Richard Bean takes play honors for 'Heretic,' 'Two Guv'nors'
The National Theater, Royal Court and the Donmar Warehouse took most of the spoils at the 57th London Evening Standard Theater Awards on Sunday.Two of the categories, unusually, wound up with joint wins. Scribe Richard Bean, who was considered to have been headed for a split vote, wound up winning best play for both “The Heretic” at the Royal Court and “One Man, Two Guv’nors ” at the National. The latter’s West End transfer opens Monday with a Gotham run at the Music Box opening April 18. Likewise, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller shared the best actor prize for their nightly switching of roles of the creature and his creator in Danny Boyle’s National Theater SRO production of “Frankenstein.” Sheridan Smith nabbed best actress for her role as a plucky ex-barmaid in Terence Rattigan’s 1942 drama “Flare Path.” Her rival Kristin Scott Thomas did not go away empty-handed, however, since Stephen Fry presented her with the Lebedev Special Award for her contribution to London theater. For the first time, the sole design award went to a sound designer. Adam Cork won for his sound on Rob Ashford’s production of “Anna Christie” and Michael Grandage’s production of “King Lear,” both at the Donmar Warehouse. Grandage also received the Editor‘s special award “for making the Donmar Warehouse a star.” The surprise of the evening was when Ashford lost out on the helming award to Mike Leigh for his own play “Grief” at the National Theater. As expected, “Matilda, The Musical” won the tuner category while the Beyond Theater award went to the Pet Shop Boys and choreographer Javier de Frutos for their ballet “The Most Incredible Thing” which returns to Sadler’s Wells in March 2012. In the outstanding newcomer category, thesp Phoebe Fox lost out to her husband, U.S.-born actor Kyle Soller, who won for a trio of performances in shows at the Young Vic and Royal Court. Hosted by Dame Edna Everage, the Savoy hotel ceremony included presentations by Gemma Arterton, Anna Chancellor and Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey”). Go to Variety.com for a complete list of winners. ACTOR (Joint) Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, “Frankenstein” (National Theater) THE NATASHA RICHARDSON AWARDS FOR BEST ACTRESS Sheridan Smith, “Flare Path” (Theater Royal Haymarket) PLAY Richard Bean, “The Heretic,” (Royal Court) & Richard Bean, “One Man, Two Guv’nors” (National Theater) THE NED SHERRIN AWARD FOR BEST MUSICAL “Matilda The Musical” (RSC Stratford-upon-Avon and Cambridge Theater) DIRECTOR Mike Leigh, “Grief” (National Theater) DESIGN Adam Cork, sound design of “Anna Christie” & “King Lear” (Donmar Warehouse) THE CHARLES WINTOUR AWARD FOR MOST PROMISING PLAYWRIGHT Penelope Skinner, “The Village Bike” (Royal Court) THE MILTON SHULMAN AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING NEWCOMER Kyle Soller, for his performances in “The Glass Menagerie” (Young Vic); “Government Inspector” (Young Vic) and “The Faith Machine” (Royal Court) EDITOR’S AWARD Michael Grandage BEYOND THEATER AWARD Pet Shop Boys and Javier de Frutos. “The Most Incredible Thing” (Sadler’s Wells) THE LEBEDEV SPECIAL AWARD Kristin Scott Thomas THE MOSCOW ARTS THEATER’S GOLDEN SEAGULL Tom Stoppard for his contribution to Russian theater and the international stage