Kristin Scott Thomas (pictured) ran a close race with Death of a Salesman’s Clare Higgins in this year’s Theatregoers’ Choice Awards but eventually stole the lead to win Best Actress for her enigmatic performance in Jonathan Kent’s revival of As You Desire Me (See News, 31 Jan 2006).

This is the second time that Scott Thomas has taken home the Best Actress trophy. She won her first two years ago for her West End debut in Three Sisters, which also ran at the Playhouse Theatre.

In accepting this year’s award, she told “Winning it full stop – let alone twice – is great. I love that it’s the people who come to see the show that are voting. It’s very encouraging, it’s like extra applause.”

She continued: “The first time (I won) was extraordinary because I’d never been on stage in London and so it was a wonderful endorsement. I’m really drawn to the London stage. There’s such a buzz about the theatre district here. I’m going to have a rest for awhile but hope to be back soon.”

Meanwhile, Anthony Head was amazed to learn that not only had he won Best Supporting Actor, for his performance as Richard E Grant’s drunken friend in the revival of Simon Gray’s Otherwise Engaged, but that he’d done so with 29% of the overall vote in his field of six.

“Blow me sideways!” exclaimed Head. “I’ve never won anything before – well not since I was named Most Promising Actor in a local am-dram competition.”

He also told Whatsonstagecom when collecting his Theatregoers’ Choice prize: “It’s very nice to have this award, especially since it’s the people who see the show who decide. Your awards are a great idea. The more there is out there to encourage people to be hands-on with theatre is good. I love the idea that people can have their opinions heard. Thanks to everyone who voted for me.”

Anthony Head accepts his Best Supporting Actor award

Two-time Best Actress winner Kristin Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas with editor Terri Paddock

To view the full list of winners & nominees & voting percentages, click here. And look out for more awards presentations over the coming days & weeks.