Women in theatre honoured at the Tonic Awards

Former Southbank Centre artistic director Jude Kelly was among the honourees.

Influential women in theatre and the performing arts were honoured at the third annual Tonic Awards.

The ceremony, hosted by former EastEnders actress Tracy Ann Oberman, was held in London on Monday and recognised those who helped “redefine the role of women in the performing arts, both on and off stage”.

Among the honourees was Jude Kelly, who was recognised for her work as the artistic director of the Southbank Centre.

She stood down last year after 12 years. Kelly was also praised for the creation of the Women Of The World Festival.

Kelly’s award was presented by poet and playwright by Lemn Sissay. 

Alison Tickell, the founder of environmental charity Julie’s Bicycle, was recognised for her “commitment to increasing awareness of the performing arts’ carbon footprint”.

Deaf artist and founder of Definitely Theatre Paula Garfield was also honoured.

Also recognised were Open Clasp Theatre Company, Elliott & Harper Productions for the musical Company, Shakespeare’s Globe’s production of Emilia, The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and Dance Umbrella.

Lucy Kerbel, director of Tonic Theatre, said: “It is absolutely vital there is a platform to celebrate the integral part women play in this industry and we couldn’t be prouder that the Tonic Awards return this year to recognise and champion the work of these women, both on and off stage.

“We’ve seen great strides forward for women in our industry and wider society over the last few years and we hope to continue to support these positive changes.”

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