Brisbane theatre's night of nights has celebrated its silver anniversary in a glittering ceremony. Red Dog and Underbelly: Razor star and former Matilda recipient John Batchelor announced the five arts practitioners deemed the "best of the best", alongside 10 category Commendation winners.

Actors Melanie Zanetti and Steven Rooke, artistic director of independent troupe Mixed Company, Simone de Haas, designer Josh McIntosh and playwright Marcel Dorney received one-of-a-kind handmade trophies in honour of their outstanding achievements in 2011.

In recognition of the awards' 25th year, the committee also inducted 13 inaugural Hall of Fame members who had been recipients of three or more major Matilda Awards over the past quarter-century.

One such honouree, Hayden Spencer, hosted the evening in a comic double act with his off-stage partner, Carita Farrer. Providing further entertainment, actor-singer Emma Dean reprised her nominated role with a show-stopping performance of Cabaret, while So You Think You Can Dance star Jesse Martin led students from the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts in raising the curtain with a premiere dance piece.

Theatre critics Sue Gough and Alison Cotes instigated the Matilda Awards in 1988 to recognise the excellence of professional Brisbane theatrical artists working in local productions. The current voting committee includes reviewers from The Australian, The Courier-Mail and Time Off, and tertiary, publishing and publicity arts exponents.

Full list of Matilda Award winners


Simone de Haas
for her artistic direction of Mixed Company 
and directing, designing and acting in it's body of work

Steven Rooke
for his body of performance work in 2011 
including Julius Caesar, No Man's Land and The Removalists

Josh McIntosh
for his set and costume designs 
for Harvest Rain Theatre Company and body of work

Marcel Dorney
for his script Fractions

Melanie Zanetti
for her performance in Pygmalion


Best New Australian Work
by Marcel Dorney
Queensland Theatre Company and HotHouse Theatre

Best Independent Production
Animal Farm
by shake & stir theatre co

by 4MBS Festival of Classics

Best Mainstage Production
by Queensland Theatre Company

Best Director
Michael Futcher
for Animal Farm,
shake & stir theatre co

Michael Gow
for No Man's Land,
Queensland Theatre Company

Best Male Actor in a Leading Role
Paul Bishop
in Edward Gant's Amazing Feats of Loneliness

Best Female Actor in a Leading Role
Melanie Zanetti
in Pygmalion

Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Steven Rooke
in No Man's Land

Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Carol Burns
in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Best Design
Renee Mulder
for set design, Edward Gant's Amazing Feats of Loneliness

Best Emerging Artist
Anna McGahan
for Julius Caesar

Best Musical
by Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre

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