Co-stars win London theatre awards
Published 21/11/2011 | 07:50
Co-stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller were both named Best Actor at the 57th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards.
The pair appeared on the UK National Theatre stage together, taking it in turns to play Frankenstein and his monster in Danny Boyle's stage production.
They had been nominated to go head-to-head for the honour at the ceremony at the Savoy Hotel, hosted by Dame Edna Everage, also known as Barry Humphries.
Lee Miller revealed at the pre-drinks reception that he had tried "not to think about" rivalling Cumberbatch for the award.
He added: "It's just really nice for us both to be included in this evening and to be asked. It would be feel very strange to be here without him. And I'm pretty sure he would feel the same."
Gavin and Stacey star Sheridan Smith was named Best Actress for her role in Terrence Rattigan's Flare Path.
She said: "I'm gobsmacked to be honest. It's a massive honour. I'm nervous. It's just nice to be in a room with all these incredible theatre people and I'm very honoured to be here."
The 30-year-old actress brought her parents with her to celebrate her success.
Kristin Scott Thomas lost out on the Best Actress award to Smith, but was honoured with the Lebedev Special Award, presented at last night's event by Stephen Fry.
She said of the awards: "Everybody seems to love theatre and London seems to function really well for theatre, and it's just the right place to be. For me anyway."
Miranda Hart presented The Ned Sherrin Award for Best Musical to comedian Tim Minchin and the rest of the team for Matilda the Musical, which has recently transferred to the West End.
Minchin said: "It's incredible and beyond anything I would have dreamed of, all the way up until very recently.
"The experience of working with Roald Dahl's work and seeing that come to life is unstoppable, and an award would be lovely to get acknowledgement from the industry and to help make sure the show runs. But the writing and the project is the peak for me."
The Best Play award was also shared by two plays, both by Richard Bean.
He won for The Heretic - a biting climate-change drama which starred Juliet Stevenson - and One Man, Two Guvnors - a slapstick version of Carlo Goldoni's 18th century comedy, starring James Corden, which has just transferred to the West End.
A new award was presented to The Pet Shop Boys for their venture into dance with Javier de Frutos at Sadler's Wells, The Most Incredible Thing. They were presented with the Beyond Theatre Award by artist and director Sam Taylor Wood.
The Milton Shulman Award for Outstanding Newcomer went to young American actor Kyle Soller for a diverse trio of performances in The Glass Menagerie, Government Inspector and The Faith Machine. He saw off stiff competition from his wife Phoebe Fox, whom he met at Rada, who was shortlisted for her compelling performances in As You Like It, Acid Test and There Is A War.
The full winners list for the 57th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2011:
Best Actor - (Joint) Benedict Cumberbatch - Frankenstein (National's Olivier)
Jonny Lee Miller - Frankenstein (National's Olivier)
The Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress - Sheridan Smith - Flare Path (Theatre Royal Haymarket)
Best Play - (Joint) The Heretic By Richard Bean (Royal Court)
One Man, Two Guvnors By Richard Bean (National's Lyttelton)
The Ned Sherrin Award for Best Musical - Matilda The Musical (RSC Stratford and Cambridge Theatre)
Best Director - Mike Leigh, Grief (National's Cottesloe)
Best Design - Adam Cork For his sound design of Anna Christie & King Lear (Donmar Warehouse)
The Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright - Penelope Skinner For 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) & The Faith Machine (Royal Court)
Editor's Award - Michael Grandage for making the Donmar Warehouse a star
Beyond Theatre award - Pet Shop Boys and Javier de Frutos For The Most Incredible Thing (Sadler's Wells)
The Lebedev Special Award - Kristin Scott Thomas For her contribution to theatre
The Moscow Art Theatre's Golden Seagull - Tom Stoppard for his contribution to Russian theatre and the international stage