The Donmar Warehouse has come up trumps in this year’s Evening Standard Theatre Awards. At today’s ceremony for the 51st annual awards, hosted by broadcaster Ned Sherrin at the Savoy Hotel, the Donmar with three key wins.

They are: Best Actor for Simon Russell Beale in The Philanthropist, Best Actress for Harriet Walter in Schiller’s Mary Stuart (now transferred to the Apollo Theatre) and Best Director for artistic director Michael Grandage, who won jointly for his Donmar staging of the musical Grand Hotel and his Sheffield Crucible production of another Schiller thriller, Don Carlos, which starred Derek Jacobi and Richard Coyle and also had a sell-out season in the West End.

Billy Elliot was named Best Musical and Brian Friel’s The Home Place scooped Best Play. Unusually, a venue – the Menier Chocolate Factory, fresh from its Empty Space win – rather than an individual nabbed the prize for Outstanding Newcomer. Other awards went to Bob Crowley, Best Designer for Mary Poppins, and Nell Leyshon, who scooped the Charles Wintour Award For New Playwriting and a £30,000 cheque, for her play Comfort Me With Apples at Hampstead Theatre.

In addition to various winners and nominees, theatre luminaries at today’s event included Elton John, Gillian Anderson, Joseph Fiennes, Sinead Cusack, Felicity Kendal, Arnold Wesker, John Hurt, Stephen Daldry, Alan Rickman, Nicholas Hytner, Michael Frayn, Fiona Shaw, Brenda Blethyn, Peter Hall, Diana Quick, Jonathan Pryce, Prunella Scales, Timothy West, Rupert Graves, Alison Steadman and Patrick Stewart.

- by Terri Paddock

The full list of Evening Standard nominations - with winners in bold - is as follows:

BEST PLAY - Two Thousand Years by Mike Leigh, Bloody Sunday by Richard Norton-Taylor, Harvest by Richard Bean and The Home Place by Brian Friel.

BEST ACTOR - Brian Dennehy for Death of a Salesman, Derek Jacobi for Don Carlos, Simon Russell Beale for The Philanthropist.

BEST ACTRESS - Eve Best for Hedda Gabler, Clare Higgins for Death of a Salesman, Kristin Scott Thomas for As You Desire Me, Harriet Walter for Mary Stuart.

BEST DIRECTOR - Richard Eyre for Hedda Gabler and Mary Poppins, Michael Grandage for Don Carlos and Grand Hotel, Jonathan Kent for As You Desire Me.

BEST DESIGNER - Paul Brown for As You Desire Me, Bob Crowley for Mary Poppins, Christopher Oram and Paule Constable for Don Carlos.

BEST MUSICAL - The Big Life, Billy Elliot, Mary Poppins.

OUTSTANDING NEWCOMER - Daniel Kramer (director) for Hair and Woyzeck at the Gate, the Menier Chocolate Factory (co-directors David Babani and Danielle Tarento) and Ben Silverstone (actor) for Man and Boy.

CHARLES WINTOUR AWARD FOR NEW PLAYWRITING - Ryan Craig for What We Did to Weinstein, Nell Leyshon for Comfort Me with Apples, Simon Mendes da Costa for Losing Louis.