Nominations were announced today for the Sydney Theatre Awards for 2013, which will be presented at a gala ceremony on Monday January 20, 2014 at 6pm at the Paddington RSL.


Leading the list with seven nominations each are Sydney Theatre Company and Sydney Festival’s The Secret River and New Theatre’s Jerusalem, followed by STC’s Waiting for Godot and the musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with six nominations. Belvoir’s Angels in America, Sport for Jove’s Cyrano de Bergerac, Griffin’s The Floating World and Tamarama Rock Surfers’ The Removalists all have five. Nominations were spread across 37 different productions which played on Sydney stages during the calendar year of 2013.


The Sydney Theatre Awards are presented annually by a group of leading theatre critics to celebrate the strength, quality and diversity of theatre in Sydney. The Sydney Theatre Reviewers consist of Elissa Blake (Sun Herald), Jason Blake (Sydney Morning Herald), Deborah Jones (The Australian), Jo Litson (The Sunday Telegraph), John McCallum (The Australian), Diana Simmonds (Stagenoise website), Polly Simons (Daily Telegraph) and Brad Syke (Crikey).


Additional categories have been added this year in the Independent sector, commending stage design, costume design and score or sound design.


The reviewers all felt 2013 was an extraordinary year for theatre in Sydney. Jason Blake said, “We have been overwhelmed by the number and quality of nominees in this year’s Sydney Theatre Awards. Agreeing on a winner in many categories this year has been a challenge. What it all points to is a widening band of what is loosely termed “excellence” in all fields and a willingness to go out on a limb to achieve it. Looking at the nominees this year, you’d be hard pressed to point to anyone playing safe. There’s a real spirit of adventure in Sydney theatre right now and a sense that a recent period of renewal and generational change has paid off. Sydney’s theatregoers are the real winners here.”


Jo Litson added, “Acting-wise 2013 was a very exciting year. There were a remarkable number of exceptional performances in both mainstage and independent theatre  – so many, in fact, that after much debate we have taken the unusual step of having five nominations for Best Actress in a Leading Role and six nominations for Best Actor in a Leading Role in mainstage theatre instead of the customary four. It’s not something we do lightly but we believe that in this instance it reflects the extraordinary strength in those categories."


Vying for Best Mainstage Production are Angels In America (Belvoir), The Floating World (Griffin), The Secret River (Sydney Theatre Company and Sydney Festival) and Waiting for Godot (Sydney Theatre Company). The nominees for Best Independent Production are Cyrano de Bergerac (Sport for Jove), Jerusalem (New Theatre), The Motherf**ker with the Hat (Workhorse Theatre Company) and Penelope (Siren Theatre Company).