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Kinnear Follows Olivier With Ian Charleson Award

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After winning his first Olivier last month (See News, 9 Mar 2008), actor Rory Kinnear (pictured at the Oliviers), son of Roy Kinnear, is celebrating again this month having scooped first prize in the 2007 Ian Charleson Awards.

Now in their 17th year, the annual Ian Charleson Awards are presented for outstanding performances by young actors (under the age of 30) in classical roles (defined as ones in plays written before 1904). The 2007 awards lunch took place last Friday 18 April 2008 at the National Theatre, which presents the awards each year with the Sunday Times in memory of the late Scottish actor Ian Charleson. The results are officially published in the newspaper this Sunday (27 April).

Kinnear received first prize for his performances in two National productions: the disaffected Pyotr in Gorky’s Philistines and the flamboyant Sir Fopling Flutter in Restoration comedy The Man of Mode. He was awarded this year’s Olivier for Best Supporting Performance in a Play for the latter alone. Kinnear is back at the NT this summer for another classic, starring as Vindice in Melly Still’s production of Thomas Middleton’s bloody Elizabethan drama The Revenger's Tragedy, which opens on 4 June (previews from 27 May) in the NT Olivier as part of the Travelex £10 Season (See News, 7 Apr 2008).

Second prize went to Michelle Dockery for her performance as Eliza Doolittle in Peter Hall’s Whatsonstage.com Award-winning production of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, which transfers to the Old Vic next month (See News, 2 Nov 2007). Third prize went to another of this year’s Olivier Award winners, Tom Hiddleston, for his role as Cassio in Othello at the Donmar Warehouse. Hiddleston was double-nominated in this year’s new Olivier category, Best Newcomer in a Play, for Othello and for Cheek by Jowl’s Cymbeline at the Barbican, but on that occasion won for the other Shakespeare.

At the Ian Charleson Awards, Edward Bennett won a Special Commendation from the judges for his roles in four productions: Nan, Diana of Dobson's (both at the Orange Tree), Pygmalion and the Donmar Othello. Sam Crane, Gabriel Fleary, Harry Hadden-Paton, Daniel Hawksford, John Heffernan, Richard Madden, Carey Mulligan, Pippa Nixon, Amy Noble, Claudia Renton, Dominic Tighe and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor all received commendations.

The Ian Charleson Awards commemorate the life of the actor, a veteran of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National who found fame on screen in Chariots of Fire and who died from AIDS in 1990 at the age of 40, having just played the title role in an NT production of Hamlet. Previous award winners include Mariah Gale, Lisa Dillon, Alexandra Gilbreath, Claudie Blakley, Dominic West, David Oyelowo, Emma Fielding, Lucy Whybrow, Rupert Penry-Jones, Toby Stephens and Tom Hollander.

- by Terri Paddock


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