Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards
The Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards recognised the scope and excellence of live theatre in Greater Manchester. They were administered by The Manchester Evening News, and presented at an annual ceremony in Manchester, England. The awards were for regional and nationally touring productions and were created in 1981 by Alan Hulme, the MEN theatre critic, who wrote for the paper from 1970 to 2000.
History and significance
The awards were established in 1981, by Alan Hulme, the paper's theatre critic from 1970 - 2000, with the first ceremony held in the conference room of the MEN in their then Deansgate offices, with Mike Harding as the first MC. They were quickly recognised as the most important theatrical prize giving outside London and the annual ceremony was regarded as the regional theatre event of the year. In summer 2011, the Manchester Evening News ended its association with the awards blaming the "challenging economic climate". A group of former panel members, led by Alan Hulme and his successor Kevin Bourke, announced in October 2011 that they were to continue the awards as an independent body under the name Manchester Theatre Awards.