Tonic Awards 2019
The third annual Tonic Awards, hosted by Tracy-Ann Oberman, held on Monday 25th March 2019 at the May Fair Hotel.
Our third annual Tonic Awards, hosted by Tracy-Ann Oberman, celebrated the achievements of women who are changing the face of our theatre industry, and the projects, productions and organisations that are redefining the role of women in the performing arts. The event was generously supported by Dewynters, JHI, May Fair Hotel, Nick Hern Books and WhatsOnStage, and our headline sponsor White Light.
“It is absolutely vital there is a platform to celebrate the integral part women play in this industry and we couldn’t be prouder that the Tonic Awards return this year to recognise and champion the work of these women, both on and off stage. We’ve seen great strides forward for women in our industry and wider society over the last few years and we hope to continue to support these positive changes.”Lucy Kerbel, Director of Tonic
The 2019 Tonic Awards Recipients
Open Clasp Theatre Company
For their efforts to engage and provide opportunity to marginalised women to engage with theatre and present stories that might otherwise go unheard. The award was presented to Open Clasp Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Catrina McHugh MBE by Erica Whyman OBE, Deputy Artistic Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Shakespeare’s Globe’s production of Emilia
For bringing visibility to Emilia Bassano, a female artist who had been obscured in history, in an articulate, witty and intelligent production that highlighted the situation for women in theatre and wider society. The award was presented to playwright Morgan Lloyd-Malcolm plus various members of the team behind the production of Emilia by Sita McIntosh, Chair of Tonic’s Board of Trustees and COO of WhatsOnStage.
For shaping the landscape of modern and contemporary dance in the UK. Under the leadership of three outstanding women Dance Umbrella is a creative force that develops artists, audiences and the artform itself. The award was presented to the three women who have in succession been Artistic Director at Dance Umbrella: Val Bourne CBE, Betsy Gregory and Emma Gladstone by Siobhan Davies CBE, Artistic Director of Siobhan Davies Dance.
For her energy and unwavering commitment to opening theatre up and the artistic quality of the work she produces as Artistic Director of Deafinitely Theatre. The award was presented to Paula Garfield by Jo Hutchison, Director of JHI Marketing.
Elliott & Harper Productions for Company
An outstanding production and ground-breaking example of cross-gender casting in commercial musical theatre, breathing new life into a classic and paving the way for more cross-gender casting and reimagining of the musical theatre cannon. The award was presented to Marianne Elliott and Chris Harper from Elliott & Harper Productions by Sarah Crompton, Theatre Critic for WhatsOnStage and culture journalist.
For her commitment to increasing awareness of the performing arts’ carbon footprint and implementing practical and imaginative changes to better the industry through her pioneering work for Julie’s Bicycle. The award was presented to Alison Tickell by Sir Nicholas Serota, CH, Chair of Arts Council England.
The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize
For the impact it has had in supporting women writers over the last 40 years. Its recognition and financial support has aided generations of women pursuing careers in writing. Susan’s granddaughter Emily Reid accepted the award on behalf of The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. It was presented by Indhu Rubasingham MBE, Artistic Director of Kiln Theatre.
Jude Kelly CBE
For her inspirational leadership of the Southbank Centre, in particular, the creation of the Women of the World Festival – utilising the resources, creativity and expertise of an arts organisations to empower and provide a platform to women and girls. The award was presented to Jude Kelly CBE by Lemn Sissay MBE, poet, playwright and broadcaster.
Attending the ceremony were senior figures from across the UK theatre industry including Nadia Fall, Haydn Gwynne, Robert Hastie, Brigid Larmour, Britannia Morton, Dame Rosemary Squire DBE and Meera Syal CBE.