The Donmar Warehouse contingency was out in full force at today’s Evening Standard Theatre Awards, where the theatre dominated with four big wins at a star-studded lunchtime ceremony hosted by Richard Wilson at the Royal Opera House (See Today’s Other News for full results).

In addition to winners Penelope Wilton, Margaret Tyzack and Michael Grandage, other Donmar attendees included Kenneth Branagh and Kevin McNally from Ivanov, Elena Roger (now transferred to the West End in Piaf, Samuel West (about to open in The Family Reunion), Owen Teale and Anna Chancellor (just seen in Creditors), associate director Douglas Hodge, and last but not least, Derek Jacobi and Jude Law, who will star in the upcoming Donmar West End productions of Twelfth Night and Hamlet respectively.

Amongst the other winners, nominees, presenters and guests adding star power to the event were: David Tennant, Ray Davies, David Calder, Gawn Grainger, Kate Fleetwood, Josh Hartnett, Laura Wade, Eddie Redmayne, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Nicolas Kent, Tim Pigott-Smith, Felicity Kendal, Michael Rudman, Ruthie Henshall, Kenneth Cranham, Alex Jennings, Maureen Lipman, Arabella Weir Sadie Frost, Michael Frayn, Michael Blakemore, Polly Stenham, Claire Bloom, Benedict Cumberbatch, Charles Dance, Maria Friedman, Iain Glen, Clare Higgins, Nicholas Hytner, Adrian Lester, Lesley Sharp, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cameron Mackintosh and Lia Williams.

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The Donmar’s four wins were: Best Actor for Othello’s Chiwetel Ejiofor (pictured), jointly awarded Best Actress trophies to The Chalk Garden’s leading ladies Penelope Wilton and Margaret Tyzack and Best Director for artistic director Michael Grandage in recognition of Othello, The Chalk Garden and Ivanov, the first offering in the Donmar West End season at Wyndham’s Theatre.

The Donmar’s closest rival in the theatrical tally is the Young Vic, which scooped Best Musical for Kurt Weill’s Street Scene and Most Promising Playwright for American Tarell Alvin McCraney, the author of In the Red and Brown Water and The Brothers Size.

Evening Standard drama critic Nicholas de Jongh commented today: \"In my 17 years on the judges\' panel, I cannot recall many occasions when there was a more exciting and diverse collection of candidates in most of the categories. And I think our choices reflect the fact that, even though the West End remains far too short of plays and too full of musicals, the London theatre now offers a tremendous variety of choices for the theatregoers.\"

- by Terri Paddock