The winners of the 2023 Evening Standard Theatre Awards were revealed at a ceremony tonight at Claridge’s.
The Evening Standard Theatre awards, founded in 1955, are the UK’s oldest drama awards, and have consistently recognised the best of established and cutting-edge talent on the London stage. In the very first year Richard Burton was named Best Actor for his Henry V and Waiting for Godot was named “Most Controversial Play”. Winners receive a statuette representing Drama, designed by Frank Dobson RA, a former Professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art.
Co-stars Patsy Ferran and Anjana Vasan were jointly awarded the Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress in association with Mithridate for their performances in A Streetcar Named Desire.
For the second time, Andrew Scott has been awarded the coveted Best Actor Award for his performance in the radical one-man show Vanya. He previously won the Award in 2019.
Best Play is The Motive and the Cue by Jack Thorne which premiered in April at The National Theatre and will transfer to the Noël Coward Theatre this December. The show’s Sam Mendes was also awarded the Lebedev Award for his contribution to theatre.
Ruth Wilson received the Editor’s Award for her performance in The Second Women at the Young Vic, an internationally acclaimed feat of endurance theatre and live cinema inspired by John Cassavetes’ film Opening Night.
Elton John received the Editor’s Award for bringing his collaborative spirit to the world of musical theatre.
Best Musical went to the Bridge Theatre’s blockbuster Guys & Dolls which was nominated for four other Awards on the night.
Georgia Lowe won Best Design for The Good Person of Szechwan, at the Lyric Hammersmith/ETT/Sheffield Theatres. Celebrating its 80th anniversary, the new adaptation opened in Sheffield Theatres before transferring to London earlier this year.
Tatenda Shamiso won the Emerging Talent for NO I.D. at the Royal Court a tale of gender transition and identity which he scripted, composed and performed.
Isley Lynn won the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright for The Swell at the Orange Tree Theatre.
This year’s Judging Panel was made up of; Baz Bamigboye of Deadline Hollywood; Sarah Crompton of Whatsonstage and The Observer; The Standard’s Chief Theatre Critic Nick Curtis; freelance critic Farah Najib; Alice Saville, culture writer for Exeunt, Time Out and Financial Times; and Matt Wolf of The New York Times. The judging is chaired by Evening Standard Culture Editor, Nancy Durrant.
The Evening Standard Theatre Awards were hosted by the newspaper’s proprietor Lord Lebedev and Ian McKellen, with Susan Wokoma presenting the ceremony. The Awards were presented by Boy George, David Tennant, Sheila Atim, Jenna Coleman, Tuppence Middleton, Tom Hiddleston, Jake Shears, Hayley Atwell, Layton Williams, Paloma Faith, Rebecca Lucy Taylor and Omari Douglas.
Guests in attendance included: Evening Standard Editor-in-Chief Dylan Jones OBE, Ruth Wilson, Nicole Scherzinger, Elton John, Taylor Russell, Jamie Lloyd, Paapa Essiedu, Jack Thorne, Sam Mendes, Patsy Ferran, Rachael Stirling, Tuppence Middleton, Hayley Atwell, Daniel Mays, Mei Mac, Lynette Linton and Mark Gatiss.
Guests were entertained by Sam Tutty and Dujonna Gift singing, New York!, a number from new musical Two Strangers (Carry a Cake Across New York) which opened at the Kiln Theatre last week. A surprise pop up band also performed as part of a tribute to musicians as Unsung Heroes of Theatre.
Evening Standard Theatre Award nominees were chauffeured by a fleet of Polestar 2’s supplied by the design led Swedish electric car brand who is leading the charge towards sustainable mobility with the goal to create a truly climate-neutral production car by 2030.
During the evening guests enjoyed a Laurent-Perrier champagne reception on arrival, wine over dinner was supplied by Bird In Hand Wines and Eight Lands vodka cocktails were served at the after party.
Nicole Scherzinger told The Evening Standard: “It’s humbling but overwhelming and truly gratifying to know that all of your work hasn’t gone unseen or under appreciated.”