisa Riley, at The Lowry, has been nominated in the Best Special Entertainment section.
That Day We Sang, written by Prestwich actress and comedian Victoria Wood, has two nods in the Best Actress In A Supporting Role category, for Sally Bankes and Kelly Price.
Chosen by an entirely independent panel of theatre experts, they will be honoured at a ceremony at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre on Friday, March 7, hosted by comedian and actor Justin Moorhouse.
Full list of nominations:
David Birrell, Sweeney Todd, Royal Exchange
Kenneth Branagh, Macbeth, Manchester International Festival, St Peter’s Church
Nigel Cooke, To Kill A Mockingbird, Royal Exchange
Paul Webster, Sugar Daddies, Oldham Coliseum
Jack Wilkinson, David Copperfield, Oldham Coliseum
Marianne Benedict, Chicago, Oldham Coliseum
Cush Jumbo, A Doll’s House, Royal Exchange
Gillian Kearney, Educating Rita, Library at The Lowry
Alex Kingston, Macbeth, Manchester International Festival, St Peter’s Church
Maxine Peake, Masque Of Anarchy, Manchester International Festival, Albert Hall
Shannon Tarbet, To Kill A Mockingbird, Royal Exchange
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Ray Fearon, Macbeth, Manchester International Festival, St Peter’s Church
Kieran Hill, The Glass Menagerie, Octagon Theatre Bolton
Robin Simpson, David Copperfield, Oldham Coliseum
Best Actress In A Supporting Role
Sally Bankes, That Day We Sang, Royal Exchange
Shirley Darroch, Chicago, Oldham Coliseum
Heather Phoenix, Sugar Daddies, Oldham Coliseum
Kelly Price, That Day We Sang, Royal Exchange
Best Actor in a Visiting Production
Paul Michael Glaser, Fiddler On The Roof, The Lowry
Julian Glover, Maurice’s Jubilee, Opera House
Louis Maskell, West Side Story, Palace
Barrie Rutter, Rutherford and Son, The Lowry
Tim Treloar, Birdsong, Oldham Coliseum
Best Actress in a Visiting Production
Michele Dotrice, The Ladykillers, The Lowry
Katie Hall, West Side Story, Palace
Catherine Kinsella, Rutherford and Son, The Lowry
Karen Mann, Fiddler On The Roof, The Lowry
Sian Phillips, People, The Lowry
Of Mice and Men, directed by David Thacker, Octagon Theatre Bolton
Macbeth, directed by Rob Ashford, Manchester International Festival, St Peter’s Church
The Accrington Pals, directed by James Dacre, Royal Exchange
The Glass Menagerie, directed by David Thacker, Octagon Theatre Bolton
The Old Woman, directed by Robert Wilson, Manchester International Festival, Palace
To Kill A Mockingbird, directed by Max Webster, Royal Exchange
Marcus Collins, Hairspray, The Lowry
Laura Elsworthy, The Accrington Pals, Royal Exchange
Nathan Ives-Moiba, Tull, Octagon Theatre Bolton
Freya Sutton, Hairspray, The Lowry
Nathan Wiley, The Glass Menagerie, Octagon Theatre Bolton
Best Visiting Production
Birdsong, The Original Theatre Company and Birdsong Productions Ltd, Oldham Coliseum
The Full Monty, Sheffield Theatres, The Lowry
The Ladykillers, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse / Fiery Angel, The Lowry
The Pirates Of Penzance, Scottish Opera and D'Oyly Carte, Opera House
Twelfth Night, Propeller, The Lowry
War Horse, National Theatre, The Lowry
Chicago, Oldham Coliseum
David Copperfield, Oldham Coliseum
Duck!, Z-Arts Manchester
Manchester Sound: The Massacre, Library Theatre Company
Of Mice and Men, Octagon Theatre Bolton
La Colombe/La Princesse Jaune, design Lez Brotherston; light John Bishop, Buxton Festival
Macbeth, design Christopher Oram; light Neil Austin; sound Christopher Shutt, Manchester International Festival, St Peter’s Church
Of Mice and Men, design and light Ciaran Bagnall; sound Andy Smith, Octagon Theatre Bolton
The Accrington Pals, design Jonathan Fensom; light Charles Balfour; sound Emma Laxton, Royal Exchange
The Old Woman, designer/director Robert Wilson; sound Marco Oilvieri; light A J Weissbard, Manchester International Festival, Palace
The Machine, design Lucy Osborne; light Mark Henderson; sound Ian Dickinson/Autograph, Manchester International Festival, Upper Campfield Market
Chicago, Oldham Coliseum
Fiddler On The Roof, The Lowry
Paradise Moscow, Royal Northern College Of Music
Singin’ In The Rain, Opera House
Sweeney Todd, Royal Exchange
Festival of Britten (Peter Grimes / Midsummer Night’s Dream / Death In Venice), Opera North, The Lowry
La Finta Giardiniera, Buxton Festival
L’Elisir d’Amore, Royal Northern College Of Music
La Voix Humaine, Buxton Festival
Otello, Opera North, The Lowry
Aladdin, Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Lowry
Michael Clark Triple Bill, The Lowry
Rambert, The Lowry
Richard Alston Dance Company, The Lowry
The Chelsea Hotel, The Lowry
Best New Play
Away From Home, by Rob Ward and Martin Jameson, 24:7 Festival
Brilliant Adventures, by Alistair McDowall, Royal Exchange Studio
Cannibals, by Rory Mullarkey, Royal Exchange
Flesh, by Sarah McDonald Hughes, Royal Exchange Studio
Best Studio Production
A Wondrous Place, Royal Exchange Studio
Brilliant Adventures, Royal Exchange Studio
That Is All You Need To Know, The Lowry Studio
Best Fringe Production
Away From Home, Working Progress Theatre, 24:7 Festival
Little Shop of Horrors, Kings Arms
Mary Bell by Mary Bell, Studio Salford
The Best, Lass O’Gowrie
Word:Play, Box Of Tricks, various venues
Withnail and I, Lass O’Gowrie
Best Studio Performance
Joseph Arkley, Brilliant Adventures, Royal Exchange Studio
David Judge, Pages From My Songbook, Royal Exchange Studio
Robert Lonsdale, Brilliant Adventures, Royal Exchange Studio
Gerry McLaughlin, Mugabeland!, The Lowry Studio
Best Fringe Performance
Rebecca Fenwick, Spoonface Steinberg, The Swan, Dobcross and tour
Stella Grundy, The Rise and Fall Of A Northern Star, Studio Salford
Dickie Patterson, The Best, Lass O’Gowrie
David Slack, Withnail and I, Lass O’Gowrie
Rob Ward, Away From Home, 24:7 Theatre Festival
Best Special Entertainment
Dick Whittington, Opera House
Jack and the Beanstalk, Oldham Coliseum
Strictly Confidential, The Lowry
Sutra, The Lowry