One theatre, five awards | Theatre reviews, news & interviews
One theatre, five awards
The Critics' Circle favours the National at its annual chance to shower the stars with awards
When the London theatre critics gathered to hand out their annual awards at lunchtime today in person, a notable percentage of the gongs were carried off by the National Theatre. There was no surprise, for example, that the best new play was One Man, Two Guvnors by former winner Richard Bean; in a thin year for blockbuster musicals, it was perhaps no surprise either that the best new musical was London Road, a rare foray for the genre into seriousness which dramatised in song the murder of five sex workers in Ipswich.
The National also prospered with Frankenstein, which divided critics when it opened last year but has won best actor for Benedict Cumberbatch (trumping Jonny Lee Miller, the co-star with whom he swapped the two lead roles) and best designer for Mark Tildesley. Finally, Mike Leigh was named best director for his play Grief.
Among the other actors who came away with an award were Sheridan Smith for her performance in Flare Path, one of the hit productions of the Rattigan centenary, and Eddie Redmayne, whose Richard II was deemed the year’s best Shakespearean performance, beating the likes of David Tennant in Much Ado About Nothing and Michael Sheen in Hamlet.
- Best New Play: One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean (National Theatre)
- The Peter Hepple Award for Best Musical (new or revival): London Road by Alecky Blythe & Adam Cork (National Theatre)
- Best Actor: Benedict Cumberbatch in Frankenstein (National Theatre)
- Best Actress: Sheridan Smith in Flare Path (Theatre Royal Haymarket)
- The John and Wendy Trewin Award for Best Shakespearean Performance: Eddie Redmayne in Richard II (Donmar Warehouse)
- Best Director: Mike Leigh for Grief (National Theatre)
- Best Designer: Mark Tildesley for Frankenstein (National Theatre)
- Most Promising Playwright: Tom Wells, The Kitchen Sink (Bush Theatre)
- The Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer (other than a playwright): Blanche McIntyre for Accolade and Foxfinder (Finborough Theatre)
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
Rare revival of Terence Rattigan’s first smash hit is enjoyably entertaining
Death row unlocks family secrets in a grippingly played thriller
How have the pioneering days of women's emancipation fared in works of art?
Shakespeare's problem play starring Romola Garai is given the shock treatment with a vibrant production
Evocation of rudderless rural lives is beautifully staged
A bit of everything in theartsdesk's stage tips
Barrie Keeffe's work still has resonance nearly 40 years on
Well-deserved West End transfer for Florian Zeller’s powerful portrait of dementia
The landmark Hall/Barton Shakespeare trilogy receives a welcome revival
Award-winning new play about scientific ethics is compelling and thought-provoking
The Northern Irish stage craftsman celebrated for Dancing at Lughnasa and Faith Healer
Strong performances, but Rachel Cusk's riff on myth doesn't come close to Euripides