He went on to announce his intention of launching his own “Smithy Awards”, with categories including Best Tantrum After a First Night, Fastest Roll-up by a Techie, Most Ludicrous Clapped-Out American TV Star to Appear in a Provincial Panto, The Steven Berkoff Award for Over-acting, and “the ever-popular” Least Promising Newcomer.
Smith also told an anecdote about holding a grudge against playwright Tom Stoppard, whose Rock 'n' Roll won two accolades, for Best Play and Best Actor for Rufus Sewell. He said: “About 15 years ago I saw Tom Stoppard in the National Theatre book shop, and I had just read an article he’d written that morning about smoking and I thought it was hilarious. I don’t normally do this but I went up to him and said ‘I thought that article was hilarious…’ and he wandered off and didn’t say anything. I held a grudge against him for about 15 years. And then I was at an opening of a play that his son, Ed Stoppard, was in a couple of years ago, and Tom Stoppard walked into the room. Except that this Tom Stoppard – the real Tom Stoppard - was a tall man.”
When director Trevor Nunn accepted the award for Best Play on behalf of Stoppard, he remarked “I wondered why Arthur came up to me that day in the National Theatre bookshop...!” Meanwhile, Rufus Sewell has come to the conclusion that the secret to good acting – for him, at least – is playing Czechoslovakian characters. He remarked that he won the 1992 award for Most Promising Newcomer at the Critics’ Circle Awards for James Saunders’ Making It Better, in which Sewell played a Czechoslovakian student, followed up this year by another Czechoslovakian character, Jan. Sewell joked he regretted not having had a chance to chat to Trevor Nunn before the director had to leave in a hurry for his RSC rehearsals about the two of them collaborating on “Wenceslas the Musical”
CRITICS’ CIRCLE WINNERS’ REMARKS
Others also had their say on presenting and receiving today’s Critics’ Circle Awards. Amongst them:
- by Caroline Ansdell