Theatre stalwarts Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen are to host the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards alongside the newspaper’s owner Evgeny Lebedev.
The ceremony, staged this year in partnership with The Ivy, will be staged at The Old Vic Theatre on 22 November.
The recipients of the annually presented awards will this year be chosen by a panel including theatre and culture journalists Baz Bamigboye, Henry Hitchings, Mark Lawson, Libby Purves and Matt Wolf alongside the Standard’s Editor Sarah Sands.
For the first time, the winner of one category will be chosen by voting members of the theatregoing public. The Evening Standard Theatre Awards will partner with BBC Radio 2 to find the winner of the Evening Standard Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical.
Previous recipients of the influential awards have included Laurence Olivier, Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, Patrick Stewart, Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston.
The influential awards ceremony is staged at the historic London venue the day after the curtain comes down on the Richard Jones-directed revival of Eugene O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape. The new production of the American dramatist’s expressionistic masterpiece, which stars Bertie Carvel as labourer Yank whose life is changed by one well-aimed insult, begins its run on 17 October and follows current hit Future Conditional.