Theatre News

Chimerica and Scottsboro Boys triumph at 25th Critics' Circle Awards

Other winners included Rory Kinnear, who won Best Actor and Most Promising Playwright

Chimerica writer Lucy Kirkwood with director Lyndsey Turner at the Critics' Circle Awards
Chimerica writer Lucy Kirkwood with designer Es Devlin at the Critics' Circle Awards
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Winners of the 25th Critics' Circle Awards were announced today, with Lucy Kirkwood's acclaimed play Chimerica, centring on a journalist who attempts to track down the Tiananmen Square 'tank man', winning three awards including Best New Play.

The Young Vic's recent staging of Kander and Ebb's The Scottsboro Boys won Best Musical, while Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Rory Kinnear shared the Most Promising Playwright prize for Fleabag and The Herd respectively.

Kinnear also picked up Best Shakespearean performance for his role as Iago opposite Adrian Lester's Othello at the National.

Elsewhere in the performance categories, Lenny Henry was named Best Actor for his portrayal of Troy Maxson in the Theatre Royal Bath's revival of August Wilson's Fences, while Lesley Manville picked up Best Actress for Ghosts at the Almeida Theatre, which is currently running at Trafalgar Studios.

It was a fruitful day for the Almeida, where artistic director Michael Attenborough recently handed over the reins to Headlong's Rupert Goold. It was Headlong that co-produced Chimerica, which also won awards for director Lyndsey Turner and designer Es Devlin.

And actress Kate O’Flynn won Most Promising Newcomer [other than a playwright] for the National's revival of Simon Stephens' Port.

Mark Shenton, chair of the Drama Section of the Critics' Circle, said: "Against all the odds, there's simply more theatre being produced than ever before, which means critics play an important role as guides and challengers to audiences for what to see. These awards confirm just how vital and alive the theatre is. Here's to the next 25 years."

Click here for photos and winners' quotes from today's ceremony

Full winners of the 25th Critics' Circle Awards

Most Promising Playwright:
Phoebe Waller-Bridge for Fleabag (Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Soho Theatre)
& Rory Kinnear for The Herd (awarded jointly)

The Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer [other than a playwright]:
Kate O’Flynn in Port (NT Lyttelton)

Best Designer:
Es Devlin for Chimerica (Almeida and Harold Pinter Theatre)

Rory Kinnear opposite Adrian Lester in Othello
Rory Kinnear and Adrian Lester in Othello
© Johann Persson

Best Director:
Lyndsey Turner for Chimerica (Almeida and Harold Pinter Theatre)

The John and Wendy Trewin Award for Best Shakespearean Performance:
Rory Kinnear in Othello (NT Olivier)

Best Actress:
Lesley Manville in Ghosts (Almeida and Trafalgar Studios)

Best Actor:
Lenny Henry in Fences (Theatre Royal Bath, tour and Duchess Theatre)

The Peter Hepple Award for Best Musical [new or revival]:
The Scottsboro Boys (Young Vic)

Best New Play:
Chimerica by Lucy Kirkwood (Almeida and Harold Pinter Theatre)

Agree or disagree with the critics? Voting is open until Friday for the 2014 WhatsOnStage Awards.