The 61st Evening Standard Theatre Awards took place in a star-studded ceremony at the Old Vic yesterday evening, Sunday 22nd November, with Nicole Kidman, James McAvoy, Imelda Staunton and Vanessa Redgrave among the big winners of the night.
The event was attended by a glittering assortment of high profile celebrities and some of the most prestigious names in the theatre industry, including Shirley Bassey, Ralph Fiennes, Pixie Lott, Lindsay Lohan, Anna Wintour, Adrian Lester, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Simon Russell Beale, Kate Beckinsale, Richard E. Grant, Zoe Wanamaker, Rufus Norris, Penelope Wilton, Ruth Wilson, Dominic West, and many more. This year’s Awards was co-hosted by the Evening Standard’s owner Evgeny Lebedev with acting legends Dame Judi Dench and Ian McKellan, and presented by Rob Brydon.
Australian actress Nicole Kidman, who was there with husband Keith Uraban, won the Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress for her performance in Photograph 51 at the Noel Coward Theatre. Her role as scientist Rosalind Franklin in the play marked her return to the London stage seventeen years after she appeared there, and was an experience she described as a ‘privilege’ during her acceptance speech as she thanked director Michael Grandage for making it happen.
James McAvoy won the Best Actor award for his performance in The Ruling Class at Trafalgar Studios, which was presented to him by Gillian Anderson.
It was no surprise that Imelda Staunton took home the award for Best Musical Performance for Gypsy, receiving thunderous applause as she went on stage to collect the award from Dame Shirley Bassey. She later brought the house down with a live performance of ‘Everything’s Coming Up Roses’ from the musical, which earned her a standing ovation from the audience.
Vanessa Redgrave also received a standing ovation as she was honoured with the Editor’s Award, in partnership with The Ivy, by Ralph Fiennes and daughter Joely Richardson. Co-hosts Ian McKellan and Judi Dench presented Stephen Sondheim with the Lebedev Award, while the Beyond Theatre Award went to the V&A exhibition Alexander McQueen, Savage Beauty.
Other highlights of the night include Gemma Arterton winning the Newcomer in a Musical Award for her musical theatre debut as Rita O’Grady in Made in Dagenham at the Adelphi Theatre, David Moorst winning the Emerging Talent Award, in partnership with Burberry for his role in Violence and Son at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, and director Robert Icke receiving his first ever Evening Standard Award for Oresteia.
The Evening Standard Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical, which is voted for by the public, went to the West End transfer of Kinky Boots and was accepted by the show’s three stars: Killian Donnelly, Matt Henry and Amy Lennox. Stephen Adly Guirgis’ The Motherf**ker with the Hat took home the Best Play Award.
It was a good night for the Royal Court theatre too, which left with the most awards for a single venue after winning in three categories, including Best Design for Anna Fleischle’s work in the world premiere of Hangmen, which transfers to the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre later this month.
The full results from the 61st Evening Standard Theatre Awards are listed below:
(Winners are in shown in bold)
• Simon Russell Beale, Temple, Donmar Warehouse
• Kenneth Cranham, The Father, Ustinov Bath, Tricycle & Wyndham’s Theatre
• Ralph Fiennes, Man and Superman, National Theatre’s Lyttelton
• James McAvoy, The Ruling Class, Trafalgar Studios
Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress:
• Denise Gough, People, Places and Things, National Theatre’s Dorfman
• Nicole Kidman, Photograph 51, Noel Coward Theatre
• Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nell Gwynn, Shakespeare’s Globe
• Lia Williams, Oresteia, Almeida Theatre & Trafalgar Studios
• The Motherf**ker with the Hat (Stephen Adly Guirgis), National Theatre’s Lyttelton
• Hangmen (Martin McDonagh) Royal Court
• The Father (Florian Zeller, translated by Christopher Hampton) Ustinov Bath, Tricycle & Wyndham’s Theatre
Milton Shulman Award for Best Director:
• Robert Icke, Oresteia, Almeida Theatre & Trafalgar Studios
• Jamie Lloyd, Assassins, Menier Chocolate Factory
• Indhu Rubasingham, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, National Theatre’s Lyttelton
• Anna Fleischle, Hangmen, Royal Court
• Tim Hatley, Temple, Donmar Warehouse
• Robert Jones, City of Angels, Donmar Warehouse
Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright:
• Molly Davies, God Bless the Child, Royal Court Upstairs
• Alistair McDowall, Pomona, Orange Tree Theatre & National Theatre’s Temporary Space
• Diana Nneka Atuona, Liberian Girl, Royal Court Upstairs (Peckham & Tottenham pop up venues)
Emerging Talent Award in Partnership with Burberry:
• Calvin Demba, The Red Lion, National Theatre’s Dorfman
• Patsy Ferran, Treasure Island, National Theatre’s Olivier
• David Moorst, Violence and Son, Royal Court Upstairs
Best Musical Performance:
• Katie Brayben, Beautiful, Aldwych Theatre
• Rosalie Craig, City of Angels, Donmar Warehouse
• Killian Donnelly, Kinky Boots, Adelphi Theatre
• Imelda Staunton, Gypsy, Savoy Theatre
Newcomer in a Musical:
• Gemma Arterton, Made in Dagenham, Adelphi Theatre
• Ellie Bamber, High Society, Old Vic
• Natalie Dew, Bend It Like Beckham, Phoenix Theatre
Evening Standard Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical (voted for by the public):
• Assassins, Menier Chocolate Factory
• Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Aldwych Theatre
• Bend It Like Beckham, Phoenix Theatre
• Gypsy, Savoy Theatre
• Kinky Boots, Adelphi Theatre
Beyond Theatre – Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
Editor’s Award – Vanessa Redgrave
Lebedev Award – Stephen Sondheim