Caro Meets Words & Events Interview

Terri Paddock: Also Recognised Awards

By | Published on Thursday 2 April 2015

The Also Recognised Awards, launched last month, is a new award scheme set up by WhatsOnStage founder Terri Paddock and theatre critic Mark Shenton. Also Recognised chooses to honour nominees in more wide ranging categories than most award schemes, and any production taking place in London may be considered.
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I sent some questions over to Terri Paddock, to find out more about the audience-voted awards, and why she and her colleague felt moved to create them.

CM: Can you tell us why you decided to set up the Also Recognised Awards?
TP: When I left WhatsOnStage, I never had any intention of running another awards. Then, last November, I read on Mark’s blog on The Stage that the new owners of WhatsOnStage had dropped six categories from its annual awards. I founded the WhatsOnStage Awards with Mark’s help in 2000, and conceived those categories. I believed then and believe still that they deserve to be recognised. So I felt we had to act, and Mark agreed.

CM: What are the categories?
TP: The six categories dropped by WhatsOnStage are: Best Ensemble Performance, Best Solo Performance, Best Shakespearean Production, Best Original Music, London Newcomer of the Year, and Theatre Event of the Year

Most of these are also not included in other major UK theatre awards.

CM: In addition to those six, you’ve added some new ones, haven’t you? Can you tell us what they are?
TP: The four new categories in the Also Recognised Awards are Best Musical Direction, Best Show Poster, Best Show Trailer and Best Twitter Engagement. We included the UK’s first-ever award for Best Musical Direction, having been persuaded by the campaigning of director Andrew Keates and musical director Mike Dixon, who have partnered with us on the Also Recognised Awards. We felt the other three were worth adding as marketing, and particularly digital marketing, are now so critical to the success of a production and engaging with an audience.

CM: Who qualifies for consideration for these awards? Does it have to be West End, or are fringe productions also taken into account?
TP: All London productions are eligible for consideration.

CM: Why did you choose to make the awards audience-voted?
TP: My whole career in theatre has been about bridging the gap between theatre-makers and theatre-goers. There’s no one without the other. It didn’t seem like a choice to me, it seemed obvious.

CM: You co-founded and ran WhatsOnStage for over sixteen years, before your departure in 2013. Do you ever miss it?
TP: Of course! I miss some of the people I worked with most of all, and I am immensely proud of what we achieved at WhatsOnStage during my years there. But it is no longer the company I founded. I prefer to be associated with new ventures. I am as passionate and committed to championing theatre as I ever was. That’s what always drove me at WhatsOnStage and it’s what drives me still.

CM: What other projects are you concentrating on these days?
TP: In addition to working with Mark on MyTheatreMates.com and the Also Recognised Awards, I currently blog at www.terripaddock.com and tweet @TerriPaddock. I also work with a number of theatre clients and partners. For instance, I’ve just produced and hosted a series of post-show panel debates for Jagged Fence’s West End production of Strindberg’s ‘The Father’, and I work with the Touring Consortium, managing its digital hub TheatreCloud.com and running social media training for its casts. Those are the things I can talk about just at the moment. But I am also working on a few other new ventures that I’m even more excited about … watch this space!

You can cast your own votes for the Also Recognised Awards on the MyTheatreMates.com website.

LINKS: mytheatremates.com | www.terripaddock.com | twitter.com/MyTheatreMates


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