Royal Court scores quadruple win at Evening Standard Theatre Awards

Reporter: Matthew Amer, first published Mon 23 Nov 2009 15:40

The Royal Court productions of Jerusalem and Enron were among the winners at today’s Evening Standard Theatre Awards, sharing the spoils in their head to head battles.

The plays, which both transfer to the West End next year after hugely successful runs at the Sloane Square venue, were pitted against each other in three categories. Jez Butterworth’s tale of rural England, Jerusalem, was crowned Best Play, while its star, Mark Rylance, won the Best Actor Award, beating Enron’s Samuel West. Rupert Goold collected the Best Director award for his work on the Headlong production of Lucy Prebble’s financial drama Enron.

The Royal Court recorded a fourth win through young writer Alia Bano, who won the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright for Shades.

The new writing theatre’s awards haul could have been even more formidable, but its nominations in a further two categories were not converted into wins; Ultz (Jerusalem) missing out to Mamoru Iriguchi (Mincemeat) in the Best Design category and Bel Powley (Tusk Tusk) losing to comedian Lenny Henry, who won the Milton Shulman Award for Outstanding Newcomer following his first foray into Shakespearean acting in Othello.

In the two categories which featured no Royal Court nominees, Hollywood star Rachel Weisz won the Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress for her performance in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Donmar Warehouse, and the Open Air theatre’s revival of Hello, Dolly! was named Best Musical.

Sir Ian McKellen, whose production of Waiting For Godot, in which he starred opposite Patrick Stewart, was one of the hottest tickets in the West End this year, was given a Special Award for his contribution to British theatre.

The awards were presented earlier today at a ceremony at the Royal Opera House and mark the start of London theatre awards season. They are followed by the Theatregoers’ Choice Awards, the Critics’ Circle Awards and the highlight of the Theatreland year, the Laurence Olivier Awards.


Full list of Evening Standard Theatre Award nominees (winners in bold):

Best Play
August: Osage County by Tracy Letts (Steppenwolf/National Theatre)
Enron by Lucy Prebble (Headlong/Royal Court)
Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth (Royal Court)
Punk Rock by Simon Stephens (Lyric Hammersmith)

Best Actor
Simon Russell Beale for The Winter's Tale (Old Vic)
Mark Rylance for Jerusalem (Royal Court)
Ken Stott for A View From The Bridge (Duke of York's theatre) 
Samuel West for Enron (Headlong/Royal Court)

The Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress
Deanna Dunagan for August: Osage County (Steppenwolf/National Theatre)
Penny Downie for Helen (Shakespeare's Globe)
Juliet Stevenson for Duet For One (Almeida theatre/Vaudeville theatre)
Rachel Weisz for A Streetcar Named Desire (Donmar Warehouse)

Best Director
Rupert Goold for Enron (Headlong/Royal Court)
Jeremy Herrin for Tusk Tusk (Royal Court)
Ian Rickson for Jerusalem (Royal Court)
Anna D Shapiro for August: Osage County (Steppenwolf/National Theatre)

The Ned Sherrin Award for Best Musical
A Little Night Music (Menier Chocolate Factory/Garrick theatre)
Been So Long (Young Vic)
Hello, Dolly! (Open Air theatre, Regent's Park)
Spring Awakening (Lyric Hammersmith/Novello theatre)

Best Design
Jon Bausor for Kursk (Young Vic)
Miriam Buether for Judgment Day (Almeida theatre)
Mamoru Iriguchi for Mincemeat (Cardboard Citizens/Cordy House, Shoreditch)
Ultz for Jerusalem (Royal Court) 

The Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright
Alia Bano for Shades (Royal Court)
Katori Hall for The Mountaintop (Theatre 503/Trafalgar Studios)
Alexi Kaye Campbell for The Pride (Royal Court) and Apologia (Bush theatre)

The Milton Shulman Award for Outstanding Newcomer
Naana Agyei-Ampadu for Been So Long (Young Vic)
Lenny Henry for Othello (Northern Broadsides at Trafalgar Studios)
Bel Powley for Tusk Tusk (Royal Court)
Tom Sturridge for Punk Rock (Lyric Hammersmith)

Special Award
Sir Ian McKellen