Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Front Row Dress Awards 2013

On the first day of a brand new year, I am delighted to announce the winners of the inaugural Front Row Dress Awards. I hope that these much anticipated theatre awards go a little way to providing some light relief in the post-festive gloom and help to alleviate the January blues, well for the winners at least.

I launched the Fredas as a response to getting to the interview stage of the Olivier’s judging panel but not being chosen for the past two years. I was going to apply again this year but I just thought sod it, I’ll do my own.

The only criterion to be considered for a Freda is that I have seen the production between 1 January and 31 December 2012. I decide the winners, with a smidgen of input from Mrs Front Row Dress, and my decision is final, so no bleating and bah humbug to democracy (much like the other honours being announced around this time). The victors receive a gorgeous glass trophy, as pictured above, which I am sure will be a welcome addition to any mantelpiece/downstairs toilet/dressing room/car boot, but if I see them turning up on Ebay I'll be sending the boys round and re-gifting them.

So without further ado and with nary a toot on a trumpet or a cymbal crash, the recipients of the very first Front Row Dress Awards are as follows:

Best New Musical – Soho Cinders by George Stiles, Anthony Drewe and Elliot Davis, directed by Jonathan Butterell at Soho Theatre

Best Revival of a Musical – Mack and Mabel by Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart, directed by Thom Sutherland at Southwark Playhouse

Best New Play – In Basildon by David Eldridge, directed by Dominic Cooke at the Royal Court Theatre
Best Revival of a Play - Vieux Carré by Tennessee Williams, directed by Robert Chevera at the Kings Head Theatre
Best Regional Production – Gypsy by Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents directed by Paul Kerryson at Leicester Curve

 Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical – Paul Baker for Taboo at Brixton Club House
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical – Imelda Staunton for Sweeney Todd at the Adelphi Theatre

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play – Mark Rylance for Twelfth Night at the Apollo Theatre
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play – Sophie Thompson for She Stoops To Conquer at the National Theatre
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical – Steven Webb for The Thing About Men at the Landor Theatre

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical – Suzie Chard for Soho Cinders at Soho Theatre
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play – Johnny Flynn for The Ruffian On The Stair at the Criterion Theatre

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Play – Johnnie Fiori for The Sunshine Boys at the Savoy Theatre

Best Newcomer – Louis Maskell for The Fix at the Union Theatre

Best Direction – Mitch Sebastian for Pippin at the Menier Chocolate Factory
Best Choreography – Robbie O'Reilly for Curtains at the Landor Theatre

Best Set Design – Anthony Ward for Carousel, Opera North at the Barbican Theatre

Best Costume Design – Laura Hopkins for A Midsummer Night's Dream at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

 Best Lighting Design – Jon Winn for Call Me Madam at the Union Theatre

and finally ...

 Theatrical Event of the Year – Taboo at Brixton Club House

Congratulations to all of the winners. The trophies have been beautifully engraved by the cobblers on Leather Lane called with astonishing synchronicity "That's Shoe Business" (you could almost believe I'd thought these things through) and are winging their way to you. Those of you within ambling distance of Front Row Dress HQ may even get to varda my dolly old eek as I make like a post Christmas Santa and hand deliver them personally.

Hopefully the 2014 awards will be presented by Hugh Jackman and/or Judi Dench in a glittering star studded ceremony televised live from the Albert Hall on BBC4.

In the meantime all that's left for me to say is a Happy New Year to one and all.


  1. Boy George's TABOO in Brixton should be nominated (and win) for every category. Fabulous!

  2. Yes, It is a wonderful effort - so beautiful, glamorous, show biz incarnate. Great music and performances.

  3. Your viewers might like to watch Caroline O'Connor in performance

  4. Nothing beats the feeling of having an award! It’s a wonderful feeling when people recognize your effort and talent on stage.

  5. crikey have JUST received my beeeautiful award that had been languishing at my v/o agents... chuffed to bits wot an honour... to whom and where do i send an official thank you on my best note paper (I'm afraid its not imbossed) sophie t.

  6. Glad you finally received it. There was a letter enclosed, but please don't worry, this note is enough. Best wishes Freda.

  7. Thank you so much for the lovely award for Vieux Carré. It was very special and much appreciated.
    With very best wishes, R. Chevara