Sheridan Smith, Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch are among the winners of the 2011 Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards, which were announced today (24 January 2012).

The National Theatre enjoyed big success with five awards, including Best New Play for Richard Bean’s One Man, Two Guvnors and Best Musical for London Road.

Mike Leigh picked up Best Director for Grief, which premiered in the NT Cottesloe in September, while Benedict Cumberbatch won Best Actor for Danny Boyle’s epic staging of Frankenstein in the Olivier.

Sheridan Smith repeated her success at the Evening Standard Awards by winning Best Actress for Flare Path.

Eddie Redmayne meanwhile picked up Best Shakespearean Performance for Richard II, which continues at the Donmar Warehouse until 4 February.

The lunchtime ceremony at the Prince of Wales Theatre was, as ever, an informal gathering of award recipients, drama critics, theatre practitioners and media. Comedian Arthur Smith was again on hand to introduce proceedings.

Several of today’s winners, including Smith and Cumberbatch, could add to their haul at the public-voted Whatsonstage.com Awards, the winners of which are announced at the Prince of Wales (in the main theatre) on 19 February. CLICK HERE TO VOTE NOW!

Check back for further coverage of today’s ceremony including photos and interviews with the winners


The full list of winners for the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards 2011 is as follows:

Best New Play: One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean at the NT Lyttelton

The Peter Hepple Award for Best Musical (new or revival) : London Road at the NT Cottesloe

Best Actor: Benedict Cumberbatch in Frankenstein at the NT Olivier

Best Actress: Sheridan Smith in Flare Path at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket

The John and Wendy Trewin Award for Best Shakespearean Performance: Eddie Redmayne in Richard II at the Donmar

Best Director: Mike Leigh for Grief at the NT Cottesloe

Best Designer: Mark Tildesley for Frankenstein at the NT Olivier

Most Promising Playwright: Tom Wells for The Kitchen Sink at the Bush

The Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer (other than a playwright): Blanche McIntyre for Accolade and Foxfinder at the Finborough


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