Lancaster’s Dukes Theatre wins national theatre award for The Hobbit

The Hobbit cast are celebrating following the win
The Hobbit cast are celebrating following the win

The Dukes outdoor walkabout production of The Hobbit has won a prestigious UK Theatre Award.

The Lancaster theatre scooped the award for Best Show For Children And Young People at an awards ceremony in London at the weekend.

The Hobbitt promenade production  at Williamson Park.

The Hobbitt promenade production at Williamson Park.

The Dukes Artistic Director, Joe Sumsion and Executive Director, Ivan Wadeson were presented with the award by actor, Don Warrington.

Ivan said: “The Hobbit thrilled audiences for six weeks this summer in Williamson Park. Everyone at The Dukes is equally delighted to learn it thrilled the UK Theatre Awards panel of professionals and critics too.

It’s great to know that in the small city of Lancaster we can produce events that can compete with major cities and larger theatres across the UK.”

Since 1991, the annual UK Theatre Awards have celebrated the creative excellence and outstanding work seen in theatres nationwide each year.

The Hobbit house from the play at Williamson Park

The Hobbit house from the play at Williamson Park

Nominations for the Best Show For Children and Young People Award were made and voted on by a panel of theatre industry experts, mostly critics, chaired by Julian Bird, UK Theatre Chief Executive.

The Dukes version of The Hobbit ran during July and August and attracted more than 17,000 people from Dundee to Windsor and as far afield as North America to Malaysia.

Its awardwinning director, Joe Sumsion, has also directed The Dukes current inhouse production of The Ockerbys on Ice which runs until October 22.

The Dukes has been presenting outdoor walkabout productions since 1987 and will celebrate its 30th anniversary in Williamson Park next year with Treasure Island.

The UK Theatre Awards demonstrate the breadth and depth of outstanding talent and achievement in theatre and the performing arts throughout the United Kingdom, on and off stage.

The Awards ceremony took place at Guildhall in London and was hosted by Lesley Manville. Among the guests were Vanessa Redgrave who won The Gielgud Award For Excellence In The Dramatic Arts and Sir Ian McKellen who was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre Award.