The Bite Magazine - Autmn/Winter 2020 - Issue 28

bitetheatre In this current climate, it is imperative we social dis- tance to help stop the Covid-19 spread. As such, Ed- die Nestor asked the audience to look at the empty seats beside them written with the names of actors and performers like T-Bone Wilson, Josette Simon, Nadia Cattouse, the late Louis Mahoney, and Calvin Simpson, and to remember them so that they are not forgotten. We were then shown a clip of Noah Thomas casu- ally talking about his experience playing Jamie in the musical production. “My favourite part about Every- body’s Talking About Jamie is the cast; the community we have created at that show,” he revealed. “It’s full of so much joy and positivity, and light. It’s a show that deals with a lot of heavy topics and comedy as well. To have the laughter and the joy of the people in the building makes it so worth it.” Reciting lines from her role in & Juliet, actress Mir- iam-Teak Lee gave a small performance on stage outside of the ceremony as an introduction to her acceptance of the Best Female Actor in a Musi- cal Award. Dressed in a beautiful glittery v-necked gown, the actress danced down to the stage. She told the audience that & Juliet was special because she was able to create her role from the ground up and it didn’t matter what colour she was. She thanked her family and friends for their support. Performer and trans activist, Mzz Kimberley Tatum presented the first LGBTQ+ Champion Award won by Layton Williams. Unfortunately, he could not at- tend the event in person, so he broadcast his thanks, looking fabulously bronzed, via video. Actress Indra Ové presented Rachel Nwokoro with the Disability Champion Award, another new accolade from the team at BBTAs. The poet and actor danced up the stairs onto the stage to give her thanks. When Rakie Ayola heard she had won the Best Fe- male Actor in a Play award for her role in On Bear Ridge at the Royal Court, she ran down to the stage with excitement. The Welsh actress dressed in a pur- ple dress with a glamorous African headpiece is best known for playing Kyla Tyson in Holby City. She revealed she has been acting for 31 years and this was the first time she had won anything since a dis- co dancing competition in 1978. Her speech was an emotional and heart-warming moment. BBTAs co-founders Solange Urdang and Omar F. Okai presented the award for Best Production Play. Before he announced the winner, Omar described the three nominees: Death of a Salesman at the Pic- cadilly Theatre, Fairview at the Young Vic, and Three Sisters at the National Theatre as “world-class”. He added they all made him proud to be a black British theatre maker. The award went to Death of a Sales- man and was accepted by theatre director Miranda Cromwell. Adrian Grant acceptance speech image - photo by David Mensah LGBTQ+ Champion winner Layton Williams - photo by Michelle Marshall