Sir Tom Stoppard presented the first Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright to Gary Mitchell at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards at a lunchtime ceremony at the Savoy on Monday 27 Nov. His play The Force of Change at the Royal Court tackles the stresses and issues facing the officers of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. Ben Elton, who hosted the presentations was obliged to watch as Matthew Bourne s The Car Man at Old Vic won Best Musical Event for Adventures in Motion Pictures, ahead of his own production The Beautiful Game. The Royal National Theatre, which has had an unsettling Autumn picked up five awards: Best Actor - Simon Russell Beale for Hamlet at the Lyttelton; Best Actress - Paola Dionisotti for Further Than the Furthest Thing in the Cottesloe; Best Play - Joe Penhall for Blue/Orange in the Cottesloe; Outstanding Newcomer - Chiwitel Ejiofor for Blue/Orange in the Cottesloe; and Best Designer - Bunny Christie for Baby Doll first at Birmingham Rep and then the Lyttelton. Michael Grandage was named Best Director for As You Like It at the Lyric, Hammersmith and Passion Play at the Donmar Warehouse, with Ambassadors Theatre Group deservedly receiving reward for a creative year by picking up Best Comedy for Stones in His Pockets by Marie Jones at the Duke of York's.