The Green Room Awards Ceremony was held at the Comedy Festival this year, on the grand and sombre set of Driving Miss Daisy. The spirits of Jessica Fletcher and Darth Vader were quite possibly lurking backstage, maybe in the actual Green Room, in honor of the award’s name which Rhonda Burchmore Googled and attempted to explain on stage. This year, the ceremony was swift and stylish, and got people out with enough time for dumplings before bedtime.
When the Green Room like something, they really like it. This year’s sweeps include The Production Company’s Chess, which took home 7 awards, and Opera Australia’s Salome and Fraught Outfit’s Persona each taking home 5 awards, including the award for Direction (Independent Theatre) going to Adena Jacobs. The other awards from the Independent Theatre sector went to Richard Bligh for The McNeil Project (Male Performer,) Ellen Warkentine and Mat Sweeney for The Temptation of St Antony (Sound Composition) and Tim Spencer for Show Me Yours, I’ll Show You Mine (Writing.) In a surprise announcement, MKA, for its North Melbourne / Winter season, received a special new award for Contribution to Independent Theatre in Melbourne, for found space, design, writing and performances.
The Green Room Awards recognises excellence in performances in Melbourne since 1982 and have become regarded as one of the highest honors for an artist to achieve. It’s important to have one’s work acknowledged, thus it is equally important to realize that, while the organisation have done their very best to ensure that judging is fair, some great works may have been overlooked. In 2012, I attended a fair few performances, many of which could have shared equal recognition with those that have been presented that night. Many of my peers, I’m sure, would have cast their votes differently. I realize, of course, that foyer opinions are naturally fickle, but leaving important judgements to be made by only a handful of people, albeit a highly credible lot, has its cons. Woodhead may have made a few interesting points in his post-awards article last year, so in the meantime we should always keep in mind that it’s not ‘Green Room or nothing.’ In the end, however, it was nice to see some of my peers receiving the acknowledgement they deserve, and Bob and Rhonda’s glitteriffic outfits ensured that it was a happy, sparkly night.
Tanya Dickson, nominated for Direction (Independent Theatre) for Triangle.
Lyall Brooks, one of the fabulous cast members of The Pride, nominated for Ensemble Performance.
Mark Trevorrow, also known as his alter ego Bob Downe, received the Special Award for Lifetime Contribution to Cabaret, playing charades with the award’s catchy nickname.
Fraught Outfit‘s Luisa Hastings Edge, dancing on the sidewalk with mischief, after the company took 5 Awards, including the award for Production for Persona.
A trio of very Melbourne black-on-black, including Georgina Capper nominated for the award for Actress (Independent Theatre) for The Unspoken Word is ‘Joe,’ and husband, playwright Ross Mueller.
Meredith Rogers, Green Room Panel Head for Independent Theatre, in mid-explanation of why her photo should or should not be taken.
I was asked what I wore to the ceremony, and it’s hard to describe. It’s a pant-suit. No, not a pant-suit… a trouser-jacket. A jacket made of trousers. And then a kilt. Something to do with acknowledging female artists. I managed to make this, or rather, throw it together, a-la- Pretty in Pink deconstruction style, a few hours before rushing to the ceremony.
Well, since I’m not in the habit of taking photos of myself, Edoardo has kindly offered to wear it for me to photograph. (Edoardo is the mannequin, obviously.)