The phenomenal Life of Pi has been nominated for two Whatsonstage Awards including Best Play and received The Stage Award nomination for Achievement in technical theatre.
The Stage Awards 2020 shortlist: Achievement in technical theatre
Sheffield Theatres’ creative and production team for its work on Life of Pi
Some questioned how Yann Martel’s bestselling book of a boy stranded on a boat with a Bengal tiger in the middle of the Pacific ocean could be effectively adapted for the stage. But Sheffield Theatres pulled it off superbly, with this production – directed by Max Webster – leaving audiences breathless.
Lolita Chakrabarti’s adaptation was brilliantly complemented by Tim Hatley’s set design, Tim Lutkin’s lighting, Finn Caldwell and Nick Barnes’ puppets – “works of art” according to The Stage’s review – and the sublime video work by Andrzej Goulding.
“The production is so full of magical moments that awe becomes the audience’s default response. A lifeboat rises up, with Goulding’s video projections of waves lapping across the stage, and, most jaw-droppingly of all, the sight of Pi jumping into the ‘ocean’, disappearing from view, and resurfacing on the other side of the boat,” said The Stage. The Observer said: “The technical virtuosity of the team realising Pi’s adventures is dazzling.”
For his state-of-the-art projections, Goulding part rendered and part filmed the water that allowed the audience to feel they were floating along with Pi and the tiger. The centrepiece was the 44-pound tiger puppet operated by three puppeteers, which had reviewers purring that it was a worthy successor to War Horse. No small compliment.
The thrillingly realised show comes to the West End in June.
20th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards nominees announced, including Andrew Scott, Claire Foy, & Juliet and more
The nominees for the 20th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards have been announced.
The WhatsOnStage Awards are the only major UK theatre awards in which the audience are the judges.
Voting closes on 27 January 2020, with the winners being revealed at a ceremony at the Prince of Wales Theatre on 1 March 2020.
Best New Play, sponsored by Ticketmaster
The Doctor – Robert Icke – Almeida Theatre
The Son – Florian Zeller – Kiln Theatre / Duke of York’s Theatre
My Beautiful Laundrette – Hanif Kureishi – A Curve Leicester, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Everyman Theatre Cheltenham and Leeds Playhouse co-production
Life of Pi – Lolita Chakrabarti – Sheffield Theatres
Appropriate – Branden Jacobs-Jenkins – Donmar Warehouse
Best Regional Production, sponsored by MTI Europe
Mame – Hope Mill Theatre
The Color Purple – A Curve Leicester and Birmingham Hippodrome co-production
Life of Pi – Sheffield Theatres
My Beautiful Laundrette – A Curve Leicester, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Everyman Theatre Cheltenham and Leeds Playhouse co-production
West Side Story – Royal Exchange, Manchester