Derby Theatre has won the sought after Clothworkers’ Theatre Award at the annual UK Theatre Awards ceremony, held at the Guildhall in London, an award which also comes with a financial contribution of £150,000.
The UK Theatre Awards is the only nationwide Awards to honour and celebrate outstanding achievements in regional theatre throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Launched in 2014, the Clothworkers’ Theatre Award is an annual award made by the Clothworkers’ Foundation of up to £150,000 to a regional producing theatre in England, with a different region selected each year.
This year, it was the East and West Midlands’ region, and Derby Theatre was invited to apply for the award earlier this year, along with other producing venues across the Midlands, including Leicester Curve, Nottingham Playhouse, Northampton Theatres Trust, Birmingham Rep, Coventry Belgrade Theatre, Birmingham mac and Newcastle-under- Lyme New Vic Theatre.
Although the award can be used for anything from capital works to sponsoring a touring production, it must be used for a specific purpose.
For Derby Theatre, the money will go towards a two-year learning and participation programme: Our Place, which invites the community into the heart of a production through a large-scale show based on an adaptation of a children’s novel; and Your Place, which takes theatre into the community, including into deprived settings.
The financial award will also support, more specifically, the development of work for the D/deaf community and family audiences. It will also provide access to communities from socio-economically challenged backgrounds to high quality arts experiences and developing pathways into the industry for socio-economically challenged participants – and the development of female voices on our stages.
Sarah Brigham, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Derby Theatre, said: “We are thrilled to have been given the Clothworkers’ Award to support our production of excellent theatre which connects the community to the very best artists, theatre makers and practitioners. Derby Theatre has an increasing reputation for making excellent theatre, innovative participatory programmes, and for reaching audiences and artists from all backgrounds; and this award will help us to further develop that mission.
“A mid-scale production and an urban touring network will be developed, and I look forward to working with the talented team at Derby Theatre to make this our most exciting venture yet.”