Review: Green Room Awards

39th Annual Green Room Awards

A Night of Celebration for Performing Arts in Melbourne!

Reviewed by Brendan Daynes

The 39th Annual Green Room Awards, held on Monday 11th July at the beautiful Chicago-Gothic-style theatre, The Capitol, celebrated everything about the spectacular performing arts industry of Melbourne. Following last years modifications that were made, which recognised works produced within the limitations of the pandemic, there was a return to the traditional categories for this year with nominations covering both 2020 and 2021.

The awards ceremony was attended by a boisterous crowd who were eager with anticipation to recognise, celebrate and congratulate all of their peers and give thanks to their industry after a few years of hardship. The ceremony was also live streamed by the Australian Digital Concert Hall so viewers could appreciate the industry from anywhere in the world.

It was such a joy to see so many nominations which indicates that we are back! Arts is making its return to pre pandemic levels and there is many talented artists who are creating amazing work that is being recognised and viewed by a public that has a genuine love for the arts.

Although every nominee was and should be celebrated for their work there has to be a winner awarded for each category. Some clear standouts from the night were Project F and Reference Material both taking out 2 awards in the Dance genre, Rueben Kaye: The Butch is Back, taking home 3 awards in the Cabaret genre and Iphigenia In Splott by Red Stitch took home 3 awards in the Theatre Company genre.

Other non competitive awards were awarded including the KRISTIAN FREDRIKSON SCHOLARSHIP FOR DESIGN IN THE PERFORMING ARTS, awarded to two recipients Paula Lewis and Isabel Hudson, the Geoffrey Milne Award to Jason Cavanagh and the Technical Achievement Award to Emma Valente & Kate Davis The Rabble. A special mention must be made to the two Lifetime Achievement Award recipients, Graeme Murphy & Janet Vernon, for their years of work in various roles within the industry.

The biggest winner of the night was The Wedding Singer by David Venn Enterprises which took out 5 of the 8 awards in the Music Theatre genre including the Betty Pounder Award for Original Choreography that was awarded to Michael Ralph for this work on the production.

For more information about the Green Room Awards Association, this year’s winners and the other awards presented head over to https://www.greenroom.org.au/

See below for a full list of award winners in each category:

CABARET

BEST PRODUCTION

Reuben Kaye: The Butch is Back presented by Pietagogetter as part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival

BEST WRITING

Michelle Brasier for Average Bear by Michelle Brasier presented by Century as part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival

BEST VARIETY SHOW

Take Back! Directed by Candy Bowers and presented by Darebin FUSE Festival and Multicultural Arts Victoria

F*ck Fabulous presented by Fat Fruit Projects and Arts Centre Melbourne as part of Midsumma Festival

INNOVATION

Durkh a Modne Gloz Kadimah Yiddish Theatre in association with Kadimah Jewish Cultural Centre

BEST MUSICAL DIRECTION

Shanon Whitelock for Reuben Kaye: The Butch is Back presented by Pietagogetter as part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival

ARTISTE

Reuben Kaye for Reuben Kaye: The Butch is Back presented by Pietagogetter as part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival

CONTEMPORARY & EXPERIMENTAL PERFORMANCE

CURATORIAL AND ARTISTIC DIRECTION

Lets Take Over 2021 Darebin Arts Speakeasy Darebin Arts Speakeasy

PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE

Considerable Sexual License Joel Bray Darebin Arts Speakeasy & Arterial Na Djinang Circus Yirramboi

PARTICIPATORY

The Ball Room The Ball Room Projects Chapel Off Chapel & Not a Drop to Drink Keg de Souza Arts House, Refuge 2021

EXPERIMENTAL PRACTICE

Alter Edith Holly Durant fortyfivedownstairs

SOUND SCULPTURE

PENDULUM Lucy Guerin Inc & Matthias Schack-Arnott Rising & NGV International

DANCE

BEST PERFORMER

Amber McCartney Project F. Prue Lang in association with Abbotsford Convent as part of the Keir Choreographic Award Public Program & Geoffrey Watson Reference Material. Alisdair Macindoe in association with Darebin Arts Speakeasy

BEST DUET/ENSEMBLE

Birrpai. Ngioka Bunda-Heath co-commissioned by Next Wave and Chunky Move as part of Yirramboi Festival

BEST LIGHTING

Thomas Roach Reference Material Alisdair Macindoe in association with Darebin Arts Speakeasy

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

Project F. Prue Lang in association with Abbotsford Convent as part of the Keir Choreographic Award Public Program

