The curtain has just fallen on the 2014 Rob Guest Endowment Gala Concert, and we have rushed home from the beautiful night to announce that this year’s winner is Joshua Robson, currently in the cast of Les Miserables in Melbourne.
Decided by an expert panel of judges (Nancye Hayes, Todd McKenney and Guy Simpson), Robson was named the recipient of the award after strong performances in his two chosen numbers: “Soliloquy”, from Carousel, and “Let Me Drown” from The Wild Party.
The night was hosted by Bert Newtown with Lucy Durack and featured performances by 2013 winner Samantha Leigh Dodemaide, Kirby Burgess, Bobby Fox, The Tap Pack, Swing On This, Eddie Muliaumaseali’l, Oscar and Joshua Han, and cast members from Wicked (performing a brand new arrangement of “Defying Gravity”) and Strictly Ballroom the Musical (Who put their own spin on “Seasons of Love”).
Joshua Robson took home $20,000 as the prize, and the runners up were each awarded $1,500.
The inaugural East End Theatre District Artist Development Award, a $5,000 cash prize to a promising young music theatre talent, went to Andrew Cook – who impressed the audience with his performances of Oklahoma‘s “Lonely Room” and the rousing “Here For You” from 9 to 5. S
The Playbill Future Prospect Award went to Daniel Assetta, who is currently performing in Wicked, and The Rob Guest Endowment Technical Award in Honour of Sue Nattrass was won by Isabelle Stadler. The Rob Guest Endowment Musician Award, awarded to Isaac Hayward.
NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism and Major Events Andrew Stoner said: “Well done to Joshua for winning the prestigious Rob Guest Endowment, a well-deserved honour, and one intended to assist this talented young professional to progress his career in the musical theatre industry,” Mr Stoner said.
“Musical theatre is a key component of the Sydney and NSW Events Calendar, attracting visitors from across Australia and overseas and reinforcing the city’s position as Australia’s live performance capital. The NSW Government’s support for the Rob Guest Endowment and Concert, through our tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, demonstrates our commitment to supporting the arts,” he said.
What a beautiful night – a constant reminder of Rob Guest’s legacy, and the importance of encouraging an industry to look out for its new and emerging artists.