Dialog Box

The Sydney Theatre Awards 2022

Above - Geraldine Turner and Nancye Hayes reprise their roles in Chicago.
Photo by David Hooley

the sydney theatre awards 2022

This year the Sydney Theatre Awards defied the pandemic and held a great celebration of live theatre and the many artists and creatives who have kept it alive against all odds. Held in the York Theatre at Seymour Centre, it was a night that recognised the artists who kept our spirits up over the past months of lockdowns, theatre closures, cancelled shows and tours.

Tony Sheldon - Actor and winner of a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Photo by David Hooley

As always the centrepiece of the night was the Lifetime Achievement Award. This year two much loved and respected artists were honoured, both having enjoyed significant international careers. They were director Gale Edwards and actor and writer Tony Sheldon. Spontaneous cheering and standing ovations followed the announcements and welcomed each artist to the stage where reviewer John McCallum presented the awards.

Gale Edwards - Director and winner of a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Photo by David Hooley

As part of the Lifetime Achievement Award Actors Benevolent Fund presents a bursary to a developing artist at the beginning of a career in the industry. This year’s recipient was Amy Maeve Durkin. A nervous Amy was welcomed to the stage with a hug from Gale Edwards and presented with the bursary by ABF Chair Bruce Spence.

Amy is a second year student of costume design at NIDA. She hopes once she graduates, to produce costumes for musicals, music videos, film and dance companies. She is particularly interested in historical costume a passion she says she shares with anything pink and sparkly or dark and moody. Her iridescent pink platform boots that could have been straight out of a production of Tommy, certainly supported this.

Amy Maeve Durkin - recipient of bursary to a developing artist. 
Photo by David Hooley

Amy first fell in love with the theatre when she was nine and her family moved to London for three years. It was there she saw her first musical, Wicked. “It made me fall in love with theatre and costume” she said, “and when Elphaba flew I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up, everything about it was so magical.”

The bursary is designed to assist a financially challenged second year student with the costs associated with studying in this critical year.

The Lifetime Achievement winners were each celebrated with a musical tribute. Gale Edwards by Peter Cousens singing a song from Aspects of Love, the Andrew Lloyd Webber acclaimed musical Gale originated and directed for London’s West End and Broadway. Tony Sheldon’s career of over 60 years as a performer in plays and musicals, was lovingly parodied by Geraldine Turner, Nancye Hayes, Gary Scale, Genevieve Lemon with Michael Tyack at the piano.

The Awards were not held last year due to the pandemic. A particularly poignant moment was created by producer of the Awards Ian Phipps, reading a lengthy list of artists, many of whom are legends of the theatre, who have passed away over the past two years. There was a sense of the baton being passed to a new generation reflected in the many new musicals and young artists receiving awards and filling the theatre.

Ian Phipps - producer and MC for the evening.
Photo by David Hooley

A nostalgic treat was delivered by Nancye Hayes and Geraldine Turner reprising their roles as Roxy Hart and Velma Kelly in Chicago, Richard Wherrett’s renowned 1981 production.

It felt particularly apt that the evening began with the cast of the current production of A Chorus Line singing What I Did For Love as a tribute to the resilience of our artists, creatives and theatre companies throughout an extremely challenging two years.

03 February 2022
Category: News