All the results live: the Matildas on Twitter

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For the rest of us who couldn’t be at Brisbane’s Matilda Awards tonight at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, Twitter came to the rescue. Pete Foley (@iusebiro) and Katherine Lyall-Watson (@arts_tart) live-tweeted the event minute by minute. This is where social media used well is absolutely brilliant! Thanks to them, the event was beamed out live via desktop and mobile phone.

This is the stream which we’ve embedded below to give you an idea of how the news unfolded tonight. Scroll down and read for yourself. If you don’t already have a Twitter account, what are you waiting for!

Congratulations to all the winners! It was a night to celebrate indie theatre.

Queensland’s Matilda Awards: where to now?

Congratulations to all winners at the 2009 Matilda Awards held on March 2 at Brisbane’s Judith Wright Centre.
Best Mainstage Production: ANATOMY TITUS FALL OF ROME: Queensland Theatre Company
Best Independent Production: HOODS: Real TV
Best Direction: Michael Futcher; RABBIT HOLE Queensland Theatre Company; THE WISHING WELL La Boite Theatre Company
Best Actress in a Lead Role: Helen Howard: RABBIT HOLE: Queensland Theatre Company
Best Actor in a Lead Role: Jean-Marc Russ: I AM MY OWN WIFE: Queensland Theatre Company
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Kaye Stevenson: SUMMER OF THE SEVENTEENTH DOLL: La Boite Theatre Company
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Andrew Buchanan: FEMALE OF THE SPECIES: Queensland Theatre Company
Best New Australian Work: ATTACK OF THE ATTACKING ATTACKERS: Matthew Ryan: La Boite Theatre Company
Best Emerging Artist: Kathryn Marquet: JANE EYRE, BRONTE, RISK
Best Design: Jonathon Oxlade: ATTACK OF THE ATTACKING ATTACKERS: La Boite Theatre Company
Best Technical Design: David Walters: AUGUST MOON Queensland Theatre Company, RABBIT HOLE Queensland Theatre Company; WISHING WELL La Boite Theatre Company
Best Musical Production: THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE: Oscar Theatre Company

Hooray for Queensland’s theatre community, and hoorah for the Matilda Awards which support it. However, given some of the comments in Katharine Lyall-Watson’s recent blog post, I’d reckon the awards are ready for a comprehensive review. Herewith my 2c worth.

As I understand it, the Matildas were originally conceived to celebrate Queensland theatre talent. From the list of this year’s nominees, they are clearly Brisbane-centric. This is a real pity, as there is much great work going on outside the capital city of our state.

As to the categories, these are clearly problematical for some, and I include myself in this. The panel of judges which once comprised reviewer-critics (now as I note no longer solely so) have chosen to copy the Green Room and Critics Circle categorisations, themselves a copy of much larger awards. Do we really have the critical mass yet of Melbourne and Sydney to support all of these categories? IMHO, the fewer the awards, the more prestigious and probably, more affordable.

Instead of the constraints of categories, why not simply recognise outstanding practitioners or groups to reflect any aspect of our profession? I understand this used to happen. Whilst I am sure not all would agree, I have a problem separating out male and female actors for awards as outstanding performers, for example.

And finally, putting on my theatre academic’s hat, where do we and those coming after us go to read all about this thing called the Matildas? I did a Google search and was sent to Wikipedia to get some background for this post.  I found an out of date entry at Wikipedia, and nothing more. So I added an external hotlink to Lyall-Watson’s blog post which contains this year’s nominees and the subsequent discussion on the pros and cons of the awards.

I’d like to see the theatre community pitching in by contributing to this entry on Wikipedia. It shouldn’t be a one-person job and it certainly isn’t difficult to do. Wikipedia is intensely democratic and, like the theatre itself, collaborative. Bloopers, glitches, and the like are quickly erased and replaced by others with the right info. It’s another way of endorsing and supporting the theatre, and getting the word out beyond Queensland.

PS Congratulations to all the nominees and thanks to the panel of judges who have worked long and hard to keep the Matildas going. You’re champions all!

PPS What’s the definition of a ‘Mainstage Production’ please? Curious as to its application as a category – presumably the other side of the coin to ‘Independent Production.’

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