The 25th Anniversary South Bank Sky Arts awards, held in-person at The Savoy this week, saw a diverse host of artists and projects from across the worlds of arts and culture honoured.
As expected, Dua Lipa took the Pop award for her critically acclaimed album, Future Nostalgia, while I May Destroy You won the TV Drama category. Hamnet, a fictional account of Shakespeare’s family life by Maggie O’Farrell, bagged the Literature prize.
TV show Ghosts won the Comedy award, while Scherzo by The Royal Ballet for Dance and Rocks for Film.
The Awards also celebrated emerging talent with The Times Breakthrough Award, which was presented to playwright Samuel Bailey, whose breakthrough play, Shook, completed a sell-out run at Southwark Playhouse and a national tour.
This year there were two additional awards: The Sky Arts Award for Innovation in the Arts During The Pandemic, awarded to both an institution and an individual.
The Individual Award went to Sam Mendes for the Theatre Artists Fund, a project he helped to set up to fundraise and provide emergency short-term relief for thousands of theatre workers and freelancers across the UK affected by the crisis.
Wigmore Hall took The Sky Arts Award for Innovation in the Arts During The Pandemic: An Institution, for pioneering transmissions of live performance by exceptional performers.
This year’s recipient of the coveted Outstanding Achievement Award was Grayson Perry.
Perry said: “I’ve grown up with The South Bank Show, Melvyn and Sky Arts. It feels more than any other ceremony, it’s collegiate, it’s our ceremony. The Arts, as a family. I think coming out of Covid it feels especially touching, I think that’s what’s made it so moving for me really, and I feel very proud. I also feel too young!”
The Times Breakthrough Award was presented to playwright Samuel Bailey, while Grayson Perry won Outstanding Achievement…
The South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2021 winners in full
Visual Art: Denzil Forrester: Itchin & Scratchin – Nottingham Contemporary & Spike Island, Bristol
Comedy: Ghosts Series 2
Theatre: Uncle Vanya (2020 Film)
Dance: Scherzo – The Royal Ballet
Classical Music: Petrenko’s Mahler I & II – Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Literature: Hamnet – Maggie O’Farrell
Opera: L’enfant et les sortilèges – VOPERA
Pop: Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
TV Drama: I May Destroy You
The Times Breakthrough Award: Samuel Bailey
Outstanding Achievement Award: Grayson Perry
The Sky Arts Award For Innovation in the Arts During the Pandemic: An Individual: Sam Mendes
The Sky Arts Award For Innovation in the Arts During the Pandemic: An Institution: Wigmore Hall
The South Bank Sky Arts Awards are screened July 22 on Sky Arts Freeview channel 11, Sky and Now.
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