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The Independent Culture
This year's Martini / TMA Regional Theatre Awards seem to have forgotten their purpose: to provide national recognition for seldom-awarded work that plays outside the capital.

Many awards go to long-term touring productions (Juno and the Paycock, Anna Karenina) rather than regional reps. Some went to pre- London tryouts (Lost In Yonkers) or post-London spin-offs (Me and My Girl, Mr A's Amazing Maze Plays). Josette Bushell-Mingo won Best Actress for From the Mississippi Delta at Contact Theatre, a co-production which began at London's Cochrane; David Glass won Best Director for Gormenghast, a revival of a tour that began at London's BAC. More solidly regional awards went to the Royal, Northampton (Most Welcoming Theatre), and to the directorial trinity at the Glasgow Citizens', Giles Havergal, Robert David Macdonald and Philip Prowse, for Outstanding Contribution to Theatrical Life.

That 75-minute rave, Harold Pinter's Moonlight, transfers after its sell-out run at the Almeida, London, to the Comedy Theatre on 2 November. Good news for Pinter fans and a further backslap for the much-transferred Almeida. Bad news for the splendid Aids-influenced American tragicomedy Marvin's Room, which closes there this Saturday.

Meanwhile City of Angels, the West End's most intelligent musical, which rallied several times after a closure notice earlier this year, gives up the ghost on 13 November, and Peter Hall's production of Rattigan's Separate Tables is also due to close before Christmas.

The Independent Theatre Council has launched a Venues' Management Advisory Service, offering free legal advice, discounts on short courses, a national and regional venues network and an information hotline on such things as financial management. If you're an ITC member you probably already know this; those who don't should write to ITC at 4 Baden Place, Crosby Row, London SE1 1YW.

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