sat 20/07/2024

One theatre, five awards | reviews, news & interviews

One theatre, five awards

One theatre, five awards

The Critics' Circle favours the National at its annual chance to shower the stars with awards

James Corden in the Critics' Circle's best new play, Richard Bean's 'One Man, Two Guvnors'

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)

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