COMPANY, HAMILTON, and More Win 2018 Evening Standard Awards
The winners of the 2018 Evening Standard Theatre Awards were revealed at a ceremony tonight at London's Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
A radical revision of Stephen Sondheim's and George Furth's Company won Marianne Elliott the Milton Shulman Award for Best Director. She switched the gender of the leading man to a woman, giving Rosalie Craig the role of a lifetime and the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical Performance.
The West End's other unstoppable musical, Hamilton, also won two awards. Lin-Manuel Miranda's hip-hop history, which opened last December, was named Best Musical. Its London star Jamael Westman was presented the Award for Emerging Talent.
This year's Lebedev Award went to Sir Cameron Mackintosh, a co-producer of Hamilton and owner of its London home, the Victoria Palace Theatre, for his contribution over 50 years to musical theatre.
Nine Night, a tragi-comedy about a family gathering on the final night of the traditionally Caribbean mourning period, earned first-time writer Natasha Gordon the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright. The award comes with a generous donation made by Dame Anna Wintour, American Vogue editor-in-chief and Artistic Director of Condé Nast. As an actress Gordon, 42, has had roles in previous Evening Standard Award winners, Red Velvet and Clubland, and her TV work includes Law and Order and EastEnders. She will take over the starring role in Nine Night when it transfers to Trafalgar Studios next month.
The annual awards, marking the 64th year, were hosted by the Evening Standard owner, Evgeny Lebedev, with co-hosts Dame Anna Wintour, Claire Foy and Idris Elba. Fleabag and Killing Eve writer and actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge returned for the second year to present the ceremony.
In an extraordinarily successful year of West End transfers and extended runs, five of the productions to have won Evening Standard Awards this year can still be seen. Antony and Cleopatra is at the National's Olivier, until 19 Jan;Company is booking at the Gielgud, WC2 until 30 Mar; Hamilton continues at Victoria Palace, SW1; The Inheritance is at Noël Coward, WC2 until Jan 19; and Nine Night transfers to Trafalgar Studios, SW1 from 1 Dec until 23 Feb.
Among three live performances on the night Jonathan Bailey and cast members of Company performed Getting Married. Sharon D. Clarke also sang Lot's Wife from Caroline, or Change, the musical she is currently starring in at the Playhouse Theatre, and Michael Jibson performed King George's song, You'll Be Back, from Hamilton.
In addition to the awards presentations, the first in what promises to be an annual tribute was made to Behind-the-Scenes Heroes of theatre, dedicated on this occasion to the dressers, in partnership with Maison Margiela. Designer John Galliano introduced it with a speech in which he revealed that he started his working life as a dresser at the National Theatre after finishing at St Martin's School of Art. He invited 26 dressers seated in the auditorium to join him on stage to take a bow.
GUESTS INCLUDED: Dame Anna Wintour, Claire Foy, Idris Elba, Evgeny Lebedev, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Ralph Fiennes, Andrew Garfield, Sophie Okonedo, Jenna Coleman, Letitia Wright, Stella McCartney, Richard Madden, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Dame Shirley Bassey, Cressida Bonas, Bee Carrozzini, Paapa Essiedu and Douglas Booth.
The winners of the 10 awards for the 64th Evening Standard Theatre Awards are as follows:
Best Musical - Hamilton (Victoria Palace)
Milton Shulman Award For Best Director - Marianne Elliott (Company, Gielgud Theatre)
Best Musical Performance - Rosalie Craig (Company, Gielgud Theatre)
Emerging Talent Award - Jamael Westman (Hamilton, Victoria Palace)