BEST PRODUCTION

I am Maggie. Jonathan Homsey as part of as part of Arts Centre Melbourne Take Over for Melbourne Fringe 2020

BEST SOUND

Nick Roux and Ensemble Tikoro Metal. Lucy Guerin in association with Arts Centre Melbourne as part of Asia TOPA

BEST VISUAL DESIGN

Odd Hours. ButohOUT! Ensemble 2021, Emma Bathgate, Helen Smith, Yumi Umiumare in association with Abbotsford Convent

BEST DIGITAL WORK

Sour Sweet. Victoria Chiu and RDYSTDY

INDEPENDENT THEATRE

BEST NEW WRITING

Olivia Satchell with Chanella Macri, Belinda McClory and Emily Tomlins let bleeding girls lie The Voice In My Hands in association with La Mama

BEST DIRECTION

Benjamin Nichol Kerosene Jack Dixon-Gunn in association with Theatre Works

BEST PERFORMER

Fabio Motta Spot Fabio Motta in association with Theatre Works

BEST ENSEMBLE

Enlightenment Elbow Room in association with Darebin Arts Speakeasy and FUSE Festival

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN

Rachel Burke The Mermaid Cassandra Fumi in association with La Mama

BEST SET AND/OR COSTUME DESIGN

Dann Barber (Set and Costume Design) The Mermaid Cassandra Fumi in association with La Mama

BEST SOUND DESIGN AND COMPOSITION

Rachel Lewindon – The Gospel According to Jesus Queen of Heaven (Ben Anderson Presents in association with Theatre Works)

BEST PRODUCTION (IN-PERSON)

Kerosene (Jack Dixon-Gunn in association with Theatre Works)

BEST PRODUCTION (DIGITAL)

Juniper Wilde: Wilde Night In The Social Validation Club as part of Melbourne Fringe

MUSIC THEATRE

ARTISTS – LEADING

Cherine Peck Into The Woods Watch This & James Millar Into The Woods Watch This

ARTISTS – SUPPORTING

Kirby Burgess The Wedding Singer David Venn Enterprises

DESIGN

Kim Bishop: Costume – The Wedding Singer David Venn Enterprises & Declan O’Neill: Lighting – The Wedding Singer David Venn Enterprises

DIRECTION – MUSIC

Stephen Gray – The Music Of The Night Spears Entertainment

DIRECTION – STAGE

Alister Smith The Wedding Singer (David Venn Enterprises)

NEW AUSTRALIAN WRITING FOR MUSIC THEATRE

Yve Blake Fangirls Arts Centre Melbourne with Belvoir, Queensland Theatre, and Brisbane Festival in association with Australian Theatre for Young People

PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR

The Wedding Singer David Venn Enterprises

OPERA

OUTSTANDING PERFORMER IN A LEADING ROLE

Vida Miknevičiūtė Salome Victorian Opera (2020)

OUTSTANDING PERFORMER IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Adrian Tamburini Das Rheingold Melbourne Opera

NEW AUSTRALIA OPERA

Echo and Narcissus Kevin March (Composer) Jane Montgomery Griffiths (Libretto) Victorian Opera

OUTSTANDING DESIGN

Christina Smith (Set) Gavan Swift (Lighting) Salome Victorian Opera (2020)

BEST DIRECTION

Sven-Eric Bechtolf Ernani Opera Australia

BEST PRODUCTION

Das Rheingold Melbourne Opera

THEATRE COMPANIES

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE

Dan Spielman – Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes Melbourne Theatre Company & Jessica Clarke Iphigenia In Splott Red Stitch

OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN

Dale Ferguson, Marg Horwell, Matilda Woodroofe Because The Night Malthouse Theatre

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN

Kat Chan The Lifespan of a Fact Melbourne Theatre Company

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN

Niklas Pajanti Berlin Melbourne Theatre Company

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN/COMPOSITION

  1. David Franzke Because The Night Malthouse Theatre

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION

Gary Abrahams Iphigenia In Splott Red Stitch

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION

Iphigenia In Splott Red Stitch

THE KRISTIAN FREDRIKSON SCHOLARSHIP FOR DESIGN IN THE PERFORMING ARTS

Paula Lewis (VIC) & Isabel Hudson (NSW)

Geoffrey Milne Award

Jason Cavanagh

THE BETTY POUNDER AWARD FOR ORIGINAL CHOREOGRAPHY in Celebration of 100 years since Miss Pounder’s birth.

Michael Ralph The Wedding Singer David Venn Enterprises

Technical Achievement Award

Emma Valente & Kate Davis The Rabble

Lifetime Achievement Award

Graeme Murphy & Janet Vernon

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