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Nicole Kidman wins Evening Standard Award for best actress

The Australian star won the best actress award while James McAvoy took home best actor

Nicole Kidman
© Dan Wooller

Nicole Kidman has won the Evening Standard Award for best actress for her role in Photograph 51.

After 17 years away from the London stage the Australian actress returned this year to star as Rosalind Franklin, the scientist who helped discover DNA. In a ceremony at the Old Vic this evening, Kidman was presented her award alongside the top of the UK and London's theatre world.

Before the ceremony, Kidman credited her decision to take the role to Michael Grandage, she said: "He believed in me, he said ‘You could do this and you should do this'. I jumped in without realising what I was taking on. Half way through rehearsals I was struck by terrible stage fright and I managed to navigate that. So to be standing here today is extraordinary."

James McAvoy won the award for best actor for his role in The Ruling Class, directed by Jamie Lloyd, while Imelda Staunton won the award for best musical performance for her turn in Gypsy.

The Royal Court Theatre was the venue with most wins of the night, taking home awards in three categories –most promising playwright (Molly Davies for God Bless the Child); emerging talent (David Moorst for Violence and Son) and best design (Anna Fleischle for Hangmen).

Best play went to Stephen Adly Guirgis's The Motherf**ker with the Hat at the National Theatre, while Robert Icke won best director for his radical take on Oresteia.

Gemma Arterton won best newcomer in a musical for her role in Made In Dagenham, while the Radio 2 award for best musical – voted for by the public - went to Kinky Boots.

Legendary lyricist Stephen Sondheim was awarded the Lebedev award, whilst Vanessa Redgrave won the Editor's Award.

Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2015

We were on the red carpet at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards, check out some of the highlights...

Posted by WhatsOnStage on Monday, November 23, 2015

The full list of winners is as follows.

Best Actor:
Simon Russell Beale, Temple, Donmar Warehouse
Kenneth Cranham, The Father, Ustinov Bath, Tricycle & Wyndham's Theatre
Ralph Fiennes, Man and Superman, National Theatre's Lyttelton
James McAvoy, The Ruling Class, Trafalgar Studios WINNER

Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress:

Denise Gough, People, Places and Things, National Theatre's Dorfman
Nicole Kidman, Photograph 51, Noel Coward Theatre WINNER
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nell Gwynn, Shakespeare's Globe
Lia Williams, Oresteia, Almeida Theatre & Trafalgar Studios

Best Play:

The Motherf**ker with the Hat (Stephen Adly Guirgis), National Theatre's Lyttelton WINNER
Hangmen (Martin McDonagh) Royal Court
The Father (Florian Zeller, translated by Christopher Hampton) Ustinov Bath, Tricycle & Wyndham's Theatre

Milton Shulman Award for Best Director:

Robert Icke, Oresteia, Almeida Theatre & Trafalgar Studios WINNER
Jamie Lloyd, Assassins, Menier Chocolate Factory
Indhu Rubasingham, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, National Theatre's Lyttelton

Best Design:

Anna Fleischle, Hangmen, Royal Court WINNER
Tim Hatley, Temple, Donmar Warehouse
Robert Jones, City of Angels, Donmar Warehouse

Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright:

Molly Davies, God Bless the Child, Royal Court Upstairs WINNER
Alistair McDowall, Pomona, Orange Tree Theatre & National Theatre's Temporary Space
Diana Nneka Atuona, Liberian Girl, Royal Court Upstairs (Peckham & Tottenham pop up venues)

Emerging Talent Award in Partnership with Burberry:

Calvin Demba, The Red Lion, National Theatre's Dorfman
Patsy Ferran, Treasure Island, National Theatre's Olivier
David Moorst, Violence and Son, Royal Court Upstairs WINNER

Best Musical Performance:

Katie Brayben, Beautiful, Aldwych Theatre
Rosalie Craig, City of Angels, Donmar Warehouse
Killian Donnelly, Kinky Boots, Adelphi Theatre
Imelda Staunton, Gypsy, Savoy Theatre WINNER

Newcomer in a Musical:

Gemma Arterton, Made in Dagenham, Adelphi Theatre WINNER
Ellie Bamber, High Society, Old Vic
Natalie Dew, Bend It Like Beckham, Phoenix Theatre

Evening Standard Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical (voted for by the public):

Assassins, Menier Chocolate Factory
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Aldwych Theatre
Bend It Like Beckham, Phoenix Theatre
Gypsy, Savoy Theatre
Kinky Boots, Adelphi Theatre WINNER

Beyond Theatre – Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
Editor's Award – Vanessa Redgrave
Lebedev Award – Stephen Sondheim

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