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Winners of 15th M1-The Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards Revealed

  • Two productions tie for top award
  • New Best Production for the Young Award launched

20 April 2015
 - For the first time in 15 years, two theatre productions share the highest honours at the 15th M1-The Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards. Art by Nine Years Theatre, a Mandarin adaptation of a French comedy, and Wild Rice's Monkey Goes West, a rollicking musical following the exploits of the Monkey King, were crowned joint winners of the coveted Production of the Year award, given out this afternoon at the Esplanade Recital Studio.

Art earned Nine Years Theatre two other major accolades – Best Director and Best Actor nods for its founder, Nelson Chia, and actor Peter Sau, respectively. This is Chia’s second consecutive win for his directorial efforts. Wild Rice emerged well decorated too, with Monkey Goes West scoring the Best Costume Design award and earning the lion’s share of public votes to clinch Production of the Year (Readers’ Choice). This is a separate award from Production of the Year, which is selected by a panel of judges. Jo Kukathas also won Best Supporting Actress for her role as a feisty house servant in the Wild Rice production, The House Of Bernarda Alba. 

The lush visual spectacle that was Ten Thousand Tigers, artist Ho Tzu Nyen’s lyrical take on the history and myth of the Malayan tiger, walked away with the Best Set and Lighting Design awards.

A new award celebrating excellence in theatre productions for children aged 12 years and below – Best Production for the Young – will be given out at the Life! Theatre Awards for the next three years, starting 2016. This was announced by the
 Chairman of the National Arts Council, Professor Chan Heng Chee, who was Guest-of-Honour at the awards ceremony. This inaugural award category will be administered by The Straits Times and supported by the National Arts Council to bring attention to the children’s theatre scene in Singapore, and to give recognition to the outstanding professionals in this field. For the first three editions, a dedicated panel of judges will be convened to judge this award, comprising theatre educators as well as journalists who are also parents.

This year’s awards were judged by a six-member panel comprising LASALLE College of the Arts provost Venka Purushothaman, online arts journal The Flying Inkpot co-editors Kenneth Kwok and Matthew Lyon,
 as well as arts reviewers from The Business Times, Lianhe Zaobao and The Straits Times, Helmi Yusof, Tang Hwa Kwee and Corrie Tan. 

See the full list of winners in the attachment below.

Full list of winners for the 15th M1-The Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards 2015

Production Of The Year (tied first place)
Art by Nine Years Theatre
Monkey Goes West by Wild Rice

Best Director
Nelson Chia for Art

Best Original Script
Fluid by Liu Xiaoyi

Best Actor
Peter Sau in Art

Best Actress
Mina Kaye in The Rise & Fall Of Little Voice

Best Ensemble
Dark Room x8 (created by Edith Podesta)

Best Supporting Actor
Remesh Panicker in The Merchant Of Venice

Best Supporting Actress
Jo Kukathas in The House Of Bernarda Alba

Best Set Design
Ho Tzu Nyen, Andy Lim and Jed Lim for Ten Thousand Tigers

Best Lighting Design
Andy Lim for Ten Thousand Tigers

Best Sound Design or Original Score
Bani Haykal for Gitanjali

Best Costume Design
Tube Gallery by Phisit & Saxit for Monkey Goes West

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Registration. No. 198402868E

For more information, please contact:

Nabilah Said (Ms)
Life! & SundayLife!
The Straits Times
English, Malay & Tamil Media group
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 5492

Leong Lin Choo (Ms)
Senior Manager
Editorial Projects Unit
English, Malay & Tamil Media group
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 5068

Deror Wong (Mr)
Assistant Manager 
Corporate Communications & CSR 
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 1226 

About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Asia’s leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms, ranging from print, digital, radio and out-of-home media. 

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About The Straits Times

The Straits Times is the English-language flagship daily of Singapore Press Holdings and the most-read newspaper in Singapore. It was launched on July 15, 1845, and provides comprehensive coverage of local, regional and international news. It has 20 bureaus in major cities worldwide, with its correspondents providing a Singapore perspective on what is happening around the world. Complementing the main title are weekly lifestyle supplements Digital Life, Urban and Mind Your Body, as well as IN and Little Red Dot for students. 

The Straits Times is also on digital platforms with its website at It also has ioS and Android apps, and a menu of e-books housed in a separate Straits Times Star app.

The Straits Times has won multiple international awards, including from the Society of Publishers in Asia, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers' Association (Panpa) and Society of News Design. It was named Singapore Newspaper of the Year 2014 and 2013 by Marketing magazine and voted Singapore’s favourite newspaper 2013 by Superbrands

Its website won gold in “Best In Online Media” at the 2012 Wan-Ifra Asian Digital Media Awards. Its Communities microsites platform was named 2014 Digital Innovation of the Year award by Panpa, and got Gold in the Best in Social Media category at the 2013 Wan-Ifra Asian Digital Media Awards.

About M1 Limited

M1 is Singapore’s most vibrant and dynamic communications company, providing mobile and fixed services to close to 2 million customers. Established in 1997, M1 achieved many firsts, including the first operator to offer nationwide 4G service, as well as ultra high-speed fixed broadband, fixed voice and other services on the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network. With a continual focus on network quality, customer service, value and innovation, M1 links anyone and anything; anytime, anywhere. For more information, visit

About Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay

Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay is Singapore’s national performing arts centre. It presents a year-round line-up of more than 3,000 performances, making the arts accessible for everyone through a diverse calendar of ticketed and non-ticketed programmes featuring dance, music, theatre, the visual arts and more. Esplanade’s programmes include an annual roster of 15 festivals and 19 programme series presented by the centre. The centre works in close partnership with local, regional and international artists to develop artistic capabilities and content, push artistic boundaries and engage audiences. It also develops technical capabilities for the industry nationally. 

This architectural icon, with its distinctive twin shells, houses world-class performance spaces complemented by a comprehensive range of professional support services. Its two main venues are the 1,600-seat Concert Hall and a Theatre with a capacity of 2,000. Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay is operated by The Esplanade Co Ltd which is a not-for-profit organisation, a registered Charity and an Institution of Public Character. 

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