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    Finance and Arts
    The Honourable Rachel Nolan

    Matilda Awards for Brisbane’s top theatre

    Finance and Arts
    The Honourable Rachel Nolan

    Tuesday, March 08, 2011

    Matilda Awards for Brisbane’s top theatre

    Arts Minister Rachel Nolan last tonight announced the winners of the Matilda Awards – the night-of-nights for the local theatre industry of Brisbane.

    The event at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts was attended by some 100 theatre professionals.

    “Brisbane’s vibrant theatre scene is running hot and the Matilda Awards are where we name the year’s most notable achievers as determined by industry peers,” Ms Nolan said.

    “This year’s five Matilda winners are a strong and diverse group, representing the fantastic work happening on our local stages.”

    The major Matilda Award winners are:

    • Leon Cain for his performance in I Love You, Bro at La Boite.
    • The Escapists: for devising and producing boy girl wall at Metro Arts.
    • Eugene Gilfedder: for his body of performance work in 2010 including Grimm Tales, Hamlet and The Chairs.
    • Leah Purcell : for her artistic direction of the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA); directing and acting in The Story of the Miracles at Cookies Table (Bungabura Productions and QPAC co-production).
    • David Berthold: for repositioning La Boite and directing Hamlet and I Love You, Bro.

    The major Matilda Award winners have received Queensland Government support through Arts Queensland over the years.

    La Boite Theatre Company, which presented the 2010 productions of I Love You, Bro and Hamlet, and is home to Artistic Director David Berthold, received $595,535 funding this year through Arts Queensland’s small to medium (s2m) program and $50,000 for their Indie program which supports new independent work.

    The Escapists have been supported by Managing and Producing Services (or MAPS), an Arts Queensland and Australia Council for the Arts initiative to work with independent creators of new performance work.

    Bungabura productions was supported last year for The Miracle at Cookie's Table with funding of $100,000 under the Indigenous Theatre Fund.

    Eugene Gilfedder is a highly respected actor who has previously received project funding from Arts Queensland.

    Minister Nolan congratulated all nominees on the night and paid tribute to the event organisers, judges and sponsors.

    “Also as Member for Ipswich, I particularly wish to congratulate thespian Eugene Gilfedder who, in addition to his outstanding professional work, supports children and aspiring local arts groups in the Ipswich community,” she said.

    Media contact: Minister's Office - 3224 2880

    BACKGROUND ON MATILDA AWARD WINNERS

    Leon Cain: Leon Cain is a young Brisbane actor who took on the immense task of sustaining a long and complex one-hander by Australian playwright Adam Cass. Based on a true story, I Love You, Bro is about a boy in England who creates a web of dangerous lies in an internet chat room.

    The Escapists: This innovative group of creators/performers, comprising Matthew Ryan, Neridah Waters, Lucas Stibbard and Sarah Winter, wrote a comedy for Lucas Stibbard to perform. Fast, furious and hilarious, the play had the audience in stitches.

    Eugene Gilfedder: Eugene Gilfedder is one of Queensland’s most eminent and respected actors and in 2010 he excelled in a number of totally different roles, from the step-father and ghost in Hamlet at La Boite to a very different and lascivious Hamlet in Steven Berkoff’s The Secret Love Letters of Ophelia by Fractal Theatre at Metro Arts and even a slapstick comedian in Grimm Tales for Queensland Theatre Company.

    Leah Purcell: This leading Queensland performer pulled off a rare double act when she both directed and starred in the same play, The Story of the Miracles at Cookies Table by Wesley Enoch (Bungabura Productions and QPAC co-production). Her portrayal of an Indigenous woman caught between loyalty to family mythology and her own dark secret, has been described as the performance of a lifetime. Add to that accomplishment her work with ACPA that has influenced a new generation of young Indigenous performers.

    David Berthold: The artistic director of La Boite has demonstrated a fresh approach to programming that has seen audience numbers soar. His daring, contemporary production of Hamlet became a sell-out season thanks to the response of a younger audience.