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The Stage Awards 2016: winners announced

The world's oldest and best theatre publication, The Stage, has announced the winners of its annual The Stage Awards at a ceremony at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Plaudits include a second Producer of the Year win for Sonia Friedman, who continues to dominate commercial theatre production with shows such as Hamlet at the Barbican, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and the forthcoming Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

War Horse China was given the International Award for its collaborative effort and exchange of skills between the British and Chinese national theatres, while Manchester's Royal Exchange and London's Almeida walked away with silverware as top theatres regionally and in the capital respectively.

For the first time in the history of The Stage Awards, the Fringe Theatre of the Year category was taken by a non-London theatre, Cardiff's 44-seat the Other Room. At the other end of the scale, the National Theatre's juggernaut regeneration project, NT Future, secured it Theatre Building of the Year.

Arts Educational Schools London impressed the judges with its musical theatre output and for having a student nominated for an Olivier Award, earning it School of the Year.

Roger Miller, who almost single-handedly saved the Felixstowe Spa Pavilion Theatre using his own tools and time, was deservedly awarded the Unsung Hero award.

Alistair Smith, print editor of The Stage, said: “The Stage Awards are the only awards that recognise theatre at all scales and in all places, not just in the UK but across the world. Our winners come from London, Manchester, Cardiff and Felixstowe, but also China. Meanwhile, they range in scale from one of the world’s most high profile commercial producers – Sonia Friedman – to Roger Miller, a devoted stage manager who helped save his local theatre, from the National Theatre, the UK’s foremost publicly funded theatre, to Wales's first, tiny, pub theatre, which seats only 44 people and receives no funding. It’s been another great 12 months, and another really tricky set of decisions for our judging panel, and I’d like to congratulate all our winners and shortlisted organisations."

The Stage Awards, in association with RT Robertson Taylor W&P Longreach, were announced on January 29, 2016, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Regional Theatre of the Year
Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

London Theatre of the Year
Almeida Theatre

Fringe Theatre of the Year
The Other Room, Cardiff

Producer of the Year
Sonia Friedman

School of the Year
Arts Educational Schools London

Theatre building of the Year
NT Future

International Award
War Horse China

Unsung Hero
Roger Miller

1st February 2016

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