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Nicole Kidman, James McAvoy Among Winners at London Theater Awards

Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman arrive at London's Evening Standard Theater Awards

LONDON — Nicole Kidman took the award for best actress and James McAvoy was named best actor at the 61st London Evening Standard Theater Awards Sunday at a ceremony at London’s Old Vic theater.

Kidman was honored for her performance in Anna Ziegler’s “Photograph 51,” in which she played scientist Rosalind Franklin, whose pioneering work contributed to the discovery of DNA’s double helix structure. The play, which was directed by Michael Grandage, ran at the Noel Coward Theater.

McAvoy earned his honor in Peter Barnes’ satire “The Ruling Class” as an aristocrat who believes he is the Messiah, a role Peter O’Toole took in the 1972 film. The play, which was directed by Jamie Lloyd, ran at Trafalgar Studios.

The award for top play was picked up by Stephen Adly Guirgis’ “The Motherf**ker with the Hat,” which was directed by Indhu Rubasingham. The New York-set comedy centers on a drug dealer, recently released from prison and trying to go straight, and his volatile girlfriend. The production formed part of the Rufus Norris’ first season as artistic director at the National Theater.

Robert Icke earned the directing prize for his reworking of Aeschylus’ “Oresteia,” which has been lauded for its ingenuity and ambition. The play initially ran at Almeida Theater, and then transferred to Trafalgar Studios.

Imelda Staunton won the award for musical performance for her role as Mama Rose, the mother of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, in Stephen Sondheim’s “Gypsy” at Savoy Theater. Staunton sang “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from the production at the awards ceremony.

Gemma Arterton was named best newcomer in a musical for “Made in Dagenham,” which focuses on the fight for equal pay for women in 1960s Britain. The production played at Adelphi Theater.

Anna Fleischle took the honor for design for Martin McDonagh’s 60s-set “Hangmen,” which moves from the starkness of a condemned cell to a cluttered pub, where a former state executioner retreats to following the abolition of the death penalty in the U.K. The play ran at the Royal Court.

Molly Davies was named most promising playwright for her satire “God Bless the Child” about a group of eight-year-old school kids rebelling against a new educational regime. The play ran at Royal Court Upstairs.

David Moorst won the emerging talent award for his role as geeky teen Liam, who is the object of violent bullying from his hard-drinking father, in “Violence and Son” at Royal Court Upstairs.

The Editor’s Award was presented to Vanessa Redgrave, and the Lebedev Award went to Stephen Sondheim, who celebrated his 85th birthday this year.

The ceremony, which was co-hosted by Judi Dench, Ian McKellen and the Evening Standard owner Evgeny Lebedev, was presented by Rob Brydon. Guests included Gillian Anderson, Arterton, Shirley Bassey, Kate Beckinsale, Anne-Marie Duff, Ralph Fiennes, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Irons, Kidman, Lindsay Lohan, McAvoy, Joely Richardson and Anna Wintour.

THE 61ST ANNUAL LONDON EVENING STANDARD THEATER AWARDS
** DENOTES THE WINNERS
BEST ACTOR:
Simon Russell Beale, “Temple,” Donmar Warehouse
Kenneth Cranham, “The Father,” Ustinov Bath, Tricycle & Wyndham’s Theater
Ralph Fiennes, “Man and Superman,” National Theater’s Lyttelton
**James McAvoy, “The Ruling Class,” Trafalgar Studios

NATASHA RICHARDSON AWARD FOR BEST ACTRESS:
Denise Gough, “People, Places and Things,” National Theater’s Dorfman
**Nicole Kidman, “Photograph 51,” Noel Coward Theater
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, “Nell Gwynn,” Shakespeare’s Globe
Lia Williams, “Oresteia,” Almeida Theater & Trafalgar Studios

BEST PLAY:
**”The Motherf**ker with the Hat” (Stephen Adly Guirgis), National Theater’s Lyttelton
“Hangmen” (Martin McDonagh) Royal Court
“The Father” (Florian Zeller, translated by Christopher Hampton) Ustinov Bath, Tricycle & Wyndham’s Theater

MILTON SHULMAN AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR:
**Robert Icke, “Oresteia,” Almeida Theater & Trafalgar Studios
Jamie Lloyd, “Assassins,” Menier Chocolate Factory
Indhu Rubasingham, “The Motherf**ker with the Hat,” National Theater’s Lyttelton

BEST DESIGN:
**Anna Fleischle, “Hangmen,” Royal Court
Tim Hatley, “Temple,” Donmar Warehouse
Robert Jones, “City of Angels,” Donmar Warehouse

CHARLES WINTOUR AWARD FOR MOST PROMISING PLAYWRIGHT:
**Molly Davies, “God Bless the Child,” Royal Court Upstairs
Alistair McDowall, “Pomona,” Orange Tree Theater & National Theater’s Temporary Space
Diana Nneka Atuona, “Liberian Girl,” Royal Court Upstairs (Peckham & Tottenham pop up venues)

EMERGING TALENT AWARD IN PARTNERSHIP WITH BURBERRY:
Calvin Demba, “The Red Lion,” National Theater’s Dorfman
Patsy Ferran, “Treasure Island,” National Theater’s Olivier
**David Moorst, “Violence and Son,” Royal Court Upstairs

BEST MUSICAL PERFORMANCE:
Katie Brayben, “Beautiful,” Aldwych Theater
Rosalie Craig, “City of Angels,” Donmar Warehouse
Killian Donnelly, “Kinky Boots,” Adelphi Theater
**Imelda Staunton, “Gypsy,” Savoy Theater

NEWCOMER IN A MUSICAL:
**Gemma Arterton, “Made in Dagenham,” Adelphi Theater
Ellie Bamber, “High Society,” Old Vic
Natalie Dew, “Bend It Like Beckham,” Phoenix Theater

EVENING STANDARD RADIO 2 AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST MUSICAL (VOTED FOR BY THE PUBLIC):
“Assassins,” Menier Chocolate Factory
“Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” Aldwych Theater
“Bend It Like Beckham,” Phoenix Theater
“Gypsy,” Savoy Theater
**“Kinky Boots,” Adelphi Theater

Beyond Theater – “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty,” the exhibition at the V&A
Editor’s Award – Vanessa Redgrave
Lebedev Award – Stephen Sondheim

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