The first prize-giving of the awards season – ahead of the Critics’ Circle, the Laurence Olivier and Whatsonstage.com’s own Theatregoers’ Choice Awards, all of which are announced in the new year – the Evening Standard Awards are announced at the Savoy on 27 November 2007, with shortlists published in the paper next week.
The Standard Awards are decided by a panel of critics from the Mail on Sunday (Georgina Brown), Observer (Susannah Clapp), Times (Benedict Nightingale) and Daily Telegraph (Charles Spencer) as well as the Standard itself (Nicholas de Jongh). The longlist comprises every individual and production submitted by the judges as awards-worthy.
Nicholas de Jongh explained: “The whole notion of introducing the longlist is to draw attention to the very high quality which we regularly enjoy across the full gamut of theatre. There has been this past six months a considerable range of fine acting and directing. Often as many as four or five people could be worthy winners in the closest-run categories, such as best actor and actress … Everyone of the longlist deserves their moment of glory.”
Historically, the thinking of the Standard judges was much more of a mystery. Until 2001 when the newspaper began announcing the shortlists in advance of the awards presentation (See News, 6 Nov 2001), only the winners themselves were ever publicly revealed.
In previous years, the Standard awards ceremony was hosted by broadcaster, writer and director Ned Sherrin (pictured), who passed away last month at the age of 76 (See News, 2 Oct 2007). In Sherrin’s memory, the award for Best Musical has been renamed in his honour. This year’s 53rd annual Evening Standard Theatre Awards ceremony will be hosted by actor-director Richard Wilson, who has also compered the Laurence Olivier Awards for the past three years.
- by Terri Paddock
The full longlists of contenders in this year’s 53rd annual Evening Standard Theatre Awards, which covers openings up until the end of October 2007, are (in no particular order):
THE NED SHERRIN AWARD FOR BEST MUSICAL
THE SYDNEY EDWARDS AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR
THE CHARLES WINTOUR AWARD FOR MOST PROMISING PLAYWRIGHT
THE MILTON SHULMAN AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING NEWCOMER