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Billy Elliot and The Home Place Win Evening Standard Awards

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Elton John's smash Billy Elliot and Brian Friel's The Home Place danced away with the top honors in the 2005 Evening Standard Awards--Best Musical and Best Play, respectively.  The award cemerony, which was hosted by NEd Sherrin, was held on November 28th at London's Savoy Hotel.

Billy Elliot beat out contenders The Big Life and Mary Poppins; the latter show, however, was honored with Bob Crowley's award as Best Designer.  The Home Place won Best Play over Mike Leigh's Two Thousand Years, Richard Norton-Taylor's Bloody Sunday and Richard Bean's Harvest.  Nell Leyshon's Comfort Me with Apples received the Charles Wintour Award for New Playwriting.

This year's Evening Standard Awards were particularly balanced, with no one show winning multiple awards.  However, the Donmar Warehouse was thrice-honored with awards for Simon Russell Beale (Best Actor for The Philanthropist), Harriet Walter (Best Actress for Mary Stuart) and Michael Grandage (Best Director for Grand Hotel as well as the Sheffield Theatre's production of Don Carlos).

The list of winners follows:

Best Play
Two Thousand Years by Mike Leigh
Bloody Sunday by Richard Norton-Taylor
Harvest by Richard Bean
The Home Place by Brian Friel

Best Actor
Brian Dennehy for Death of a Salesman
Derek Jacobi for Don Carlos
Simon Russell Beale for The Philanthropist

Best Actress
Eve Best for Hedda Gabler
Clare Higgins for Death of a Salesman
Kristin Scott Thomas for As You Desire Me
Harriet Walter for Mary Stuart

Best Director
Richard Eyre for Hedda Gabler and Mary Poppins
Michael Grandage for Don Carlos and Grand Hotel
Jonathan Kent for As You Desire Me

Best Designer
Paul Brown for As You Desire Me
Bob Crowley for Mary Poppins
Christopher Oram and Paule Constable for Don Carlos

Best Musical
The Big Life
Billy Elliot
Mary Poppins

Outstanding Newcomer
Daniel Kramer, director, for Hair and Woyzeck at the Gate
Menier Chocolate Factory, co-directors, David Babani and Danielle Tarento
Ben Silverstone, actor, for Man and Boy

Charles Wintour Award for New Playwriting
Ryan Craig for What We Did to Weinstein
Nell Leyshon for Comfort Me with Apples
Simon Mendes da Costa for Losing Louis



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