Singapore, March 6, 2006 - Expect upsets at tonight’s national theatre awards ceremony at the News Centre Auditorium in Toa Payoh North.
Now in its sixth year, The Straits Times’ 6th Life! Theatre Awards sees 55 creative talents here tussling for a total of 12 coveted titles this year, including Production Of The Year, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress.
For the first time, there will also be trophies for the technical achievement categories of Best Sound, Best Lighting and Best Costumes.
Leading the pack this year for the most nominations for a single production is much-awarded drama troupe 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 family 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.
The list of nominees mirror the most heartening trend in theatre last year, namely 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.
Popular and talented actor and past LTA nominee Adrian Pang will host the show, as he has since its inception in 2001.
The ceremony will be graced by Second Minister for Finance and Foreign Affairs Raymond Lim.
The awards’ five judges, who also voted in the winners at a roundtable on February 4, 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 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, actors and actresses here cite the awards as highlights in their portfolios as Britain would its Oliviers or the United States its Tonys.
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.
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