Kiss Me Kate & Medea Top Evening Standard WinnersDate: 26 November 2001
Kiss Me Kate was named Best Musical in the Evening Standard Drama Awards, presented today in a lunchtime ceremony at the Savoy Theatre. It is the only award out of the ten presented that went to a production that is still running, though Prunella Scales - who took the Patricia Rothermere Award in recognition for her lifetime contribution to London's theatre - is currently also appearing in the revival of Peter Nichols' A Day in the Death of Joe Egg.
Deborah Warner's production of Medea, seen at the start of the year at the Queen's Theatre with Fiona Shaw in the title role, took awards for both Warner's direction and Shaw as Best Actress. It is the second time Warner has won the Best Director award.
Alex Jennings was named Best Actor for his roles in The Winter's Tale and The Relapse, both seen at the National's Olivier Theatre. Also briefly seen at the National, Robert Lepage's one-man play that he himself starred in at the Lyttelton, The Far Side of the Moon, was named Best Play.
Alistair Beaton's political satire Feelgood, premiered at Hampstead Theatre before transferring to the West End's Garrick Theatre, was named Best Comedy. And Paul Brown was named Best Stage Designer for his work on the Almeida's productions of The Tempest (in the final production at its Islington home before the theatre was closed for refurbishment) and Platonov (seen at the Almeida's current temporary home at King's Cross).
Rufus Norris was named Outstanding Newcomer for his staging of Afore Night Come at the Young Vic, and Roy Williams won the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright, including a cheque for £30,000, for Clubland, premiered at the Royal Court.
Finally, a 19-year-old Oxford-based drama student, Cassandre Joseph, won the other half of the Patricia Rothermere Award, which pays for her drama school tuition fees.
The judging panel for the Evening Standard Drama Awards, now in their 46th year, was chaired by Evening Standard editor Max Hastings and comprised theatre critics Nicholas de Jongh (Evening Standard), Georgina Brown (Mail on Sunday), Benedict Nightingale (The Times), Susannah Clapp (The Observer), Paul Taylor (The Independent) and Jane Edwardes (Time Out).
ITV Carlton will televise an edited version of the ceremony, hosted by comedian Rory Bremner, at 11.30pm on 27 November. The Awards season will continue in the New Year with the Critics' Circle Awards, the Laurence Olivier Awards, and Whatsonstage.com's own awards, in which theatregoers en masse will be invited to cast their votes.