The latest honour - which follows immediately after Humble Boy yesterday secured the Whatsonstage.com Award for Best New Play, as decided by more than 8,000 theatregoers - coincides with the West End transfer of the play, which re-opens at the Gielgud Theatre tonight following its sell-out run at the NT Cottesloe.
Opinions were also united with regards to this year's Best Musical winner, Michael Blakemore's Broadway revival of Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate, which yesterday was named Best Musical Revival by Whatsonstage.com voters. The production, still playing at the Victoria Palace theatre where it opened in October 2001, earlier won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Musical.
The Critics' Circle and Evening Standard Awards shared their choice of Best Set Designer too - Paul Brown for his work on the Almeida's production of Platonov. Brown won the Critics Circle design award last year as well, then for three of the Almeida’s Shakespeare productions, The Tempest, Richard II and The Tempest.
Elsewhere, there was little consensus across the three different awards bodies as to which performers and productions from the 2001 theatre year deserved to be singled out for what.
The Critics' Circle named Ian McDiarmid Best Actor for his role in the Almeida revival of Brian Friel's Faith Healer, while Lindsay Duncan scooped the Best Actress award for two productions - the Royal Court's Mouth to Mouth, which later transferred to the Albery, and Private Lives, playing at the Albery now. The actress was similarly nominated in the Whatsonstage.com Awards, although she lost out to Victoria Hamilton for her role in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg. At the Evening Standard Awards, the honour went to Fiona Shaw for her title role in Medea.
This is the 13th year of the Critics' Circle Drama Section's Theatre Awards. The Circle is a professional organisation established in 1913 for those making a living out of criticism.
The full list of winners from this year's Critics' Circle Awards is as follows:
BEST NEW PLAY - Charlotte Jones' Humble Boy
BEST MUSICAL - Kiss Me Kate
BEST ACTOR - Ian McDiarmid for Faith Healer
BEST SHAKESPEAREAN PERFORMANCE - Samuel West for Hamlet
BEST DIRECTOR - Robert Lepage for The Far Side of the Moon
BEST DESIGNER - Paul Brown for Platonov
MOST PROMISING PLAYWRIGHT - Gregory Burke for Gagarin Way
- by Terri Paddock