Critics Circle Vets Standard Award WinnersDate: 4 February 1999
This winners of this year's Critics Circle Awards, announced yesterday, closely matched the results of the Evening Standard Theatre Awards, held in November. Theatre watchers are now wondering if the critical favourites will achieve a hat-trick with the Laurence Olivier Awards, announced next Friday, 12 February, in which both critics and ordinary theatre-goers decide on the winners.
The Critics Circle, founded in 1913, is comprised entirely of critics from newspapers and other leading publications. In most categories, the critics were overwhelmingly united, if not unanimous, in their choices.
Voting for Best New Play and Best Musical produced runaway winners in National Theatre hits Copenhagen, Michael Frayn's dramatisation of a World War II meeting between nuclear physicists which has now transferred to the West End's Duchess Theatre, and Trevor Nunn's production of Oscar and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! which has now transferred to the Lyceum.
Kevin Spacey was also a strong winner in the Best Actor award for his role in Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh at the Almeida and Old Vic Theatres, as was Sinead Cusack for her role as a bed-ridden alcoholic in Sebastian Barry's Our Lady of Sligo at the National's Cottesloe Theatre.
Howard Davies again won for Best Director for The Iceman Cometh and for Mikhail Bulgakov's Flight at the National. And Richard Hoover again won Best Designer for his design of Tennessee Williams' Not About Nightingales at the National's Cottesloe. He shared the award with Phelim McDermott, Julian Crouch and Graeme Gilmour for the touring production of Shockheaded Peter.
In a departure from the Evening Standard's winners list, the Most Promising Playwright Award went to Rebecca Pritchard for Yard Gal at the Royal Court Theatre, and Most Promising Newcomer went to Mick Gordon, the new director of the London fringe Gate Theatre.
This is the tenth year of the London Theatre Critics' Awards for plays presented in London during 1998. The event is sponsored, for the sixth year, by The Stage newspaper.