Winners announced for The Pantomime Awards

Hosted by UK Pantomime Association President Christopher Biggins, a total of 27 awards were presented with categories ranging from Best Ugly Sisters to Best Sound Design and Best Pantomime. 

Audience members were treated to performances by Gracie McGonigal, Myra DuBois and Butlin’s with a special tribute to the swings and understudies who kept the 2021/2022 season going during the pandemic receiving rapturous applause. 

The UK Pantomime Association’s prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Nigel Ellacott, who began his pantomime career in 1974. An experienced, respected and knowledgeable authority on pantomime, Ellacott is a talented script writer, costume designer, costume maker, performer and historian. An ambassador for the genre, he has supported many individuals, companies and theatres throughout their careers, as well as inspiring generations of panto lovers through his work and website ‘Its-Behind-You.com’.

The full list of winners can be found below:

Best Ugly Sisters

  • Duncan Burt and Nic Gibney – Cinderella, Theatre Royal Bath (UK Productions)

Best Dame sponsored by Trafalgar Entertainment 

  • Morgan Brind – Sleeping Beauty, Derby Arena (Little Wolf Entertainment)

Best Script

  • Vikki Stone – Aladdin, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre (In-House)

Best Comic sponsored by Box Office Radio

  • Tam Ryan – Cinderella, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre (Imagine Theatre)

Best Lighting sponsored by Production Light and Sound

  • Matt Cross – Beauty and the Beast, Kings Lynn Corn Exchange (Jordan Productions)

Best Sound Design

  • Alex Linney – Jack and the Beanstalk, Gaiety Theatre, Isle of Man (Shone Productions Ltd)

Best Set Design

  • Cleo Pettitt – Dick Whittington and his Cat, Watford Palace Theatre (In-House)

Best Costume Design

  • Celia Perkins – Aladdin, Oldham Coliseum Theatre (In-House)

Best Villain sponsored by Breckman & Company

  • Rolan Bell – Aladdin, Cambridge Arts Theatre (In-House)  

Best Choreography

  • Jonny Bowles – Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Grand Opera House, Belfast (Crossroads Pantomimes)

Carmen Silvera Award for Best Mythical Being 

  • Alexandra Burke – Aladdin, Opera House, Manchester (Crossroads Pantomimes)

Best Ensemble sponsored by Stagecoach

  • Tiago Dhondt Bamberger, Char Burnett, Robert Donnelly, Louis Emmanuel, Amiyah Goodall, Tanieth Kerr, Georgia-Mae Price, Millie Robins, Ernest Stroud, Jessamie Waldon-Day – Dick Whittington, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford (In-House)

Best Direction

  • Paul Hendy – Jack and the Beanstalk, Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury (Evolution Productions)

Best Principal Girl

  • Naomi Alade – Robin Hood, Oxford Playhouse (In-House)

Best Musical Direction

  • Jamie Noar – Robin Hood, Everyman Theatre, Liverpool (In-House)

Best Supporting Artist

  • Kate Donnachie – Aladdin, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre (In-House)

Barbara Windsor Award for Best Principal Boy

  • Dominic Sibanda – Sleeping Beauty, Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield (Evolution Productions)

Best Early Career Newcomer sponsored by Staffordshire University

  • Becca Lee-Isaacs – Robin Hood, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield (The Big Tiny)

Best Newcomer to Pantomime sponsored by Staffordshire University

  • Rob Rinder – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bristol Hippodrome (Crossroads)

Special Recognition 

  • Joe Tracini – for changing perceptions and raising awareness of mental health through his pantomime performance and original pantomime song 
  • Justin Fletcher and Paul Morse – for exceptional execution of the ‘balloon ballet’ and the championing of set-pieces.
  • Justin Brett, Susan Harrison and Ali James (The Showstoppers) – for skilled execution of fully improvised ‘front cloth’ sequences including songs created from audience participation, promoting innovation in content. 

Best Pantomime (Digital) sponsored by Dr Andy Video Design

  • Jack and the Beanstalk, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

Best Pantomime (Under 500 seats) sponsored by Butlin’s 

  • Robin Hood, Everyman Theatre, Liverpool (In-House)

Best Pantomime (500-900 seats) sponsored by Butlin’s 

  • Aladdin, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre (In-House)

Best Pantomime (Over 900 seats) sponsored by Butlin’s 

  • Jack and the Beanstalk, Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury (Evolution Productions)

Outstanding Achievement  

  • Nigel Ellacott

Photographs by Ellie Hoskins. Special thanks to the Producers and Creative Team of Jersey Boys.

How are the winners of the pantomime awards decided?

The UK Pantomime Association issues an open call and recruits judges with relevant experience such as pantomime professionals, journalists, reviewers and seasoned audience members. For the 2021/2022 season, 46 judges saw 207 pantomimes, each scoring the shows across awards categories in line with a marking criteria that has been developed in consultation with industry experts.

We aim to cover all professional shows over the winter season that agree to be part of the awards with a venue capacity of over 400 seats and a minimum run of 10 performances. Other shows may be included at our discretion and judge availability. This year judge attendance was restricted by Covid show cancellations, shortened runs and judge unavailability due to Covid or illness.

Once reviewed and submitted, the judges’ scores are then collated, reviewed, and, in line with UKPA principles, used to inform a long list created by the Awards Panel Chair and Vice Chair.

Judges are then invited to a conference to discuss the longlists, with those unable to attend invited to send any comments in via email. Judges’ feedback, along with their scores and UKPA principles, is then considered by the Awards Panel comprising of a mix of UKPA Trustees and Judges. The Awards Panel decides the shortlists and winners.