Now in their 14th year, the annual Ian Charleson Awards are presented for outstanding performances by young actors (under the age of 30) in classical roles (defined as ones in plays written before 1904). The 2004 awards lunch took place on Friday 26 March 2004 at the National Theatre, which collaborates with The Sunday Times newspaper to present the awards each year.
This year’s second prize went to Louisa Clein for Trevor Nunn’s production of Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea at London’s Almeida Theatre. Third prize went to Eve Myles for the Royal Shakespeare Company productions of Titus Andronicus and The Taming of the Shrew, which transferred to the West End earlier this year.
Rebecca Hall, who won the award last year for Mrs Warren’s Profession, and Felicite du Jeu, were give special commendations for, respectively As You Like It (Peter Hall Company) and Henry V (National).
Additional commendations were for: Jamie Beamish in Two Gentlemen of Verona (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Kellie Bright in The Seagull (Manchester Royal Exchange), Nancy Carroll in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Sheffield Crucible), Rory Kinnear in The Taming of the Shrew (RSC), Emma Lowndes in The Seagull (Manchester Royal Exchange), Tobias Menzies in Three Sisters (Playhouse Theatre), Joseph Millsom in As You Like It (Peter Hall Company), Paul Ready in The Comedy of Errors (Bristol Old Vic) and Steven Robertson in The Seagull (Manchester Royal Exchange)
The Ian Charleson Award commemorates the life of the late actor, a veteran of the RSC and the National who found fame on screen in Chariots of Fire and who died from Aids in 1990 at the age of 40, having just played the title role in Hamlet at the National Theatre. Previous winners of the awards include Alexandra Gilbreath, Claudie Blakley, Dominic West, Emma Fielding, Lucy Whybrow, Rupert Penry-Jones, Toby Stephens and Tom Hollander.
- by Terri Paddock