The Pantomime Awards 2023 – See the full list of winners!

“God help us we need joy, don’t we?” – Robert Hyman, Musical Director and Composer at Theatre Royal Stratford East

On 11 April, The UK Pantomime Association’s Pantomime Awards 2023, in association with Butlin’s, took place at the Trafalgar Theatre, taking over from Jersey Boys for one night only. The show was a culmination of a year of hard work on pantomimes from this past season, celebrating everyone involved with productions across the United Kingdom.  “Pantoland” isn’t a small place – Over the 2022-23 season, 64 judges saw over 700 performances in more than 240 venues, with some judges seeing dozens of pantomimes in just one season!

The show, hosted by Christopher Biggins, the UK Pantomime Association’s President, began with a beautiful tribute to Paul O’Grady, an actor who made great contributions to the world of pantomimes and who was a close friend to many in the audience that night. After a moment of silence, the show burst into a night of fun and celebration. Presenters included Debbie McGee, Amanda Lovett and Theo Mayne, Vikki Stone, Scott Mitchell, Nigel Clarke, and Gracie McGonigal, to name a few. Along with presenters and speeches, there were several performers interspersed throughout the ceremony including Anna-Jane Casey (Mother Goose), Gigi Zahir as Cleopatra, Myra DuBois, and a range of pantomime villains in a performance put together by Butlin’s.

One of the main themes of the Pantomime Awards 2023 was that of inclusion. There was a BSL interpreter on stage for the entire show, translating both speeches and performances with passion and professionalism. Presenters, winners, and performers alike brought up inclusivity throughout the show. Many commented on trans rights, with statements like “There has always been a place for drag in family entertainment” and a focus on how life-changing it can be for children to see someone like them up on stage. 

Of course, as expected as something pantomime-themed, there were terrible puns and jokes (my particular favourite was “Never tell a sound technician how they’re doing they job – They hate feedback!”), calls and responses of “Oh yes it is” and “Oh no it isn’t”, and an incredible range of sparkling gowns and suits. As someone who has only just been introduced to pantomime, it was incredible to see how important the genre is to so many people. One set designer, Cleo Pettitt, had designed over 100 sets and a composer, Robert Hyman, has been composing for 25 years! After an awards show that went on for over three hours, one was left with a sense of just how passionate the pantomime community is and how dedicated they are to giving audiences of all ages an experience of a lifetime. I can’t wait for the 2023-24 season!

Here is the full list of Pantomime Award winners:

Best Choreography: Stillie DeeJack and the Beanstalk, Alhambra Theatre, Bradford (Crossroads Pantomimes

Best Comic sponsored by Santa Himself: Adam C BoothCinderella, Grand Opera House, Belfast (Crossroads Pantomimes) 

Best Costume Design: Jasmine SwanBeauty and the Beast, Mercury Theatre, Colchester (In-House) 

Best Dame sponsored by Trafalgar Entertainment: Brian James O’SullivanMaw Goose, Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling (In-House) 

Best Director (sponsored by John Good Ltd): Estelle van WarmeloBeauty and the Beast, The Courtyard, Hereford (In-House) 

Best Ensemble sponsored by Stagecoach: Mairi Barclay, Adam Brown, Gabriel Fleary, Becca Francis, Shailan Gohil, Richard Leeming, Genevieve Nicole and Laura Tyrer Mother Goose, Duke of York’s Theatre, London (Ambassador Theatre Group

Best Lighting Design sponsored by Production, Light & Sound: Sally FergusonDick Whittington, Nottingham Playhouse (In-House) 

Carmen Silvera Award for Best Magical Being: Jo OsmondBeauty and the Beast, Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury (Evolution Productions

Best Contribution to Music sponsored by Howden Insurance Brokers: Emma FraserDick Whittington, Octagon Theatre, Yeovil (Evolution Productions) 

Best Early Career Newcomer sponsored by Staffordshire University: Neha EapenCinderella, Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds (Paul Holman Associates

Best Newcomer to Pantomime sponsored by Staffordshire University: Vernon KayCinderella, Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe (Imagine Theatre

Barbara Windsor Award for Best Principal Lead: Jasmine TriadiCinderella, Salisbury Playhouse (In-House) 

Best Script: Joyce BranaghJack and the Beanstalk, South Hill Park Arts Centre, Bracknell (In-House) 

Best Secondary Lead: Ohaana GreavesThe Further Adventures of Peter Pan, Fairfield Halls, Croydon (UK Productions

Best Set Design: Mark Walters, Nina Dunn and Matt BrownBeauty and the Beast, Swansea Grand Theatre (Imagine Theatre) 

Best Sisters: Andrew Pollard and Alim JadavjiCinderella, Lighthouse, Poole (In-House) 

Best Sound Design: James CookAladdin, Derby Arena (Little Wolf Entertainment

Best Supporting Artist: Anna-Jane Casey – Mother Goose, Duke of York’s Theatre, London (Ambassador Theatre Group) 

Best Villain sponsored by Breckman & Company: Ben LockeRobin Hood, Theatr Clwyd, Mold (In-House) 

Best Pantomime (Under 500 seats) sponsored by Butlin’s: Robin Hood, Theatr Clwyd, Mold (In-House) 

Best Pantomime (500 – 900 seats) sponsored by Butlin’s: Mother Goose, Duke of York’s Theatre, London (Ambassador Theatre Group) 

Best Pantomime (Over 900 seats) sponsored by Butlin’s: Beauty and the Beast, Swansea Grand Theatre (Imagine Theatre) 

Special Achievement Awards: Ian McKellen, Cast, Doncaster, and Theatre Royal Stratford East 

Outstanding Achievement Award: Su Pollard  


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