Stars scoop Evening Standard Awards

Published December 1, 2014

It was a night of Hollywood glamour at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards this weekend as screen favourites Gillian Anderson and Tom Hiddleston walked away with the much coveted Best Actress and Actor Awards.

The 60th Evening Standard Theatre Awards, held annually by the London paper to celebrate the capital’s achievements in theatre, were presented at a star-studded ceremony last night at the London Palladium. Well-known faces including Victoria and David Beckham, Naomi Campbell, Eddie Redmayne and Anna Kendrick were all in attendance to congratulate this year’s list of nominees.

Luther star Idris Elba joined the starry line-up to present Anderson with the Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress for her critically acclaimed role in the Young Vic’s sell-out production of A Streetcar Named Desire. The X-Files actor, who can currently be seen in the BBC’s thriller series The Fall, triumphed over fellow nominees Helen McCrory, Tanya Moodie, Billie Piper and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Helen Mirren was on hand to announce fellow Olivier Award winner Hiddleston as the winner of 2014’s Best Actor Award. Fighting off strong competition from this year’s nominees Mark Strong and Ben Miles, Hiddleston was honoured for his demanding role in the Donmar Warehouse’s Coriolanus.

It was also a night of celebration for Headlong Theatre’s Artistic Director Jeremy Herrin who triumphed over Stephen Daldry, Yaël Farber and Ivo van Hove to take home the Milton Shulman Award for Best Director for his ambitious stage adaptations of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies.

Rivalling the double bill’s ambitious scope, the National Theatre’s epic trio of plays about Scottish history, The James Plays, created with the National Theatre of Scotland and Edinburgh International Festival, won the NOOK Award for Best New Play. David Hare’s Skylight won the Revival of the Year Award following Stephen Daldry’s acclaimed recent production starring Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan.

Leading the way for this year’s many new musical offerings were two Broadway exports, the Young Vic’s West End transfer of the challenging The Scottsboro Boys, which earned 2014’s Ned Sherrin Award for Best Musical, and the National Theatre’s disco musical Here Lies Love, which took home the Beyond Theatre Award. Olivier Award winner Es Devlin was also honoured for her design of the musical adaptation of the controversial novel American Psycho, a co-production by theatre company Headlong and Islington’s Almeida Theatre.

Amongst the many established names earning nods at this year’s event, the Evening Standard Theatre Awards have also earned a reputation for singling out rising stars in the industry, many of whom have subsequently gone on to become leading names in theatre.  

Taking home this year’s Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright was Beth Steel, whose miners’ strike drama Wonderland played at Hampstead Theatre this year. Laura Jane Matthewson followed last year’s winner Cush Jumbo to join the alumni of Emerging Talent Award winners, earning the prize for her breakthrough role in Southwark Theatre’s Dogfight.

Hosted by comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, and presented by a glamourous line-up including the newspaper’s owner Evgeny Lebedev, American Vogue’s Anna Wintour and Burberry’s Christopher Bailey, the awards mark the first ceremony in the busy theatre awards calendar. The awards season culminates in the most prestigious event of its kind, the Olivier Awards with MasterCard, which will be held on 12 April at the Royal Opera House.

Full list of winners:

The Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright

Beth Steel (Wonderland)

The Emerging Talent Award in Partnership with Burberry

Laura Jane Matthewson (Dogfight)

Milton Shulman Award for Best Director

Jeremy Herrin (Wolf Hall & Bring Up the Bodies)

Beyond Theatre Award

Here Lies Love

Editor’s Award

Kate Bush (Before the Dawn)

The Best Design Award in Partnership with Heal’s

Es Devlin (American Psycho)

Ned Sherrin Award for Best Musical

The Scottsboro Boys

Revival of the Year Award

Skylight

NOOK Award for Best Play

The James Plays

Best Actor Award

Tom Hiddleston (Coriolanus)

Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress

Gillian Anderson (A Streetcar Named Desire)

Lebedev Award

Tom Stoppard