Seriously, the creatives work SO HARD and receive SO LITTLE recognition. We should start applauding good technical work. Next time you're at a play with nifty lighting, try shouting "BRAVO FOR THE LIGHTING!" while you applaud, let me know how it goes. It'd be brilliant if we could turn it into a thing!
Favourite director - Thea Sharrock, Cause Célèbre (Old Vic)
What can I say? Thea Sharrock goes well with Rattigan. Even though this play was at times all too obviously a radio play that had been adapted for the stage, she dealt with the challenges - tons of dialogue, a vast array of different locations - with intelligence and aplomb. She even managed to divert the audience's eye long enough for an impressive make-up change to happen right onstage and yet come as a complete surprise a few minutes later. I don't know if this is the best direction we'll see all year, but it's certainly my favourite that I've seen in these first six months.
Favourite designer - Anthony Ward, Rocket to the Moon (National Theatre)
Poor Rocket to the Moon. It wasn't a well-loved production, but it was a very nice production. Anthony Ward takes this awards for not only his lovely great airy New York dentist office which so successfully evoked the time and place, but also for the brilliant corridor to one side of the stage that not only gave extra life to the idea of the office building, but also extra moments for the actors to savour that on any other set they wouldn't have had, due to being offstage.
Favourite lighting designer - Bruno Poet, Frankenstein (National Theatre)
I believe I have mentioned my fondness for Poet's lighting design in quite some depth already. I still love it passionately and while I am open to the possibility of another production surpassing it at some point this year, I'm not entirely confident it will happen. It was beautiful, it was dramatic, it was more than a little unusual, and it was the high point of the production for me.
Favourite sound designer - Ian Dickinson, Mogadishu (Lyric Hammersmith)
I like Ian Dickinson a great deal. He's very good at creating atmosphere with the lightest of touches. Although the primary effect that endeared him to me specifically for this category was much less subtle - it was the literal reverberations of the fateful incident that sparked off the whole plot of Mogadishu, echoing throughout the play as a stubborn reminder of how little incidents can add up to big messes. Accompanied by his usual atmospheric touches, of course.
Favourite music - Tim Minchin, Matilda (Courtyard Theatre)
Tim Minchin is a startlingly clever man. If you're one of these weirdoes who only goes to the theatre one or two times a year, make sure that Matilda is one of them. You won't be sorry.