The winners of the 2019 Evening Standard Theatre Awards were revealed at a ceremony at the London Coliseum.
Andrew Scott won the Best Actor award for his performance in the Old Vic Theatre’s gender-switched production of Noel Coward’s autobiographical comedy, Present Laughter.
For the fifth time at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards, Dame Maggie Smith was awarded the Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress for her performance as Goebbels’ secretary in A German Life at the Bridge Theatre. She now holds the record for most wins in this category, having previously won in 1962, 1970, 1984 and 1994.
The 2019 Play of the Year was Sweat by Lynn Nottage (at the Donmar Warehouse and Gielgud Theatre), which explored the relationships and fears of a community left divided by de-industrialisation. The award was presented by Olivia Colman. Two productions at the Almeida, The Doctor and The Wild Duck won Robert Icke the Milton Shulman Award for Best Director, presented by co-host Helen McCrory.
Sir Ian McKellen accepted the Editor’s Award, given for his “Ian McKellen On Stage” tour, to more than 80 theatres in the year of his 80th birthday, with all proceeds going to theatres in need.
The second special award of the evening went to the legendary theatre director, Peter Brook, announced as the recipient of the Lebedev Award for his contribution to theatre. It was presented by Glenda Jackson who appeared in several of Brook’s productions early in her career.
Anne-Marie Duff beat Sheridan Smith and Andy Nyman to take the Best Musical Performance statuette for her role in Sweet Charity. The musical revival was Josie Rourke’s swansong production at the Donmar Warehouse.
Jamie Lloyd’s transformative revival of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita was named Best Musical, after a run at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre earlier this year. It transfers to the Barbican in 2020. Bunny Christie was awarded Best Design for her imaginary set design for A Midsummer’s Night Dream at the Bridge Theatre.
Laurie Kynaston was presented with the Emerging Talent Award for his moving performance as a teenager with mental health issues in Florian Zeller’s The Son (Kiln Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre).
seven methods of killing kylie jenner at the Royal Court, a boldly imaginative play about friendship, identity and internet culture, earned Jasmine Lee-Jones the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright. The award comes with generous donations made by the Evening Standard proprietor Evgeny Lebedev and Dame Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue, artistic director and global content advisor of Condé Nast, shared among the winner and the other playwrights shortlisted: Zoe Cooper, Yasmin Joseph and Ross Willis.
The Evening Standard Theatre Awards were hosted by Lebedev, with co-hosts Wintour, Damian Lewis, Helen McCrory and Cush Jumbo, who also presented the ceremony. The individual awards were presented by Olivia Colman, Helen McCrory, Naomi Scott, Lashana Lynch, Taron Egerton, Sonia Friedman, Michael Kors and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Stephen Mangan, Glenda Jackson, Trevor Nunn, Ruth Wilson and Damian Lewis.
Actor, co-host and presenter for this year’s awards, Cush Jumbo said:
“It was such an honour to present the 65th Evening Standard Theatre Awards this evening. The awards continue to recognise and celebrate London’s theatre talent, from directors to everyone who works so hard behind the scenes, including the fantastic dancers from The BRIT School who performed with me.”
Guests were entertained with two numbers from musicals opening in London in the past week. Miriam-Teak Lee performed the Katy Perry hit ‘Roar’ from & Juliet and Sam Tutty, a recent graduate of Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, sang ‘Waving through a Window’ from Dear Evan Hansen.
For the second year, a special tribute was made to the Behind-the-Scenes Heroes of theatre, this time dedicated to the Stage Door Keepers. Man in the White Suit star Stephen Mangan introduced the dedication and invited 60 Stage Door Keepers to join him on stage to take a bow.
Due to their strong commitment to the arts and this year sponsoring the awards’ focus on Future Talent, Burberry and Bottega Veneta allowed the Evening Standard Theatre Awards to invite more than 700 students from some of the UK’s leading drama schools to the evening.
Full 2019 Awards
- Andrew Scott – Present Laughter, Old Vic Theare
- Dame Maggie Smith – A German Life, Bridge Theatre
- Sweat – by Lynn Nottage, Donmar Warehouse & Gielgud Theatre
- Robert Icke – The Doctor, Almeida & The Wild Duck, Almeida
- Evita – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Best Musical Performance
- Anne-Marie Duff – Sweet Charity, Donmar Warehouse
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Bunny Christie, Bridge Theatre
Most Promising Playwright
- Jasmine Lee-Jones – seven methods of killing kylie jenner, Royal Court
Emerging Talent Award
- Laurie Kynaston – The Son, Kiln & Gielgud