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The Straits Times’ 6th LIFE! Theatre Awards Shortlist Is Out

FEBRUARY 10, 2006 - The Life! section of The Straits Times yesterday announced its shortlist of 59 nominees for The Straits Times’ 6th Life! Theatre Awards (LTA), which are Singapore’s only national accolades for theatre.

The list was drawn up by a panel of five judges, who also voted in the winners at a roundtable on February 4. The judges this year are National University of Singapore theatre lecturer K.K. Seet; freelance writer Sangeetha Madhavan; Business Times arts writer Parvathi Nayar; and Life! theatre critics Clara Chow and Hong Xinyi.

The winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony on March 6 at the News Centre Auditorium in Toa Payoh, which was also the venue for the awards ceremony in 2004 and 2005. The judges promise surprises aplenty - for all the right reasons - when the victors are announced.

Second Minister for Finance and Foreign Affairs Raymond Lim will grace the evening as its guest of honour, while popular and talented actor and past LTA nominee Adrian Pang will host the show, as he has since its inception in 2001.

The organisers have heeded the theatre community’s call at last year’s awards ceremony to put backstage crew on par with producers, directors and casts. So, from this year, there will be full awards - and not just honourable mentions as in past years - for the technical achievement categories of Best Sound, Best Lighting, Best Costumes and Best Use Of Multimedia.

This change takes the total number of awards to 13 in all, up from nine in previous years.

That said, the judges felt no shows employed multimedia effectively enough to be noteworthy this year, and so there are no nominees in this category this time around. Last year, homegrown artist Brian Gothong Tan was the lone multimedia honourable mention.

Now into its sixth year, The Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards were first given out in 2001 to laud the best and brightest in Singapore theatre, as well as encourage promising talents. Winners in past years have since found themselves enjoying greater local recognition and being able to travel farther professionally.

Indeed, industry players cite the awards as highlights in their portfolios as Britain would its Oliviers or the United States its Tonys.

Leading the pack this year for the most nominations for a single production is luna-id Theatre, which scored a total of six - including Production Of The Year, Best Director and Best Actor - for the play Quills, which was also one of the most talked about shows of the year with its dark themes and full frontal nudity.

Tied with five nominations each are last year’s big winner The Finger Players (for the HDB upgrading satire Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea), Action Theatre (for the tearjerking drama Everything But The Brain) and The Necessary Stage (for the terrorism spoof What Big Bombs You Have!!!)

Viewed overall, the established Singapore Repertory Theatre and the fledgling The Finger Players are tied for the most number of nominations - that is, seven - for two productions each: SRT for A Twist Of Fate and The Snow Queen, and Finger for Twisted and Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea.

While the contest on March 6 is shaping up to be a right proper tussle between theatre’s big boys and hungry independent artists, the most heartening trend on the shortlist this year is the many doffs to cultural diversity. These include Best Original Script and Best Ensemble Cast nominations for Miror Theatre’s Shanmugam - The Kalinga Trilogy; Singapore Arts Festival hit Impenjarament by Teater Ekamatra (two nominations); and Theatre Practice’s Menage a 13 and Lao Jiu: The Musical (three nominations collectively).

There is also a strong showing by Chinese language theatre this year, headlined by survivor troupe Drama Box scooping up an impressive four nominations for Best Original Script, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Set Design for Happy, its play on Oscar Wilde in Mandarin.

You may wish to refer to Appendix A for the full list of nominees and Appendix B for nomination tallies according to drama groups.

Guests this year, who will be the Who’s Who of the arts scene here as always, have been asked to come according to the dress code Spaghetti Western, in keeping with the event’s loopy yearly themes, all meant in wacky good fun.

Please see attached appendixes on the list of nominations for this year’s Life!
Theatre Awards

  • Download APPENDIX A: THE STRAITS TIMES

    Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Limited
    Co. Regn. No: 198402868E


    For further details, please contact:

    Cheong Suk-Wai
    Deputy Editor
    The Straits Times Life!
    Level 2 Podium 1000 Toa Payoh North
    Singapore 318994
    Tel: 6319-5144
    Fax: 6319-8276

    About Singapore Press Holdings Limited
    Main board listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited is the leading media company in Singapore, in the print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. It publishes 13 newspapers in the four official languages and more than 80 magazine titles. Everyday, 2.8 million individuals, or 88 per cent of the people above 15 years old, read one of the SPH publications. Its Internet Business Unit manages the online editions of SPH’s major newspapers and magazines, which together enjoy over 300 million pageviews a month.

    SPH also owns a 20% stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40% stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes free sheet Today. SPH has a 70% stake in UnionWorks which operates two entertainment radio channels, UFM 100.3 FM in Chinese and WKRZ 91.3 FM in English, and owns an 80% stake in SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore´s largest LED network media company.

    About The Straits Times
    The Straits Times, the English flagship daily of SPH, has been serving readers for 160 years. Launched on 15 July 1845, its comprehensive coverage of happenings in Singapore, the region and beyond, makes it the most-read newspaper in Singapore. It has a daily circulation of 390,000 and readership of about 1.3 million. The Straits Times’ key strength is in its world-class coverage of news outside Singapore. With 10 bureaus in major cities around the world, The Straits Times correspondents bring world news to readers on a Singapore platter, helping them appreciate world events from a Singaporean perspective

    6TH LIFE! THEATRE AWARDS - LIST OF NOMINEES (17 KB)

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Co. Regn. No: 198402868E


For further details, please contact:

Cheong Suk-Wai
Deputy Editor
The Straits Times Life!
Level 2 Podium 1000 Toa Payoh North
Singapore 318994
Tel: 6319-5144
Fax: 6319-8276

About Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Main board listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited is the leading media company in Singapore, in the print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. It publishes 13 newspapers in the four official languages and more than 80 magazine titles. Everyday, 2.8 million individuals, or 88 per cent of the people above 15 years old, read one of the SPH publications. Its Internet Business Unit manages the online editions of SPH’s major newspapers and magazines, which together enjoy over 300 million pageviews a month.

SPH also owns a 20% stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40% stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes free sheet Today. SPH has a 70% stake in UnionWorks which operates two entertainment radio channels, UFM 100.3 FM in Chinese and WKRZ 91.3 FM in English, and owns an 80% stake in SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore´s largest LED network media company.

About The Straits Times
The Straits Times, the English flagship daily of SPH, has been serving readers for 160 years. Launched on 15 July 1845, its comprehensive coverage of happenings in Singapore, the region and beyond, makes it the most-read newspaper in Singapore. It has a daily circulation of 390,000 and readership of about 1.3 million. The Straits Times’ key strength is in its world-class coverage of news outside Singapore. With 10 bureaus in major cities around the world, The Straits Times correspondents bring world news to readers on a Singapore platter, helping them appreciate world events from a Singaporean perspective