Dench, Boyle & Chakrabarti honoured at Evening Standard Awards
Dench was honoured with the Moscow Art Theatre’s Golden Seagull award for her contribution to world theatre, while Boyle was recognised for orchestrating the London 2012 Olympics Opening ceremony with the Beyond Theatre award, which was presented by gold medal-winning cyclist Victoria Pendleton.
Chakrabarti collected the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright for her first play, Red Velvet, while 29-year-old Nick Payne became the youngest ever winner of the Best Play award for Constellations.
Elsewhere, Nicholas Hytner won two awards – Best Director for Timon of Athens and the Lebedev Special Award for his dynamic directorship of the National Theatre. In a passionate speech he repeated his attack on arts funding cuts and in particular culture secretary Maria Miller. "There are 14 million people coming to London to buy theatre tickets every year - it is completely crazy to think we might do anything to undermine this," he said. "This isn't party politics, it's just common sense."
Hytner's regular collaborator Simon Russell Beale won Best Actor for his portrayal of Stalin in Collaborators, while the Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress went to Hattie Morahan for her acclaimed Nora in A Doll's House at the Young Vic, presented by Homeland star Damian Lewis.
And Sweeney Todd, which starred Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton, claimed Best Musical, presented by rapper and Sondheim fan Tinie Tempah. "The reality of doing Sweeney far exceeded the dream," said Ball.
The ceremony at the Savoy was presented by One Man, Two Guvnors star (and former Whatsonstage.com Awards host) James Corden and co-hosted by London Evening Standard chairman and owner Evgeny Lebedev, Burberry chief creative officer Christopher Bailey and American Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.
Sarah Sands, Editor of the London Evening Standard, said: "The Evening Standard winners show the extraordinary creative talent in London theatre. Big moral questions are being tackled with imagination and wit. The success of the Evening Standard depends on the greatness of this city and it was on glorious display at the Savoy."
Do you agree with the winners? Suggest your own nominations for the 2013 Whatsonstage.com Awards - the only major theatre prize to be decided entirely by the theatregoing public - at awards.whatsonstage.com
LONDON EVENING STANDARD 58TH THEATRE AWARDS 2012 - RESULTS:
Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress
Ned Sherrin Award for Best Musical
Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright
The Milton Shulman Award for Outstanding Newcomer
Lebedev special award - Nicholas Hytner - For his dynamic directorship of the National Theatre
Editor’s award - David Hare - For his contribution to theatre
Beyond theatre - Danny Boyle and his team - For the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics
Burberry award for emerging director - Simon Godwin
Moscow Art Theatre’s Golden Seagull - Judi Dench