Thursday 30 October 2014

Helen Mirren: Queen of the West End

Published 18/11/2013 | 07:19

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 17:  Helen Mirren attends the Evening Standard Theatre Awards at The Savoy Hotel on November 17, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Helen Mirren attends the Evening Standard Theatre Awards
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 17:  Dame Helen Mirren accepts the Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress at the 59th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards at The Savoy Hotel on November 17, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)
Dame Helen Mirren accepts the Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 17: Billie Piper attends the Evening Standard Theatre Awards at The Savoy Hotel on November 17, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)
Billie Piper

Dame Helen Mirren was named best actress at the 59th Evening Standard Theatre Awards.

The revered star, who took home the honour for her performance of the Queen in Peter Morgan's West End play The Audience, was up against Linda Bassett, Lesley Manville, Billie Piper and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Taking the stage London's The Savoy Hotel on Sunday night, she shook off her nerves with a laugh.

"I'm dying for a pee but I didn't have the five minutes to take off my Spanx," she mused before paying tribute to her female colleagues.

"It's great to see so many women winning tonight - when I started out we didn't have women winning things like best writer. It's great to see women doing so well tonight."

Best actor honours went to Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear for their respective roles as Othello and Iago.

Best musical went to Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along while The Light Princess' Rosalie Craig took home best musical performance.

Kevin Spacey was honoured for his contribution to British theatre. The beloved American actor serves as artistic director of The Old Vic Theatre Company.

David Walliams was acknowledged for his comedic performance in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Dame Maggie Smith was presented with the Standard Icon award.

The Sister Act star delivered an emotional speech, insisting she was undeserving of the accolade.

"I'm very sad because I haven't done anything in theatre to justify this. I wish I had," she said.

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