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Paul Kerryson, Artistic Director at Leicester’s Curve theatre will receive The Stage Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre at the 2014 UK Theatre Awards on Sunday 19 October at London’s historic Guildhall.
The UK Theatre Awards are the only nationwide awards to honour creative excellence and the outstanding achievement seen on and off stage throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Previous recipients of this prestigious award include actor and director, Simon Callow (2013), Prunella Scales and Timothy West in recognition of their longstanding commitment to theatre outside London (2012) and Sir Peter Hall (2011).
Rachel Tackley, President of UK Theatre, said:
“I am delighted that UK Theatre has recognised Paul’s significant contribution to the theatre industry. The impact his work has had over the last 23 years has been felt not only in Leicester but across the whole of the UK. His vision, talent and dedication are an inspiration to theatremakers everywhere.”
Chief Executive of Curve, Fiona Allan commented:
“The team at Curve and I are absolutely thrilled that Paul has been presented with this prestigious award and that the phenomenal contribution he has made to theatre in this country has been recognised. Leicester and Leicestershire have been lucky to have such a committed and exceptionally talented director and artistic leader over the past 23 years.”
Paul Kerryson, commented:
“It’s an honour to receive this award. I would like to thank the brilliant team at Curve, the many talented artists and of course, the audiences, especially of Leicester and Leicestershire who have supported our theatrical adventures – believe me, I could not have done it without you!”
Paul Kerrysonhas been the Artistic Director of Leicester Theatre Trust from 1991 – first at the Haymarket Theatre, and since 2008 at Leicester’s Curve – a theatre he was instrumental in founding, and which has become the cultural heart of the city. In 2013, it was announced that Kerryson will leave as Artistic Director at the end of 2014.
From 2002, Kerryson was very much part of the artistic vision for the capital project that was to result in the creation of Curve. Designed by Rafael Vinoly, Kerryson’s vision for an ‘inside out’ and totally inclusive theatre was opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in December 2008.
Curve is an ambitious building designed to create a space which makes theatre welcoming, inclusive and accessible – truly symbolised through a glazed, transparent façade which spills the magic of theatre out onto street level and invites audiences in.
For Curve, his work includes Hairspray, Chicago, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Piaf, Hello, Dolly!, Entertaining Mr Sloane, Buried Child, Gypsy, Absurd Person Singular, The Light in the Piazza, The King and I (also UK tour), 42nd Street, The Pillowman and The Lieutenant of Inishmore.
Kerryson’s annual Christmas musical production have received widespread critical acclaim becoming a must-see for audiences nationwide and rehearsals for this year’s production of The Sound of Music are due to commence in early November.
Kerryson strongly believes in theatre being at the heart of and reflecting the community whilst also being a platform for nurturing all forms of theatrical talent. Curve currently has an extensive programme of workshops and activities with a thriving Curve Young Company, and the Young Arts Entrepreneurs programme. He also directs an annual Community Production that seeks to develop local talent within region. Curve Community Productions have included West Side Story, Oliver!, Sweeney Todd, Annie and Rent.
Prior to being the Artistic Director of Curve, Paul Kerryson artistically led the Haymarket Theatre in Leicester during the 1990s forging a strong association with the works of Stephen Sondheim whilst also directing many classics, especially from the Irish canon.
The UK Theatre Awards will be presented at a lunchtime ceremony on Sunday 19 October at London’s historic Guildhall, a magnificent medieval Grade 1 listed landmark building situated in the City of London. Musical theatre star Michael Xavier will act as compère for the event, which will include performances from the stars of Calamity Jane, Jodie Prenger and Tom Lister, and appearances from guest presenters Anita Dobson, Tamzin Outhwaite, Angela Griffin, Wayne Sleep and Brian Conley amongst others.
Curve’s production of Chicago, directed by Paul Kerryson, has also been shortlisted for a UK Theatre Awards for Best Musical Production.
Further details about the UK Theatre Awards, including a full list of nominations, can be found at: www.uktheatre.org/theatreawardsuk