One of the highlights of the theatre year comfortingly continues despite Covid interruption as the OFFIES finalists are announced, celebrating the best in theatre outside the West End, on smaller, more intimate stages.
Despite the smaller numbers of entrants, there is still much talent to be celebrated in the shortlists and finalist lists.
Some categories did not have enough entries to be considered competitive and therefore finalists were not announced. The biggest oversight in this approach is that Temi Wilkey, author of the brilliant THE HIGH TABLE, is not eligible to win Most Promising New Playwright, a title which she eminently deserves.
In the set design award, the most interesting for me is Casey Jay Andrews’ complex and intriguing constructions for LOCKDOWN TOWN which opened in London in October 2020, a journey through the history of music expertly produced by Tim Wilson.
Musicals-wise, dynamic and savvy independent producer Katy Lipson has been rewarded with a slew of nominations for her shows RAGS, PIPPIN and THE LAST FIVE YEARS across performance, direction, Musical Direction, production and lighting.
In terms of plays, there are several standouts here. The finest all-round production for me was Richmond’s Orange Tree Theatre’s inspired revival of Lucy Prebble’s THE SUGAR SYNDROME, with every member of the cast nominated but lead by a mesmerising performance (fresh out of drama school) by Jessica Rhodes, of whom you will hear much, much more I am certain.
Athena Stevens’ challenging drama SCROUNGER also picked up an impressive array of nominations, well-deserved for its originality and sometimes uncomfortable truth.
The winners will be announced in a virtual ceremony held on February 21st.
Congratulations to all the those celebrated in these shortlists!
For a full list of all the nominees and finalists, visit the OFFIES website here
You can find a full list of the finalists below.
OFFIES 2021 finalists
FINALIST: Casey Jay Andrews / Lockdown Town
FINALIST: Lucy Osborne / Afterplay / Coronet Theatre
FINALIST: Patrick Connellan / The Incident Room / New Diorama with Greenwich Theatre
FINALIST: Jamie Platt / The Last 5 Years / Southwark Playhouse
FINALIST: Malcolm Rippeth / Afterplay / Coronet Theatre
FINALIST: Tom White / Macbeth / Wiltons Music Hall
FINALIST: Max Pappenheim / Sunnymead Court / Tristan Bates Theatre
FINALIST: Neil Bettles / Petrichor / Theatre Royal Stratford East
FINALIST: Yaiza Varona / The Incident Room / New Diorama with Greenwich Theatre
Musicals: Lead Performance
FINALIST: Carolyn Maitland / Rags / Park Theatre
FINALIST: Frances Barber / Musik / Leicester Square Theatre
FINALIST: Molly Lynch / The Last 5 Years / Southwark Playhouse
FINALIST: Oli Higginson / The Last 5 Years / Southwark Playhouse
Musicals: Supporting Performance
FINALIST: Beaux Harris / Blitz! / Union Theatre
FINALIST: Dave Willetts / Rags / Park Theatre
FINALIST: Rachel Izen / Rags / Park Theatre
Musicals: Musical Director
FINALIST: George Dyer / The Last 5 Years / Southwark Playhouse
FINALIST: Joe Bunker / Rags / Park Theatre
FINALIST: Michael Bradley / Pippin / Garden Theatre at the Eagle
FINALIST: Bronagh Lagan / Rags / Park Theatre
FINALIST: Jonathan O’Boyle / The Last 5 Years / Southwark Playhouse
FINALIST: Pippin / Garden Theatre at the Eagle / LAMBCO Productions
FINALIST: Rags / Park Theatre / Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment
FINALIST: The Last 5 Years / Southwark Playhouse / Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment in association with Edward Prophet and People Entertainment Group
FINALIST: Stephanie Booth & Hannah Livingstone / We Were Having A Perfectly Nice Time / Omnibus Theatre
FINALIST: Ryan Anderson, Tsemaye Bob-Egbe, Tanisha-Mae Brown, Joanne Clifton, Harry Francis, Dan Krikler / Pippin / Garden Theatre at the Eagle
FINALIST: Rachel Barnes, Laurie Jamieson, Nigel Taylor, Daniel Ward / The Canary and The Crow / Arcola
Plays: Lead Performance
FINALIST: James Demaine / Nuclear War / Buried / Graceland / Old Red Lion
FINALIST: Jessica Rhodes / The Sugar Syndrome / Orange Tree Theatre
FINALIST: Sam Crane / The Rage of Narcissus / Pleasance
Plays: Supporting Performance
FINALIST: Ali Barouti / The Sugar Syndrome / Orange Tree Theatre
FINALIST: John Hollingworth / The Sugar Syndrome / Orange Tree Theatre
FINALIST: Leigh Quinn / Scrounger / Finborough
Plays: Performance Piece
FINALIST: Daniel Ward / The Canary and The Crow / Arcola
FINALIST: Lucy McCormick / Lucy McCormick, Post Popular / Soho Theatre, Johnson & Mackay & United Agents
FINALIST: Miguel Hernando Torres Umba / Stardust / Roundhouse
Plays: New Play
FINALIST: Sam Steiner / You Stupid Darkness! / Southwark Playhouse
FINALIST: Sergio Blanco / The Rage of Narcissus / Pleasance
FINALIST: Athena Stevens / Scrounger / Finborough
FINALIST: Jim Pope / Can I Help You? / Omnibus Theatre
FINALIST: Lily McLeish / Scrounger / Finborough FINALIST: Phoebe Barran / Tryst / Chiswick Playhouse