Monday, November 22, 2010

From the Red Carpet: Perth Equity Guild Awards 2010

Wardle Room, Perth Concert Hall
Monday 29 November, 2010

Young, Gifted and Black Tie
FTT is honoured to have been asked to announce the winner of my favourite category, Best Actor (Female), at this year's Equity Guild Awards. Just the thought that for one, electric moment, Adriane Daff, Vivienne Garrett, Arielle Grey, Jo Morris, Melanie Munt and Samantha Murray will be oblivious to their dashing spouses, partners and escorts and, instead, be glued to my every word (probably six of them, starting with "And the winner is...") is almost too thrilling to contemplate. Only six more sleeps...
My friend and mentor (oh, okay, boss) at The West, Stephen Bevis, has already weighed in on the future of the awards here and I want to add only two words to his erudite spray on the matter. Black tie.
I've worn black tie off stage only once in my life, and that was to another well-known and glitzy award ceremony, in Hollywood (see pic). I've got to say I've never felt better (or, I suspect, looked better) in a set of clothes. After weighing up the pros and cons of hire or purchase, I bought the thing, confident that on our return to Perth it would soon be threadbare from overuse. 
Another bloke in black tie presenting the winner of 
the best actor (female) award at another ceremony 
in Hollywood. He looked pretty good, too. 
Imagine my horror when the awards' Caitlin Beresford-Ord told me that not only was it not a black tie event, but they often had trouble convincing male actors to even wear a necktie. 
For shame!
I say that for two reasons. First is that this event, done right, is not just a back-slapping exercise. As Steve said in his article, it should be a (much needed) way to promote the industry and its practitioners – and the theatre community, of all people, should understand you have to wear the costume to play the part. If we want the Perth Theatre Trust to open their precious new venue to this event next year, and we want sponsors like the impressive list Caitlin sent me* to continue to support it there, let's show them we want that support and deserve it.
The second reason was put to me forcibly by my No. 1 handbag, who said that she, and many of her female friends in the business, would love to throw on a big frock for the awards but struggle because the blokes all dress down so determinedly. I've seen enough rooms full of fabulously turned out women and crappily-dressed men to last a lifetime, and this needn't be one of them. I'm sure Samantha, Melanie, Jo, Arielle, Vivienne and Adriane will be dressed like the winners they all are, and the least I can do is throw on a monkey suit in return. Why don't you join me.

Postscript: The gongs have been run and won, and Mr Bevis gives you the lowdown on the winners and grinners here! 

*These events don't happen by themselves, and ticket income never meets the costs. Put your hands together for the Perth Theatre Trust, The City of Perth, The Equity Foundation, MEAA, RGM Artist Group, Frog Management, Onward Production, Memory Lane, Media at Work, Class Act Theatre, Michael McCall, Staging Connections, The West Australian, Post Newspapers and Creating Events for buying a round.


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