Monday night saw Brisbane roll out its red carpet for Queensland’s very own answer to the Oscars, The Matilda Awards. Held at the glamorous Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane’s theatre makers, actors, writers and arts lovers gathered to celebrate the best of the best from our stages in 2009.

The runaway hit of the evening was 23rd Productions’ play The Pillowman, taking out four wins across the ten categories. The show’s director Michelle Miall won Best Director and Best Emerging Artist while the Best Actor in a main role and in a Supporting Role went to The Pillowman’s Steven Rooke and Chris Vernon respectively.

The Pillowman played at Metro Arts as part of their 2009 Independents’ Season, which also won a major Matilda Award, showcasing Metro Arts as leading supporters of emerging theatre in Brisbane. The award was driven home by the fact that several other winning shows were also products of the same season.

One of the coveted major awards was given to Queensland Theatre Company’s departing Micheal Gow for his 11 year contribution as director, and he also took home Best Mainstage Production for their 2009 staging of The Crucible. Best Independent Production went to director Lynne Bradley for her company Zen Zen Zo’s, The Tempest.

Hosts Daniel Evans, resplendent in a tails jacket and shorts, and the elegant Karen Crone were hilarious and punctuated the obscure musical entertainment from Oscar Theatre Company which bookended the evening. With plenty of post show chardonnay and shmooze, Brisbane’s Monday night of nights went off with a bang.

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