Councillor Paul Bishop wins 2018 Matilda Award

REDLAND City councillor Paul Bishop has won a Matilda Award for his portrayal of a father faced with life after the death of his son and the breakdown of his marriage.

Cr Bishop won the Best Male Actor in a Leading Role category for Poison a production written by Dutch playwright Lot Vekemans.

Cr Bishop, a long-time cast member on the Australian police drama Blue Heelers, was elected as a councillor in 2012.

The Matilda Award judges said that Cr Bishop had brought the depth and breadth of his experience as one of Queensland's most experienced actors to the work and presented an intimately moving performance that captured the complexity of loss.

"With Paul's embodiment, the sticky details of this character's backstory open up to accommodate our own grief and heartaches," the judges said.

ON STAGE: Redland City councillor Paul Bishop on stage in Poison by Elise Greig. Photo: Barb Lowing

ON STAGE: Redland City councillor Paul Bishop on stage in Poison by Elise Greig. Photo: Barb Lowing

Attending the event at the Brisbane Powerhouse on Monday, Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch said the Matilda Awards were the highlight of Queensland's performing arts calendar.

She said the awards showcased the strength and diversity of talent in theatre across the state.

"The Palaszczuk government is proud to support the awards as part of our commitment to the arts, recognising the role the sector plays in supporting our cultural, social and economic development and in making creativity the key to a strong future for Queensland," Ms Enoch said.

More than 500 performers, artists and patrons of the arts attended the ceremony, described by Matilda Awards executive committee chairwoman Deb Wilks as a celebration of Queensland’s theatre industry.

"The calibre of nominees and winners was outstanding and a real testament to the quality, resilience and effervescence of the Queensland arts sector," Ms Wilks said.

"We are truly kicking goals in Queensland."

Minister Enoch said Queensland had a passionate and dedicated theatre community doing exceptional work to create and deliver world-class arts experiences, helping share Queensland’s unique stories and providing a thriving industry supporting employment opportunities throughout the state.

"These are the foundations we are looking to build upon as the government develops a 10-year Roadmap following last year's launch of the discussion paper Creating Queensland’s Future: 10-Year Roadmap for the arts, cultural and creative sector," Ms Enoch said.