Matthew Lopez’s epic two-part play The Inheritance and Marianne Elliott’s reinvention of Company led the way at this year’s Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards, which also heralded a wide variety of productions.
The Inheritance took home the awards for Best New Play, Best Director (for Stephen Daldry) and Best Actor (for Kyle Soller), having enjoyed acclaimed runs at both the Young Vic and the Noël Coward Theatre in 2018. Meanwhile Company, Stephen Sondheim’s 1970s musical comedy which was gender-swapped in Elliott’s acclaimed new production, won Best Musical and Best Designer (for Bunny Christie).
Also collecting awards were Patsy Ferran, whose starring role as Alma in Summer & Smoke at the Almeida and Duke of York’s Theatre won widespread plaudits and the Best Actress Award; Chris Walley, whose West End debut in The Lieutenant Of Inishmore won him Best Newcomer; and Natasha Gordon for Nine Night, her debut play which garnered her the Most Promising Playwright Award. Sophie Okonedo claimed Best Shakespearean Performance for Antony & Cleopatra at the National Theatre.
The informal awards ceremony was held today (Tuesday 29 February) at the West End’s Prince of Wales Theatre, hosted by Critics’ Circle Drama Section Chairman, Mark Shenton. The awards have been running since 1989, and are staged as a convivial gathering to celebrate critics’ selection of the best theatre from the preceding year.
Full list of winners:
The Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer
Chris Walley for The Lieutenant Of Inishmore – Noël Coward Theatre
The Trewin Award for Best Shakespearean Performance
Sophie Okonedo for Antony & Cleopatra – National Theatre
Most Promising Playwright
Natasha Gordon for Nine Night – National Theatre & Trafalgar Studios
The Peter Hepple Award for Best Musical
Company – Gielgud Theatre
Bunny Christie for Company – Gielgud Theatre
Stephen Daldry for The Inheritance – Young Vic & Noël Coward Theatre
Patsy Ferran for Summer & Smoke – Almeida Theatre & Duke of York’s Theatre
Kyle Soller for The Inheritance – Young Vic & Noël Coward Theatre
Best New Play
The Inheritance – Young Vic & Noël Coward Theatre
Neil McPherson Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre