To say the Evening Standard Theatre Awards is a star-studded affair is an understatement. The trophy collectors alone are a roll call of fame: Glenn Close, Ralph Fiennes, Billie Piper, Kenneth Branagh, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, John Malkovich, Andrew Lloyd Webber. Not to mention the guest performers (Amber Riley, anyone?), presenters, hosts and other guests. Here’s a selection of picture highlights from the evening.
Best Play(s) winner
Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2 won the prize for Best Play. Fittingly, the award was presented by Maggie Smith, who played Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter films. Playwright Jack Thorne, director John Tiffany and actor Noma Dumezweni, who stars onstage as the adult Hermione, collected the award. Harry Potter creator JK Rowling is out of the country and was unable to attend but had Noma read out a letter on her behalf.
Jesus Christ Superstar wins two awards
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar received the Audience Award for Best Musical, as voted for by listeners of BBC Radio 2. He and Open Air artistic director Timothy Sheader collected the statue from Joan Collins and Elizabeth Hurley. Tyrone Huntley, who played Judas in the production last summer, collected the Emerging Talent prize. The production will return to Regent’s Park for 41 performances only next summer.
Best Actress winner
Billie Piper was a popular winner for Best Actress for her title performance in Yerma at the Young Vic Theatre. She collected the award from James McAvoy.
Best Actor winner
Ralph Fiennes was awarded Best Actor for two performances: in The Master Builder at the Old Vic and Richard III at the Almeida Theatre. His former English Patient screen co-star Kristin Scott Thomas was on hand to congratulate him.
Best Musical Performance winner
Another reason for Andrew Lloyd Webber to celebrate: Glenn Close collected the Best Musical Performance for performance as Norma Desmond in the revival of his Sunset Boulevard at the London Coliseum. She’ll reprise the performance on Broadway in the new year.
Patrick Stewart & Ian McKellen at play
Before returning to the stage with their director Sean Mathias to collect Best Revival for No Man’s Land, currently running at Wyndham’s Theatre, co-stars Ian McKellen (in full fairy garb) and Patrick Stewart had some pantomime-style, ‘he’s behind you’ fun onstage at the Old Vic.
Amber Riley performs
Amber Riley gave a sneak-peek of her performance as Effie White in Dreamgirls, with a belting performance of “And I am Telling You I’m not Going” from the show, which opens next month at the West End’s Savoy Theatre.