By Alasdair English
The Theatre Royal in Bury St. Edmunds has been nominated for four national awards. The ceremony was held last night with the theatre, being nominated for ‘Best Costume’, ‘Best Career Newcomer’, ‘Best Script’ and ‘Best Pantomime’, with Chris Hannon representing the theatre. Mr. Hannon was nominated for ‘Best Script’.
The Theatre Royal, Bury St. Edmunds, was competing against 717 other theatres hosting pantomimes throughout the UK with each award having five nominated theatres. The Theatre Royal’s pantomimes are produce in-house each year with Owen Calvert-Lyons as Director and Zoe Fox as Producer. The theatre will host a production of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz running from August 18th to September 2nd this year.
When the theatre was nominated the news affected everyone in a positive way in the establishment, Owen Calvert-Lyons who is the Artistic Director and CEO at the theatre said “we were delighted, four nominations is fantastic and it’s a real glowing endorsement of our pantomime which we put so much care and love into and a lot of hard work all year round.”
Having four nominations for different national awards will put the popular town theatre on the map, Mr Calvert-Lyons pointed out that the individuals really deserved the nominations, he said “fantastic, we were really delighted (for the whole team)”.
Simon Sladen, Chair of the UK Pantomime Association, celebrating the talent on show at the awards evening, said, “the Pantomime Awards celebrate an array of outstanding talent and demonstrate an industry alive and thriving.”
The ceremony, hosted by the UKPA’s President Christopher Biggins, hosted performances from Anna-Jane Casey, Gigi Zahir, Myra Dubois and a specially curated performance from Butlin’s. The Pantomime Awards ceremony gave out 24 awards on the night including the four awards the Theatre Royal, Bury St. Edmunds was awarded for.
Artistic Director, Owen Calvert-Lyons wants to go one better and push for an award next year he said “it’s always brilliant to be nominated for awards, it’s great to win them so obviously we’re disappointed we haven’t won any this year”. Although winning awards can help the theatre, the CEO said that they do not look to make the Pantomime for awards, he said “we make it to delight our audiences, the people who we really want to please are the 25,000 people who come and see our Pantomime every year, so if we do get nominated and if we won one, even better, it would be fantastic.”