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Frankensteins Share Best Actor in Standard Awards, Smith Wins with Flare

By • West End
Having shared the roles of the scientist and his creature in Frankenstein, Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch now share the accolade of Best Actor for their performances in this year’s Evening Standard Theatre Awards, announced tonight (20 November 2011) in a black-tie ceremony held at London’s Savoy Hotel.

Miller and Cumberbatch, who’d been shortlisted separately, beat off competition from Charles Edwards for the Globe’s Much Ado About Nothing and Bertie Carvel for his musical role in the RSC’s Matilda, just transferred to the West End this month.

Best Actor was one of two joint awards presented tonight. Playwright Richard Bean shared the Best Play prize with himself – being recognised for both his climate change piece The Heretic at the Royal Court, and his 1960s-set adaptation of Goldoni farce One Man, Two Guvnors, which premiered at the National and opens this week at the West End’s Adelphi Theatre ahead of a Broadway transfer next year.

Meanwhile, Sheridan Smith, who was nominated for Best Actress last year for Legally Blonde, which won her Best Actress in a Musical honours at both the Whatsonstage.com and Olivier Awards, this year scooped the same prize for her performance as a nearly-widowed countess in Trevor Nunn’s revival of Rattigan’s Flare Path at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Last week she was given Equity’s Clarence Derwent Award, designed to honour supporting roles, for the same performance.

Smith triumphed over competitors including Kristin Scott Thomas, who returned to the West End this year’s in Harold Pinter’s Betrayal. But the judges wouldn’t let Scott Thomas go home empty-handed either, presenting her with the non-shortlisted Lebedev Special Award.

Other big winners tonight included: Mike Leigh, named Best Director for helming the world premiere of his new play Grief at the National; Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda for the RSC, named Best Musical; and actor Kyle Soller, named Outstanding Newcomer for his performances in The Glass Menagerie and Government Inspector at the Young Vic and The Faith Machine at the Royal Court.

The Court’s third award of the night was for Most Promising Playwright, which went to Penelope Skinner for The Village Bike, premiered in the Royal Court Upstairs. The Most Promising Playwright prize, named in memory of former Standard editor Charles Wintour, carries a £3,000 cheque for the winner, and £1,000 cheques for the other shortlisted authors.

The Evening Standard this year presented three special, non-shortlisted prizes: to outgoing Donmar Warehouse artistic director Michael Grandage, playwright Tom Stoppard and, in a new “Beyond Theatre” field, the Pet Shop Boys ballet The Most Incredible Thing.

The 57th annual Evening Standard Theatre Awards ceremony was a black-tie dinner held at the Savoy Hotel, hosted by Dame Edna Everage (aka Australian comedian Barry Humphries, with presenters including Miranda Hart, Karen Gillan, Anna Chancellor, Dan Stevens, Gemma Arterton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Stephen Fry, Sam Taylor Wood and Romola Garai, and other celebrity guests such as Tom Hollander, Ruby Wax, Erin O’Connor and Alexandra Shulman, editor ofVogue, which sponsored this year’s awards.

The Evening Standard Awards are the first in the annual awards season. They’re followed by our own Whatsonstage.com Awards, the “theatregoers’ choice”, for which shortlists are announced at our launch party next Friday 2 December 2011 following theatregoer nominations throughout November, the Critics’ Circle and the Laurence Olivier Awards.

** TO NOMINATE YOUR FAVOURITES IN THE WHATSONSTAGE.COM AWARDS – NOMINATIONS CLOSE WEDNESDAY 30 NOVEMBER – CLICK HERE! **

The full shortlists in this year’s 57th annual Evening Standard Theatre Awards, which covers openings to the end of October 2010, are below with winners denoted in red bold:

BEST ACTOR

  • Bertie Carvel - Matilda the Musical (RSC Stratford & Cambridge Theatre)
  • Benedict Cumberbatch - Frankenstein (NT Olivier)
  • Jonny Lee Miller - Frankenstein (NT Olivier)
  • Charles Edwards - Much Ado About Nothing (Globe)
  • BEST ACTRESS

  • Sheridan Smith - Flare Path (Theatre Royal Haymarket)
  • Samantha Spiro - Chicken Soup with Barley (Royal Court)
  • Kristin Scott Thomas - Betrayal (Comedy)
  • BEST PLAY

  • The Heretic (Royal Court) – Richard Bean
  • One Man, Two Guvnors (NT Lyttelton) – Richard Bean
  • Becky Shaw (Almeida) – Gina Gionfriddo
  • Tribes (Royal Court) – Nina Raine
  • THE NED SHERRIN AWARD FOR BEST MUSICAL

  • Betty Blue Eyes – Novello
  • London Road – NT Cottesloe
  • Matilda – RSC Stratford & Cambridge Theatre
  • BEST DIRECTOR

  • Rob Ashford - Anna Christie (Donmar)
  • Dominic Cooke - Chicken Soup with Barley (Royal Court)
  • Edward Hall - Richard III & The Comedy of Errors (Propeller at Hampstead Theatre)
  • Mike Leigh - Grief (NT Cottesloe)
  • BEST DESIGN

  • Bunny Christie - Men Should Weep (NT Lyttelton)
  • Lizzie Clachan - Wastwater (Royal Court)
  • Adam Cork - Sound Designer, Anna Christie & King Lear (Donmar)
  • Mark Tildesley - Frankenstein (NT Olivier)

    THE CHARLES WINTOUR AWARD FOR MOST PROMISING PLAYWRIGHT

  • Ev Crowe - Kin (Royal Court)
  • Vivienne Franzmann - Mogadishu (Lyric Hammersmith)
  • Penelope Skinner - The Village Bike (Royal Court)
  • THE MILTON SHULMAN AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING NEWCOMER

    N.B. This category is open not only to actors but also to creatives such as directors. No previously longlisted individual is eligible for consideration.

  • Phoebe Fox for her performances in As You Like It (Rose Kingston), The Acid Test (Royal Court) & There is a War (NT Paintframe)
  • Malachi Kirby for his performance in Mogadishu (Lyric Hammersmith)
  • Kyle Soller for his performances in The Glass Menagerie & Government Inspector (Young Vic) & The Faith Machine (Royal Court)
  • David Wilson Barnes for his performance in Becky Shaw (Almeida)
  • The following prizes were not shortlisted but announced on the night.

    Editor’s Award
    Michael Grandage for making the Donmar Warehouse a star

    Beyond Theatre award
    The Most Incredible Thing - Pet Shop Boys and Javier de Frutos at Sadler’s Wells

    The Lebedev Special Award
    Kristin Scott Thomas for her contribution to theatre

    The Moscow Art Theatre’s Golden Seagull
    Tom Stoppard for his contribution to Russian theatre and the international stage

    Best Night Out Award
    Wicked (Apollo Victoria)


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