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24:7 closing party

See who won awards and sipped champagne at this year's 24:7 Theatre Festival party

Published on July 28th 2009.

24:7 closing party

The 24:7 Theatre Festival closing party saw the city's acting and writing talent out in force on Sunday night. Held each year, it gives new playwrights a chance to put their ideas on the stage with the support of up-and-coming directors, actors, and some big names.

This year, Moston-born Peter Ash from Footballers Wives starred in 5.30 – and took the award for Favourite Actor at the party for his performance. Festival patron and Coronation Street star Vicky Binns was there, as was her ex Street-mate, Moss Side-born Eve Steele. Eve won the award for Best Actress in Lub You – her self-penned play that tells a true story from a child's perspective.

Eve Steele and Peter Ash

Other celebrity support for this year's festival came from Peter Kay, who turned up to see The Last Chair, which his pal Karl Lucas was starring in. Karl MC'd the awards party, delivering a hilarious stand up routine. Ex Brookside and Coronation Street actor Michael Starke, who starred in Dancing to the Sound of Crunching Snails was also there.

Karl Lucas
Michael Starke and Vicky Binns

Suranne Jones, Sally Lindsay and Amanda Holden have all given glowing endorsements recently of what 24:7 does for acting talent and the theatre industry as a whole. Now five year's old, it's one of Manchester's most successful, most innovative annual events. Festival directors David Slack and Amanda Hennessey should be proud of what they've achieved.

Amanda Hennessey, David Slack and Vicky Binns

Other awards presented on the night were The Moment of the Festival Award presented by Lord Mayor Alison Firth to Working Title for the moment when the writer’s pen runs out half way through a ninja fight scene. The Favourite Production Award went to As We Forgive Them – Richard Vergette’s moralistic tale based around the death penalty debate in the States.

Working Title and the Lord Mayor

David Slack summed up the festival and party nicely when he said: “I am just in awe at every person in this room that makes the festival what it is, as one person said this evening, we are ‘the UK ’s best grass-roots festival'.”

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