The London Pub Theatres Awards 2023 were held at Upstairs at the Gatehouse in Highgate Sunday 22 October. Designed to celebrate outstanding achievements in the pub theatre environment, they cover pub theatres, companies and individuals in 19 categories. The Awards are run by London Pub Theatres Magazine. The Awards team is led by Award-winning playwright David Weir and Editor Heather Jeffery.
PUB THEATRE OF THE YEAR 2023 is awarded to BROCKLEY JACK
THEATRE in Lewisham led by Artistic Director Kate Bannister.
“For their consistently adventurous and successful programming, the warm welcome and knowledgeable assistance they provide to all visiting companies, and for outstanding technical innovation” – Chris Lilly, Deputy Head Judge. Exceptional work at this venue has also won them a Standing Ovation Award for Best Production Values for their in-house Christmas show A CHRISTMAS CAROL.
RUNNER UP for PUB THEATRE OF THE YEAR 2023 is awarded to ETCETERA THEATRE in Camden led by Otto Jäger.
Etcetera Theatre has been supporting new writing, music gigs, and stand-up comics since 1986, always offering a hospitable home to visiting theatre makers big and small, especially those starting out on their journey. They have a particular commitment to festivals, the Camden Fringe Festival started here, their black box festival runs twice a year and they have recently opened a Women Writers Festival to debut in 2024. Offering access, freedom and variety, this is a theatre to treasure.
COMMENDATION FOR SERVICES TO NEW WRITING is awarded to Artistic Director Lisa Spirling and Literary Manager Steve Harper and team at THEATRE503 in Battersea
“Having seen their alumni nominated in four separate categories (Actor, Supporting Actor, Direction, and New Play Raising Awareness), Artistic Director Lisa Spirling and Literary Manager Steve Harper, and their team at Theatre 503, took home their own London Pub Theatre Magazine’s Standing Ovation Award, a Commendation for Services to New Writing. Their commitment to, and resourcing of, first time writers has made them one of the country’s principal sources of new writing, the single most essential ingredient in any future theatre development.” – Chris Lilly, Deputy Head Judge
COMMENDATION for OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT is awarded to Zena Barrie and Michelle Flower, founders and directors of CAMDEN FRINGE FESTIVAL since 2006.
Over 300 productions in 24 different north London venues made this year’s Camden Fringe Festival, the 17th since its inception in 2006, the biggest and busiest yet. Seeking to emulate some of the buzz and media interest of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the heart of London, the Camden Fringe Festival has made a major contribution in giving opportunities to emerging theatre artists and established artists to show their work, get reviewed and get programmed.
ACTORS AWARD FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT is awarded to Edmund Dehn
Most recently for LEAR ALONE as Lear at Golden Goose Theatre (2023), POWER LUNCHEON as Churchill at The Hope (2022) and DEATH OF A HUNTER as Ernest Hemingway at Finborough (2018). Dehn appeared in the Finborough Theatre’s very first production in 1980. But his career spans back to 1979 in repertory theatre for a 9-month season playing Mr Manningham, Banquo and Judge Brack amongst other roles.
STANDING OVATION AWARD WINNERS
Áine Ryan for KITTY IN THE LANE at Jack Studio Theatre
(Note: Áine Ryan is also winner of Standing Ovation NEW WRITING AWARD for PADDY GOES TO PETRA at Jack Studio Theatre – see below)
THE RETURN OF BENJAMIN LAY by Naomi Wallace, Directed by Ron Daniels, Arsalan Sattari Productions at Finborough Theatre
BEST PRODUCTION (MUSICAL)
SUMMER IN THE CITY by Jennifer Selway, Directed by John Plews, Produced by Ovation at Upstairs at the Gatehouse
OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION VALUES
A CHRISTMAS CAROL in-house production at Jack Studio Theatre
ANIMAL FARM adapted by Paul Stebbing, directed by Gaspard Legendre at The Golden Goose Theatre & on TOUR
YIPPEE KI YAY written and performed by Richard Marsh at King’s Head Theatre
SOLO SHOW (written by the performer)
Mark Farrelly for THE SILENCE OF SNOW on tour (including several pub theatres)
Aine Ryan for PADDY GOES TO PETRA at Jack Studio Theatre
Douglas Clarke-Wood and Tallulah Bond in SCORCHED by Tallulah Bond at Etcetera Theatre
Catherine Warnock as actor-musician and for her original score in BLACK CAT by Edgar Allan Poe at King’s Head Theatre
MAKESHIFTS / REALITIES / HONOUR THY FATHER at Finborough Theatre
Cast: Poppy Allen-Quarmby, Joe Eyre, Andrew Hawkins, Beth Lilly, Philippa Quinn, Akshay Sharan, Suzan Syvester
Keith Strachan for NEXT DOOR’S BABY and ABOUT BILL both at Theatre at the Tabard
BLACK BOX THEATRE
HOW WE BEGIN by Elisabeth Lewerenz, premiered at King’s Head Theatre
Jan Noble for BODY 115 at The Hope Theatre
NEW PLAY RAISING AWARENESS
VITAMIN D by Saher Shah at Rosemary Branch (Look for the Woman festival)
Photography: Ross Kernahan
The Awards are run by London Pub Theatres Magazine.