WINNER: John Hodgkinson, actor
STUPENDOUS! Superb! Amazing! Brilliant! Phenomenal! Outstanding! Wow!
Just some of the single word audience summaries of John Hodgkinson’s portrayal of long-serving Sunderland South MP Chris Mullin in A Walk On Part, at Live Theatre.
There were many more heaping praise on the lead actor in a terrific play (finalist in the Performance of the Year category) but we don’t have room for more superlatives here.
Just finishing a run of the play at London’s Soho Theatre, John says: “I’m delighted to have been shortlisted, and very glad the production as a whole has been, too.
“It’s gratifying our efforts to describe how it is possible to be a good person in politics have been recognised, especially in the area that Chris Mullin served as an MP.
“It was a privilege to work at the brilliant Live Theatre and spend some time in the North East. I very much hope I get the chance again one day.”
FINALIST: Laura Connolly, clog dancer
LAURA Connolly has been an ambassador for traditional North East music and dance for almost 20 years, through performance as well as teaching.
In 2011, Come Clog Dancing, a documentary Laura made with conductor Charles Hazelwood was screened on BBC Four which culminated with a large-scale coordinated clog dance at Grey’s Monument in Newcastle.
As well as her performances with The Demon Barber Roadshow, and being photographed for a folk feature in Vogue magazine, another shining highlight of 2011 was Laura’s performance atop a stack of fiery oil drums as part of the New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Laura says: “I am really excited. The North East has a wonderful, rich culture and I’m proud to be representing one of the most exciting dance traditions.”
FINALIST: Sian Thomas, actress
SIAN Thomas’ portrayal of Martha in the wonderful Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf at Northern Stage was nothing short of brilliant.
She played her character, the middle-aged monster at the heart of Edward Albee’s famous play beautifully, and by that we mean she portrayed her loud, bitter and venomous nature with every bit of bile the role required.
She flirted outrageously with the male half of the young couple she has invited back for drinks, all the while playing out a display of horrific domesticity with her husband George.