SINGAPORE - Fifteen awards were given out at the M1-The Straits Times Life Theatre Awards on Monday (April 25). This is the largest number in the 16-year history of the annual prizes which highlight the best of Singapore theatre in the previous year.
An award for children's theatre was given out for the first time this year.
Wild Rice's epic two-part, five-hour historical play Hotel led the pack with four wins, including Production Of The Year and a joint Best Director award for co-directors Ivan Heng and Glen Goei.
Hotel showed a century of Singapore history through sketches taking place in different decades in the same hotel room, and featured 13 actors playing 40 characters. The cast's performance also won for Best Ensemble and the play also took Best Original Script for the text co-written by Alfian Sa'at and Marcia Vanderstraaten.
Another reflection on Singapore's history, The LKY Musical by Metropolitan Productions and Singapore Repertory Theatre, nabbed three prizes, including Best Actor for Adrian Pang's portrayal of Lee Kuan Yew. First-time nominee Benjamin Chow took home the Best Supporting Actor award for his portrayal of left-wing leader Lim Chin Siong.
The LKY Musical was also the Production Of The Year (Readers' Choice), winning 50 per cent of 2,542 unique votes cast during an online poll.
A new prize for children's theatre was given out during the ceremony at the Esplanade Recital Studio, graced by Mr Baey Yam Keng, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. The Best Production For The Young award is organised in partnership with the National Arts Council and rewards the best productions for children aged 12 and younger, produced by Singapore companies in the previous year. It was won by The Theatre Practice's The Wee Question Mark And the Adventurer - A Children's Musical.
The new award is judged separately from the rest of the Life Theatre Awards by a panel of judges. They are independent artist educator and vice-president of the Singapore Drama Educators Association, Ms Peggy Ferroa; seasoned drama educator and assistant director for talent development and programming at the NUS Centre for the Arts, Mr Jeffrey Tan; founder and director of drama education company Act 3 Theatrics R. Chandran; and The Straits Times Life entertainment editor Andy Chen.
The rest of the awards are judged by educator Matthew Lyon from the School of the Arts' faculty of theatre, plus arts reviewers Helmi Yusof of The Business Times, Tang Hwa Kwee of Lianhe Zaobao and Corrie Tan of The Straits Times.
* Production of the Year: Hotel (Wild Rice)
* Production of the Year (Reader's Choice): The LKY Musical (Metropolitan Productions, Singapore Repertory Theatre)
* Best Production for the Young: The Wee Question Mark and the Adventurer - A Children's Musical (The Theatre Practice)
* Best Director: Ivan Heng and Glen Goei for Hotel (Wild Rice)
* Best Original Script: Alfian Sa'at and Marcia Vanderstraaten for Hotel (Wild Rice)
* Best Actor: Adrian Pang in The LKY Musical (Metropolitan Productions; Singapore Repertory Theatre)
* Best Actress: Siti Khalijah Zainal in Off Centre (Oliver Chong; Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay)
* Best Ensemble: Hotel by Wild Rice
* Best Supporting Actor: Benjamin Chow in The LKY Musical (Metropolitan Productions; Singapore Repertory Theatre)
* Best Supporting Actress: Serene Chen in Public Enemy (Wild Rice)
* Best Set Design: Wong Chee Wai for Legends Of The Southern Arch (The Theatre Practice)
* Best Lighting Design: Dorothy Png for Legends Of The Southern Arch (The Theatre Practice)
* Best Sound Design: Bani Haykal for untitled women (The Necessary Stage)
* Best Costume Design: Reckless Ericka for The Incredible Adventures Of Border Crossers (Ong Keng Sen, Chris Lee, Reckless Ericka, Kaffe Matthews, Brian Gothong Tan, Francis Ng; Singapore International Festival of Arts; Singapour en France - le Festival)
* Best Multimedia Design: Brian Gothong Tan for The Incredible Adventures Of Border Crossers (Ong Keng Sen, Chris Lee, Reckless Ericka, Kaffe Matthews, Brian Gothong Tan, Francis Ng; Singapore International Festival of Arts; Singapour en France - le Festival)
For more Life Theatre Awards stories, click here.