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Rachelle Ann Go (Eliza Hamilton) and Jamael Westman (Alexander Hamilton) in Hamilton (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Rachelle Ann Go (Eliza Hamilton) and Jamael Westman (Alexander Hamilton) in Hamilton (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

London musicals triumph at Critics’ Circle Awards 2017

Robin Johnson

By Robin Johnson Published 30 January 2018

London musicals were the toast of the West End at this afternoon’s Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards, with a number of lauded productions receiving accolades.

At an informal ceremony at the Prince of Wales Theatre, hosted by Critics’ Circle Drama Section Chairman Mark Shenton, recipients, critics and theatre practitioners came together to celebrate the critics’ selection of the best theatre in the last calendar year.

The West End transfer of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s global sensation Hamilton claimed the coveted Best Musical award, which sits alongside the show’s 11 Tony Awards, Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Grammy Award.

The National Theatre‘s revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies saw Dominic Cooke named Best Director and Vicki Mortimer awarded Best Designer; Cooke also discussed the possibility of the production returning to London next year.

Meanwhile, two stars of acclaimed new London musicals, Sheila Atim in Girl From The North Country (now playing at the Noël Coward Theatre) and John McCrea in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, were jointly named Best Newcomer.

John McCrea and the company of Everybody's Talking About Jamie (Photo: Alastair Muir)John McCrea and the company of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Photo: Alastair Muir)

In the play categories, Jez Butterworth took home Best New Play for The Ferryman, also now playing in the West End. It was his third Critics’ award for Best New Play: he previously won for Mojo in 1995 and Jerusalem (2009).

Meanwhile, Andrew Scott was named Best Shakespearean Performance for Hamlet at the Almeida Theatre and West End transfer to the Harold Pinter Theatre.

Best Actor was awarded to Bryan Cranston for his London debut performance in current National Theatre hit Network, while Victoria Hamilton won Best Actress for the third time for her performance in Albion at the Almeida.

Full list of winners:

The Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer (a tie)
Sheila Atim for Girl From The North Country – Old Vic & Noël Coward Theatres, London
John McCrea for Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – Sheffield Crucible & Apollo Theatre, London

The Trewin Award for Best Shakespearean Performance
Andrew Scott in Hamlet – Almeida & Harold Pinter Theatres, London

Most Promising Playwright
Brandon Jacob-Jenkins for An Octoroon – Orange Tree Theatre, & Gloria – Hampstead Theatre, London

The Peter Hepple Award for Best Musical
Hamilton – Victoria Palace Theatre, London

Best Designer
Vicki Mortimer for Follies – National Theatre, London

Best Director
Dominic Cooke for Follies – National Theatre, London

Best Actress
Victoria Hamilton for Albion – Almeida Theatre, London

Best Actor
Bryan Cranston for Network – National Theatre, London

Best New Play
The Ferryman by Jez Butterworth – Royal Court & Gielgud Theatres, London

Special Award
David Lan for services to theatre

Find out more about the history of London musicals and plays in London.


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